Organize Your Sewing Patterns with Binders

comments (7) January 3rd, 2009     

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erika_kern Erika Kern, contributor
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Personalize your binders with decorative papers and labels.
A small selection of the MANY sewing and embroidery patterns I have floating around my house.
A few binders, some page dividers, and protector sheets are all you need to centralize all your patterns.
Personalize your binders with decorative papers and labels.

Personalize your binders with decorative papers and labels.

Photo: Erika Kern

Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but this past year left my craft room in such a state. Floss all over the place, patterns in boxes and baskets all over the house, pins and needles everywhere (watch where you step!). . . This place needs to get organized! And what a great time to do it. . . new year. . . fresh start. . . let's do it!

First, let's revisit my post of organizing your embroidery floss. Working on five projects at a time this Christmas turned my clever organization system into a pile of floss and baggies. Time to file all the floss away again! Now, onto the patterns. . .

It seems my patterns were everywhere: boxes in the living room, my craft room, under my bed. It's so hard to find the one I want when I want it. More often than not, I end up drawing the pattern again only to find it the next day sitting in a box that I forgot about. Well, no more! This simple project centralizes all my patterns in clear, concise catagories. It's super organized and super awesome!

Wanna follow my lead? Here's what you'll need:

  • Binders (I bought the design-your-own-cover kind)
  • Decorative paper and labels
  • Clear page protectors
  • Page dividers
  • Pens

First, collect all your patterns to figure out how many binders you'll need.

A small selection of the MANY sewing and embroidery patterns I have floating around my house.

I bought one for my embroidery patterns and one for sewing patterns and used dividers to separate by type or design. For the sewing patterns, I broke it down to Tops, Skirts & Pants, Dresses, Suits, Coats & Jackets, Formal Dresses, and Purses & Accessories. For the embroidery patterns, I categorized by Flowers, Animals, Portraits, Robots, and Miscellaneous.

Separate patterns by type. I divided by clothing type for my sewing patterns and by theme for the embroidery.

Break it down in the way it works best for you. Lots of sewing patterns? Use a binder for each type. Tons of embroidery transfer patterns? Separate by designer. Your way is the best way!

Personalize your binders with decorative papers and labels. I used binders with clear covers that could be customized and made covers with paper from my stash. I didn't go too crazy, but you could have tons of fun creating fancy covers for your patterns!

This is a great way to keep sewing patterns once you've used them. No need to stuff all the pieces back into that tiny envelope!

To keep things manageable when working on an embroidery project, I keep each project in a protective sleeve. When a project is current, I move it to the front of the binder. When I'm finished, I move it back with the others in its category.

Now that my floss is all sorted and my patterns are contained, all I need to do is find all those pins and needles!

Better get that magnet out. . .


posted in: embroidery, storage, organization

Comments (7)

writerinfact writes: Man, I don't know where you got the idea that "a few binders" were going to provide a solution for this issue! I've (so far) got two file cabinets - only 2 drawers each, but office depth, not home - full of embroidery patterns, from medieval to modern. That doesn't even address the crochet patterns, although I admit I bought a 240 gig external hard drive to store those. Then there are the sewing patterns - another two file cabinets nearly full, but these are 4 drawers! Then there are the needlepoint patterns . . . I guess Dad knew more than he let on when he labeled the garage door with a sign that says "The Wherehouse" in his lovely, stylish, old-fashioned calligraphy. It's a 3-car garage - and there are NO cars parked there!
Posted: 2:29 am on June 27th
batty4orange writes: Thanks for this idea. I have tons of patterns that are filling gallon sized bags overflowing in boxes and totes,etc. I have been trying to come up with a way to organize them. Also, I sew doll clothes and keep all the pieces for each item in a labeled sandwich bag inside the gallon bag for ease in finding what I need.
Posted: 10:27 pm on January 8th
erika_kern writes: I like the zip lock idea! That's great!
I used to keep my patterns in boxes, but then I just had too many! But I'm a bit of an organizational nut...
Posted: 5:11 pm on January 3rd
IggyJingles writes: One thing that I do with bulkier paper sewing patterns - which I agree never want to return to their original envelope - is put them into a gallon size ziploc type bag rather than a page protector. This bag can then have three holes punched into the side and be inserted into the binder. The ones with the tab pull are the easiest to use in a binder.
Posted: 11:59 am on January 3rd
gracie_girl writes: This is a good idea. For those of us who are a little less prone to organizing in detail...the brown cardboard filing boxes at Ikea keep quite a few patterns neatly contained. I make two rows, and they fit with just enough latitude to make fishing out the patterns easy. They are quite inexpensive, and you can label the side with the type of patterns you have inside. They also stack easily.
Posted: 11:02 am on January 3rd
Kips writes: Thank you for this organizational idea !! DH and I are going to redo my sewing room this year, I'll be using this idea for sure !
Posted: 6:08 am on January 3rd
yjihmhm writes: The best Embroidery designs
Posted: 2:54 am on January 3rd
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