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Pattern storage
Written by PippaFabric
Category: Patterns, reviews

Pattern storage

How do you store your patterns? Are they all neatly put away in a box? On display on a shelf? Filed in a cabinet? Left in a pile?

I thought I’d got it sussed. I have all of my general, big four stored in a plastic draw tower and boxes. Yes, I’ve got a lot but when you sew for a living it’s kind of an occupational hazard. As are random threads hanging off your clothes. That was until I got the indie pattern bug.

Oh the joy of owning a pattern within a few moments of clicking through and downloading. It’s instant gratification at its finest. I even find the occasional sticking session therapeutic now. Though if the pattern takes 2-3 A0 pages it’s more likely to be sent off. Life is short.


The story so far

So I’ve tried A4 envelopes for storing patterns. This worked for some of my own drafted patterns and small section pdfs but the envelopes start to get a bit tired if the pattern’s used a lot. Plastic pockets work ok but then you have to store in a file, the amount of paper involved tends to break the holes and are no longer held quite so securely. I’ve started to use filing folders to store the patterns. These are hard wearing and you can get more than one pattern in if you find that the a particular company work for you.

I’d just printed out the Strathcona Henley by Thread theory when Pattern Trace offered me the chance to try out their pattern archive envelopes for a review. Perfect timing! I was already pushing my luck with the folder and the number of patterns it contained.

What are they like?

When they arrived I was pleasantly surprised at the weight of paper used to create them. It’s a nice mid weight, strong enough to hold things in but not so thick and stiff that it’ll take up too much room once filled. They’re about A4 in size with a side gusset and deep fold over tab which is scored to allow for the gusset to sit nicely. They looked very promising.

How much will they fit in?

The strathcona is 35 pages and on the cusp of my sending off for print. Having stuck it all together I trimmed to size and began the fold. It fitted really nicely into the envelope and rather than use the self stick tab I folded it into the envelope. Perfect. The gussets opened just enough and the tab didn’t struggle to fit with the amount of paper inside.

using the pattern archive envelopes for pattern storage

The front of the envelope has space for you to make a note of the pattern inside and to draw or paste a pic of the pattern on the front. I doodled the t-shirt, it’s not bad for writing on as it’s a matt finish. I haven’t tried a sharpie on it yet but the paper is thick enough for it not to go through. There’s space for ‘maker notes’ which I used to note which size had been cut and any extra pattern notes I’d already noticed.

Fitting in

I’ve started to gather the patterns that need re-homing in new envelopes and those which have yet to be filed properly. These fit really nicely in my cutting table cubby for patterns in waiting and work well with my normal file system too. I suspect I might need another filing cabinet as I’m running out of shelf space, My Threads magazines have run out of space too so I think this may be the way I’m going with general storage.

I ought to also say that although the envelopes were gifted to me the thoughts are my own. I’m not good at the bull s**t. If you want good quality envelopes that are designed specifically for this purpose then these are for you. You may want to use them for all of your patterns or those that are going to be re-used to allow for heavy wear, this is how I shall use them. When I try a pattern that I know is going to be used A LOT, I need the container to work just as hard.

One day my studio will be all super tidy and organised. Maybe. My patterns are at least. If you’d like to try the envelopes then do click on the link Here They stock some wonderful sewing related goodies. It’s also nice to support a small independent business.

Until next time, I really must make the boy his t-shirt…Toodle-pip

1 Comment

  1. Helen

    This is exactly what I need but didn’t know existed. Thanks Pippa.


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