How I store my paper patterns

How do you store your patterns?

I think we can all agree that this monstrosity, this bulging box file stuffed to the gunnels with fragments of paper, is not the way to do it.How-I-store-my-patterns(6)

How-I-store-my-patterns(4)Oh man, all my OCD feelings are freaking out right now just looking at it. When I first started out and only had two or three patterns this system worked just fine. But the time had come to make something better. I’m giving my sewing space a little overhaul at the moment, and top of the list was a smart, tidy pattern storage solution. On a separate shopping excursion a chance encounter with these Muji file boxes inspired me to come up with a better storage system. And following a bit of internet research I spotted Katie of What Katie Sews using the same system for her patterns. Great minds I reckon.How-I-store-my-patterns

(Note: I’m not sponsored by Muji, but if they want to reimburse me for the endorsement I really want some of those acrylic drawers).

How-I-store-my-patterns(3)I bought three boxes to start with, although I think I need a fourth one already for my back issues of Burda magazine and my knitting patterns. But for the moment these can squash in with the dress patterns. Each folder contains a separate pattern, and the boxes are divided into dresses, tops and bottoms.How-I-store-my-patterns(5)Doesn’t that look better? So much tidier! All labelled and neat. Plus amidst the chaos of paper I discovered several patterns that I’d forgotten I own. Win.

I’ve also decided to start keeping a detailed pattern notebook, focussing in particular on any pattern adjustments I’ve had to make. For a while I kept a mental record of how I’d adjusted this waistband or taken an extra centimetre out of this seam allowance. The upshot of which is I’ve forgotten how I got that skirt to fit so nicely, or how I changed the waistband of those trousers so that they sat more comfortably. And beyond the fitting notes I want to get into the habit of taking detailed notes on the machine settings I use for each garment as well. I’m a big one of making and re-making my favourite patterns (I now have four GBSB t-shirts), so keeping really detailed notes seems like a good plan!

How do you keep your sewing organised?

What do you think?