Condo Blues: The Best Ever Quick and Easy Sewing Pattern Storage and Organization Idea

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Best Ever Quick and Easy Sewing Pattern Storage and Organization Idea

I store my sewing patterns in a recycled shoebox because it is the width of a sewing pattern envelope.

Also, with a husband who is a long distance runner, I can get a replacement shoe box when I need it on the regular.

It worked for awhile - until it didn’t.

As I’ve done more costuming work, my pattern envelopes are  in all shapes and sizes. On more than one occasion I plopped the whole pattern into a gallon size zipper baggie because the pattern pieces won’t fold to fit back into its envelope. I try to store my sewing patterns by category but they quickly return to their natural disorganized state – a pile busting out of its shoe box(es.)

how to store and organize craft and sewing patterns
Please excuse the carpet that needs vacuuming. That’s what prompted me to move the pile and find a better solution.

This is not working. I need to find a better way to store and organize my sewing patterns that fits in a small, limited craft room space.

 A did a reader poll on the Condo Blues Facebook page here and got some good suggestions. Someone suggested a binder with sheet protector pockets like this one. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) This would work if all of my sewing patterns were the same shape and size.  Another good suggestion was to store my odd size sewing boxes in banker boxes like these. Unfortunately bankers boxes won’t quite fit the space and based on my shoebox sewing pattern storage solution, I know that it will eventually turn into an unorganized pile of patterns in a bigger box.

If I don’t have a system that makes the item easy to put away, even with the best of intentions of saying this time will be different, I plunk the item on a table, shelf,  and say I will put it away later. Eventually it turns into a pile because Later never comes.

Hey, at least I’m honest with myself.

After marinating on the problem for awhile, I came up with quick and easy sewing pattern organization and storage solution – these exact magazine file holders!

sewing pattern storage and organization that grows with you
I made the organizer labels on small clothes pins. It makes them easily movable if I want to subdivide the sections in the future. And truthfully, the glue dots I originally used to stick the labels to the cardboard magazine organizers didn't hold the labels and they fell off most of the file folders.

I stored my sewing patterns by category: Stuffed Animals and Craft sewing patterns, Elizabethan Women Costuming Patterns, Elizabethan Men Costuming Patterns, Mundane (current every day clothing,) Hats and Coats, and a temporary Miscellaneous that is mostly costume sewing patterns that don’t fit into one of the other broad categories that I’ll eventually split into specific file holders as my collection grows. To keep all of my sewing patterns in one organized storage space in the first time in forever, I put my copy of  Gertie Sews Vintage Casual (you can learn more about this fantastic book that comes with enough sewing patterns (and how to hack them to change sleeves, necklines, etc.) to sew an entire wardrobe ten times over!) with my sewing pattern organizers because I almost bought a pattern to make something that I already had in the book.

Instead of pawing through a box of sewing patterns to find the one, two, or more patterns I want to combine to make an item (for example, adding pockets to thwart the pattern designer who thinks women don’t need pockets) I quickly find those related patterns in the category I am sewing. When I’m done, I can shove gently and lovingly place the sewing patterns in their proper magazine holder and on their storage shelf quickly and easily.


best sewing and craft pattern storage and organization idea
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Content in a Cottage said...

I made your compost bin from a plastic storage container and I love it. Are you still using yours?

Thanks for a great post from 2010.
xo, Rosemary

Kippi O'Hern said...

What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?
Happy Mother's Day,

Life as a LEO Wife said...

Great idea! I love finding ways to organize my craft room so I don't tear apart the room for one tiny Cricut blade or the like. Thank you for sharing on Traffic Jam Weekend! I'd love for you to share on Happiness is Homemade (Sundays) and You're the Star Blog Hop (Mondays) at!

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