Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Confession

Another real confession today. After using a pattern, I used to try to fold the pieces along the pre-existing fold lines and put it back oh-so-neatly into the envelope. Nowadays, there's a lot more crinkling and shoving... and yes, sometimes, even cramming!

How about you? How do you put your patterns away after you use them? Do you put in the time and effort to keep them super neat?

I'm also curious how people store the patterns that they trace from pattern magazines like Burda World of Fashion - you know, the ones that don't come with their own envelopes. Any special systems you could share with the rest of us?


Lori said...

I fold my pattern pieces and then iron them. It makes a nice flat tissue to be inserted into the pattern envelope.

Sarah said...

I try to fold it back on the original lines but it is NEVER as neat as when new. I then press the whole folded sheet with the iron

On patterns I trace, I just label them and put into afolder that has pockets. Then again, I don't have that many yet:)

Anonymous said...

I never thought of ironing the pieces! Anyway, I am so bad about this. I can't refold anything, so it rarely goes well. I have at least once just thrown a pattern away because it wouldn't go back (and I didn't want to make it again.)

I store traced patterns in manilla envelopes, with a photocopy of the original pattern on the outside. If it's vintage, I also photocopy the instructions (I have a copier at home.)

Branka said...

I blogged about this recently, for tracing patterns I actually don't use tracing paper, I use PVC foil instead. It doesnt't wrinkle so there is no need for ironing, and I put them away in a folder with pockets. This works great for me!

Webfrau said...

It depends on the pattern. I try to refold but it's always a struggle so sometimes I just put the whole thing in a ziplock bag with the original envelope at the front. It's a little bigger and fits easily.

For traced patterns I store those in plastic bags too, usually with an index card (5x7 ish size?) detailing the pattern number, size and magazine it's from. Then they file away neatly with the purchased patterns as they're a similar size.

Rose said...

For the most part, I refold the unused pattern pieces along the same creases. For the cut pieces, I press with a dry iron, and then I fold them along new lines. I put all the cut pattern pieces together, with the smaller pieces in the inside. I use a ruler to create creases. I tuck the ruler against the tissue paper and fold the pattern pieces against the ruler, then I remove the ruler by sliding it out. I buy a larger clear envelopes to store heavily used pattern.

Rose in SV

Anonymous said...

I am fairly anal about it, and I have envelopes that have seen better days I still get them into. Some get taped back together, some of these patterns get placed into an envelope.

I can fold on the lines, partly because I do origami I think, and I know how they should fold back together because of that. Most of the time, they are as flat and neat as when I used them.

Patterns I trace or design, I toss/give away. Rarely will I keep them, but I place them in a manila envelope of that the small size with a photocopy of the finished pic on the front and a line drawing/yardage on the back when I do. Everything after that goes into a pattern box, sometimes, or tossed into a crate to be put up.

I need to change that and get a business D ring binder and plastic pocket sheets. It will take up a lot less room, but so far, the cost is being a little prohibitive because I need to have so much of them to do it.

Lisa Laree said...

Mostly I trace my patterns, because I've got to alter them up and I just don't want to destroy the original.
I bought 'Pattern Keeper' bags from Nancy's Notions...they're zip-top bags with a pocket on the front. After I trace the pattern, if I can at all, I will refold the pattern sheet on the original lines and put it in the zipper part of the bag; the traced pieces go in the front pocket with the pattern envelope and guide sheet (which is in the envelope). I don't use the pattern keepers until I actually trace the pattern... ;)

For Burdas, I finally decided to separate the pattern sheets from the magazine and put them into gallon size zipper bags, labeled w/ issue date. Then I copy the line drawing pages. The pattern bag and the magazine go into a copy-paper box; the line drawings go into page protectors in a 3-ring binder.

If I actually trace a pattern, it goes into a sandwich-sized zip bag and then into the larger bag w/the original sheets.

I can flip through the binder, then pull the magazine and the pattern pieces from the box pretty easily...for now, anyway. ;)

gwensews said...

I trace all of my patterns. I cut them apart, iron them, trace each piece that I'm gong to use, the fold and press the original pattern to go back in the envelope. To store the traced patterns, I use pattern envelopes from They are clear plastic, just the right size for the original pattern, plus room for tracings.

marysews said...

The pieces I don't use are returned to their factory-folded glory. The pieces I do use are flattened with a dry iron. I put them away by folding them over and around my 4" x 15" Dritz See-thru ruler.

Mary said...

I put all pattern pieces into ziplocks, and store them in photo boxes. Pattern envelopes are stored in sleeves within binders. Each sleeve side has a 3x5 card with notes and fabric swatch. Binders and photo boxes are labeled "pants", "woven tops" "knit tops" etc.

Doesn't that sound good? But, the ziplocks have the pieces crammed in, folded every which way, as long as they fit!

Cindy said...

WOW great answers everyone gave!

So many people try to fold them just like they came out of the envelope. I so don't do that. I just fold them up any which way and put them back in the envelope if they fit, if they don't fit I put them in ziplock baggies along with everything in the envelope. I have the 300 or so patterns in baskets on a shelf. I try to keep them in order so I can find them easy when needed.

I always cut the pattern up, hardly ever trace a pattern but when I make my own patterns I love using the medical paper they use on exam beds. Its easy to trace and if you know someone that works in the field ask them to donate a roll to you. I've gotten several rolls this way.

I so have NEVER ironed the pattern to put it away in the envelope. That is such a higher perfection level then I go to. NOW, I do iron the pattern before I use to cut out.

How you feeling?
Have a most wonderful holiday weekend. Looks like were going to get a lot of rain.

I don't know whats wrong again because I am signed on to google but it wont let me use the account when leaving a comment so this is Learn2Sew Cindy :)

Lady Jenn said...

I actually store all my patterns in 5x7 manila envelopes - I got this from gigi sews (behind the seams at wordpress) - in numerical order - the pattern envelopes go into clear page holders in large 3 ring beinders.

So, it makes it easier to refold patterns to fit - after they have been ironed before use.

For traced patterns, I put them into a qt. size ziplock bag and write the date of the burda magazine, along with the size on it the bag - and then put a star next to that pattern in the magazine - so that I know I have traced it already.

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I trace my original patterns because I MUST alter them. First, I cut out the pattern pieces, iron them, then trace them. I make my alterations on the traced pattern pieces.

To store the orignial & trace pattern, I use 9x12 manilla envelopes. These envelopes hold the orginial pattern envelope, orignal pattern pieces and traced pattern pieces. I write the pattern number on the outside. The 9x12 manilla envelopes are stored in a used lateral file cabinet. You can see how I did ithere.

When I'm sewing, I keep the manilla envelop and other notions for the project in Stor It Large bags. These bags come in large, XL and XXL sizes and have handles. You can buy thing at Dollar Tree stores for you guest it a Dollar. I usually use the large bags when come three to a box.

mitch1066 said...

i split open the envelope and fold the pattern as close as i can to original and put peices and envelope in large ziplock bag

Karin van D. said...

I used to trace my patterns and put them into a ring binder with see through folders in it (no idea what they are called in English). On the pattern pieces I wrote name, magazine, pattern number and size, and on the folder I used to put a label with the same information.

I have to be honest though: Most of the times I just throw my used pattern pieces away. Since I trace everything I always have the original pattern at hand when I need it, but I have to say I seldom make the same pattern more than once. It's just too much fun to sew a new pattern and there are so many patterns out there that I can sew on for the rest of my life without having to remake anything, I guess.

Julia said...

I bought a bunch of jacket folders. I call them pocket folders. I glued the pattern fronts and backs to the front of the folder. I wrote the general description and sizes on the folder tabs. Then I put my pattern pieces inside. I don't have to fold them so small. I haven't done all my patterns this way yet, but I'm working on it. I have the perfect cabinet that my husband's grandfather made that the folders fit in perfectly!

Shannon Hillinger said...

I used to just cram my patterns back in, but they took up too much space that way and were completely unusable afterwards, so now I carefully fold.
I don't trace too many patterns out of magazines and books, but when I make my own patterns I put them in full sized manila envelopes.

Becky said...

I'm kind of a slob...honestly, half the time I don't even put the pieces away for quite some time because I'm too eager to get on to the next project to bother fully cleaning up from the last one! I'm trying to get better about putting the pieces away as I go, because I have lost a lot of pattern pieces that way. When I do put them away, if they're larger pieces I try to follow the fold lines, but for smaller ones I'll often just stick them in there or make up my own folds.

As for the Burda pieces, I have some smaller manilla envelopes that I keep the pieces in once I'm done with them (or once they're traced out, for ones I plan to use but haven't gotten to cutting yet.) I use a scrap of the tissue that I traced the pattern on to trace over the technical drawing in the magazine and tape that to the front of the envelope.

Summerset said...

I am very OCD about this. Any uncut pieces must be folded back on the original lines, nice and flat to fit into the envelope. The instructions then separate the cut (and neatly folded) from the uncut pieces.

For Burda, etc. I use ziplock bags - quart size are best. I make sure that a piece label is facing up and I also note what the garment is and what fabric I made it out of. Looking at the month and model number may mean nothing to me months later when I'm looking for a pattern, but garment and color are a big help.

Faye Lewis said...

I just do the best that I can with these things. When I strike it rich, I'm going to hire someone to put the pieces back in the envelopes!!!

Claire S. said...

Not much of a system really. I used to just refold and stuff everything back into the envelopes.

Now that I need to do adjustments, I've started tracing ALL my patterns and now need a filing system.

The Burda inserts are kept with the mags, the Big 4 instructions are kept in the original envelopes. All the tracings are kept in labeled ziploc bags.

I don't see this working for long as I haven't yet found a good way to store the ziplocs or the Burda pattern inserts.

Maybe the answers you get will give me a place to start :-)