If you have a few dress making patterns (as I do!), you may be wondering about the best way to store them and easily find them, especially as that lovey dressmaking paper never folds up as small as it did when it first came out of the cover!
Step 1: Try Using a File Box!
This was the perfect solution for me, and hopefully you will find it useful!
Step 2: The Stuff You Need to Buy!
First, buy a file box (these do vary in price, the metal one I have was from Staples, and I think I paid around £10, but may be more now!), and some hanging suspension file holders with tabs. You will need 1 hanging suspension file holder and 1 A4 zip lock bag for each pattern. If you have a draw in your desk big enough for suspension files, you could use this instead!
Step 3: Next Add Your Pattern
I prefer to trace my patterns; this means the original pattern stays intact and uncut, meaning I can still use it if I change shape, or a friend wants an item making in a different size. If it is a pattern you are going to use a lot, over time it will start to tear and wear, so if you trace it, you still have the original to go back to! This also means you can make alterations to the pattern easily, without ruining the original. You can buy pattern tracing paper quite cheaply; my favourite make is Burda, as this is the same density as the original pattern paper, and easy to use.
Once I have my pattern traced, I then place the folded pieces into the clear zip folder, with the pattern cover to the front so I can see the pattern picture, and of course the instructions.
Step 4: Organising the Box File!
Once I have my pattern traced, and in a zip folder, I can now add it to my box file. I add printed tabs to each suspension folder, giving the pattern code, make, and brief description; if you don't have a printer, you can of course hand write these! I try to get all my skirt patterns together, then tops, then dresses etc, just for ease of finding what I want.
Step 5: Fabric Requirements on Your Smart Phone!
I also made a list of all my patterns, including photos, and pattern details, using One Note on my Windows based mobile phone (other databases are available for Apple and Android phones). This means I have a database of all my patterns, including pictures of the item and fabric quantities need, easily to hand on my phone; great for when out and about fabric shopping! I added pictures of the pattern (downloaded from the internet), then added the fabric quantities for the size I needed for each variation, and notations for each pattern. No more guessing when you see the must have fabric for one of your patterns! Admittedly this took a little time to do, but so worth it in the long run.