Storing Sewing Patterns

I love to sew, but one thing I don't like is trying to get the pattern pieces back into those little envelopes that have the pattern in it originally. I knew I had to do something. I went to an office supply store and bought some cheap file folders. I sew them along the sides then cut the pattern envelope to the size of the file folder and tape or glue it on the outside. It is so much easier to fold the pattern pieces to fit the file folder. I bought a file cabinet at an auction for $1.00 and I was set. No more frustration.


By Carole from Klamath, CA

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January 14, 2009

I do a lot of sewing, using the same patterns over and over. After a while, I've lost pieces, which drives me nuts! I finally figured how to solve the problem. After I cut a pattern apart, I put it in a Ziploc bag, with it's envelope.

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Save those Christmas wrap cardboard tubes and roll your patterns instead of folding. You'll find they last much longer!

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February 17, 2009

I have found plastic document protectors work great for my patterns. You can xerox a favorite pattern, put it in a document protector, and then organize them in a binder.

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August 3, 2011

I am a crochet patternaholic. I am constantly printing out patterns and buying pattern books and was having trouble organizing the stacks.

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As I create and sew Barbie doll-size fashions, I came up with a way to keep my patterns organized. For each outfit of the pattern set, I use a 6 1/2-in x 3 5/8-in regular envelope.

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I cut all the pattern pieces up, then fold them to fit inside a folder. Then I find a plastic bag to put the pattern envelop in it and Scotch tape it to the front of the folder, write the number, and pattern on the top of the folder.

Patterns in manila files with envelop in plastic bag taped to outside.

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This is for people who have a problem with keeping sewing patterns neatly stuffed in those too small envelopes.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I keep my sewing pattern envelopes in page protectors, in a binder. I keep my pattern innards in quart sized ZipLoc storage bags. I am looking for boxes (with tops) 10 in. high x 7 in. wide x 24-26 in. long to store a couple hundred patterns numerically. Plastic sounds best, but cardboard has lasted me for years. I just need to replace them.

Charlene from Canton, MI


September 7, 20080 found this helpful

I use clear rubbermaid totes for mine. Since they are plastic, I don't have to worry about moisture getting in, or a mouse chewing its way through.
However I have been keeping my eye on stores who go out of business looking for one of the regular systems. I almost got one at an auction once, but got outbid.

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By Ruth Ann (Guest Post)
September 8, 20080 found this helpful

Girl Scout cookie boxes are the perfect size to store patterns. Cheaper than plastic totes and you are recycling. They can be covered with contact paper.
The Girl Scouts sell cookies in the Spring in our area at all the local stores and I am sure they would be glad to get rid of their boxes. I have been using mine since my daughter was in scouts 20 years ago.

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September 11, 20080 found this helpful

Here's what I do.

I keep some patterns in a ziplock bag, too, and simply punch holes in them and slip them in a binder, too.

You can also hook them to a hanger with those black strong binder clips and keep them up away from little critter who love to nibble.

However, if they are patterns you use often, your best bet is to trace them around 3/1.00 poster board, mark them with markers as to folds, pattern number, piece number, etc. Then, you can donate those patterns to a thrift shop and have pieces that are easier to see and work with.

I make vests and sell them, and have found that these big pieces are much easier to work with.

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

Shoe boxes of all sizes make great storage containers. If you like things to look nice they can be painted or covered with contact paper. I also use baskets and tins from garage sales and thrift stores.

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December 11, 2013

Since patterns are so big now it is impossible to repack them. Plastic bags and envelopes don't allow descriptions of the item. Please if anyone has figured out away to store them in an economical way space wise please let me know.

By Chris L


December 16, 20130 found this helpful

I put the pattern in a gallon size plastic bag, then place the envelope it came in, face up so I can see it through the plastic. Make sense?

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December 17, 20130 found this helpful

I use extra large zippered freezer bags. By putting the pattern envelope on the outside you see which pattern it is. I store them by type of garment on a pant or skirt hanger (the kind with clips). This will hold three or four bags. Then I hang them on an over the door bar meant for hanging clothes on. Works well. Color code the hangers with colored dots for easy access to certain patterns. I have a poster with colored dots, showing what each color means.

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August 27, 20140 found this helpful

When I buy a pattern I immediately cut down one side and across the bottom making a folder. I then store my pattern in a gallon zipper bag. You can see the front and also the back for yardages.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 13, 2009
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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July 26, 2010

I download most of my patterns off the internet and put them into organized folders.

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January 27, 2010

Tips for organizing your craft patterns from our ThriftyFun community. Post your own ideas.

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