Do you have stacks of sewing patterns that you don’t know what to do with? Do your monthly fabric subscriptions have nowhere to go? I know exactly how you feel and used to have the same problem.
When I first started sewing, any time I saw my piles of patterns was disarray I thought, how can I organize patterns properly?
Find Your Sewing Patterns Easier
I was looking to store my pattern clutter in a depository that’s easily accessible so I don’t waste time trying to find what I’m looking for. All my plus size patterns are now neatly hidden away under a pattern cover in pattern storage boxes safe from the elements.
Let’s look at some great ideas for pattern storage, which I discovered when I was looking for a solution. You can decide which one is the best fit and most effective for your sewing room.
The Leffis Comic Book Boxes are large capacity storage that will hold up to 150 comics (or patterns – that’s a whole load of sewing!).
If you’ve got hundreds of patterns lying around, this storage box is made from high quality PVC board to bring sturdiness so that piling placement of PDF patterns will allow you to save more space.
It arrives in a flat pack, but has two short steps for installation by opening it up for use.
During a clear out, (followed by the next trip to fabric stores..) you can easily fold the box away again ready for next time you use it. The designers have tried their best to avoid any issues with this product, as it’s engineered to hold comic books which can be expensive.
This gorgeous mesh organizer is a heavy duty, multi purpose 10 drawer desk pattern storage unit that will sit nicely next to your sewing machine.
The mesh desk organizer is made from stainless steel which will ensure a long life. It’s able to take scratches, dents and even drop while still being usable – we all know how mad a sewing room can get!
The 10 drawers gives you the ability to store sewing patterns and other sewing notions. The drawers are wide and spacious which saves you the hassle of rummaging around for your favorite pattern.
Each drawer could be full of different pattern categories: digital files you’ve printed, actual patterns including paper sewing patterns, garment patterns and decorative patterns. The dimensions are 13.75” x 10.5” x 21.5”.
If you’re looking for a smaller pattern storage unit, this 3 drawer unit could sit neatly on your cutting table filled with printed patterns or PDF patterns.
The 3 drawer set from Iris USE is ideal for those who don’t have hoards of sewing patterns and are looking for something sleek to sit atop their table. The unit has an open tray on top which could be used for sewing notions and extras.
If you’re heavy handed not to worry, the three drawers have stoppers to prevent your new patterns from falling out when opened. We all know how much our sewing tables can vibrate when our sewing machine is at full speed, so this has rubber feet attached to prevent your PDF patterns sliding on your desktop.
Maybe you prefer a classic storage unit, and don’t want to spend a lot of money? The Bankers Box made from cardboard has got your eco-friendly storage solutions covered.
You can store your sewing patterns flat or stacked neatly upright in the traditional Bankers Box, which measures 2.25” x 22.25” x 27.5” – plenty of room for the seasoned pattern user. Easy to assemble, this 6 pack of boxes are the same size, and strong enough to hold the most precious of patterns.
The removable lid means no hinges that may break, when looking through all your pattern collection, and the easy to carry handles make moving easy. You could pair this with some file folders and keep your pattern pieces in numerical order.
This is a round ring binder notebook, which will hold all the sewing patterns you could dream of in plastic wallets (not included).
If you’re more of a flip through kind of sewer, these water resistant ring binders will keep you happy. It’s available in 5 different colors – black, blue, green, purple and red. It works like a binder but has a notebook feel to it.
The plastic cover folds back over the rings to lie flat like a notebook cover which provides durability. The three rings have been specially designed so they won’t break or misalign, easy to add more sewing patterns to!
These contemporary storage boxes would look ace in a light and airy sewing space. They are small enough to sit under a desk, or can be tucked away neatly in a cupboard.
The Neaterize Storage Bins are available in 6 different colors and are made from heavy duty MDF, covered in breathable fabric.
This is a pack of four bins which can be filled with other patterns and stacked neatly in your sewing room. These boxes really are in for the long haul, constructed from ultra sturdy MDF and breathable fabric with superior stitching.
They feature two handles that have been sewn through the MDF so they won’t rip off under the weight of your sewing patterns! They come with easy assembly and a lid that will protect vintage patterns.
If you like to see exactly what’s going on in each box, these clear plastic bins will help you see exactly what sewing patterns are where. You could categorize your patterns and have a different garment in each clear box.
The Iris Plastic Storage Bin comes with options of including a buckle, plain lid or a latching lid to keep things neat and tidy.
The American made storage boxes have been made from anti-break, durable polypropylene material. Lids have been made so you can stack the boxes upon each other if you’re overflowing with sewing notions and tools.
They’re water resistant and durable and will hold 20 lbs of sewing stuff. For the health conscious the plastic is BPA free and has been certified by Green Circle. You can reuse this box time and again, to store your precious patterns.
This looks a little like a magazine rack, but could be imagined to be a tiny book shelf of patterns.
This 2-pack of plastic desk organizers would sit in a corner somewhere neatly tucked away, with the spines of the pattern envelopes on show. It keeps your sewing patterns standing upright neatly for space-saving storage.
You could use this on your shelf, desk or in a desk drawer. The units measure 10” x 7” x 11.8”, and it’s backed by Amazon basics 1-year limited warranty – pretty good going!
This is at the cheaper end of sewing pattern storage ideas, and works more like a file, which has neat plastic pockets inside.
You can protect your sewing patterns with this durable and waterproof folder file. The tear resistant poly files are there to guard your sewing patterns from any pets that like to nibble on things. You can use a backing board in each section to stop the sewing patterns bending.
For extra security it has a flap and cord closure for extra pattern protection.13 pockets are built in for easy subdivision, and each pocket will expand 7/8” meaning more than one pattern can fit in each section.
Each pocket has a label at the top spanning the length of the file so you can see exactly what is where. It will hold up to 260 sheets of letter size paper.
This set of 4 stackable trays can be a modern twist on sewing pattern storage ideas.
Made from carbon steel, these letter trays will definitely last a lifetime! They’re probably my favorite sewing pattern storage, I love the aesthetic and simplicity of them.
Each tray has the most adorable handles on either side, so you can rearrange the stack piles easily depending on your sewing project.
If you decide you do have enough space, you can unstack the trays and look at your pattern pieces all in one go. They even come with hooks so they can be attached to a shelving unit and used as a mini shelf just for pattern stash!
Ok, I know what you’re thinking..this is huge – but it’s a great addition to any sewing room, for those who have a humongous amount of sewing patterns and pieces and a large fabric stash.
I am just crazy about this rustic brown wooden trunk, which could plonk itself next to your sewing desk ready to be divided into.
The wooden trunk has 2 safety hinges that hold the lid open and close slowly and smoothly without pinching fingers. The two cut out handles allow you to move the trunk around easily and effortlessly.
The ample storage should be plenty for all your sewing pattern stash and maybe your printer if you like to download and print out your own PDF patterns.
It’s an ideal sewing box to help declutter your creative space. Holding your stuff all together in an exquisite rustic brown will bring some coziness to your room.
This cute little storage unit stands by itself on the floor, at easy to reach height for all of your sewing patterns
The wooden shelving unit has three basket drawers, and a top shelf which will hold up to 40lbs of individual patterns.
The X-side design next to the drawers has been built for extra support in-case all your patterns are so heavy they cause it to topple over!
There are a choice of three colors: teal, brown and white giving you options to match the colors of your sewing room. In any case – you could always paint it to keep color coordination in the future.
The MDF shelves require assembling, therefore an installation manual has been included.
This is on the larger side of sewing pattern storage, and it’s one of my favorite – I love woven baskets!
How do you store sewing patterns?
Sewing pattern storage ideas will depend on the size of your pattern stash. A filing cabinet or filing box is suitable for most patterns, paired with Manila envelopes which slot nicely in. The envelopes are cheap and you can write notes all over them.
Folders are a good storage option for PDF print out at home sewing patterns, and larger copy shop PDFs can be stored in the shipping tube they came in, or rolled up and secured with a ribbon or elastic band.
I like to use storage boxes on the floor for my homemade patterns or patterns from sewing magazines. I like to store them by month and year, or garment style so I can quickly find what I’m looking for.
When buying sewing storage, you will need to consider a few things: First is the number of patterns you have. It’s no good buying one small folder if you have close to 100 patterns of multiple sizes. You want to be able to see the patterns and find them quickly.
Consider your storage space – do you have lots of desk room, or spare cupboard space as different sewing pattern storage suits different spaces.
What makes the best pattern storage?
The best pattern storage is something that is convenient and neat for you. You want to make sure your new pattern is going to be easy to find yet protected.
You can find Manila envelopes, plastic folders or large format patterns, if you want totally free pattern storage you can even use plastic bags to keep your many patterns safe from the elements, which can be kept safe further in sewing pattern storage bags.
If you want to create a storage bag yourself, click here for some ideas.
You want your patterns to be accessed easily, whichever way that might be for you – some sewists like to put their pattern in clear plastic tubs, others like to use simple plastic wallets clipped in a ring bound folder. I prefer pattern storage that’s waterproof – just in case my coffee gets spilled!
How to organize sewing patterns?
You can organize your sewing pattern storage into categories e.g. digital patterns, PDF patterns, magazine patterns, tissue paper patterns and so on.
Once each type of pattern is boxed up or stored, you can create an organization system in the form of a spreadsheet to make sure you don’t purchase the same pattern again.
This is particularly helpful with PDF sewing patterns, where you can make a note with a little X if you have printed out the sewing pattern / assembled it yet.
Make columns such as, pattern name, pattern number, sewing pattern companies, pattern description, pattern sizes, fabric requirements, sewing pattern format and any other information you think you may need.
Tap forms are another way to save the information digitally but are only accessible to Apple customers. Taps forms allow the user to create databases of their patterns, which includes uploading pictures of a pattern along with the pattern info.
If you’re in a fabric store and see a beautiful fabric you can pull out your phone and look at the patterns that the fabric would suit with the information on the tap form.
Here’s a quick video to show how tap forms work
So there you have some of the most practical yet ingenious sewing pattern storage there is. I hope these have inspired you to organize your precious pattern selection and choose a method that works for you.
What do you use for sorting patterns? I would love to see your pattern cabinet and hear about all your sewing patterns held there! If you have a nifty trick or pattern storage solutions I’ve missed, share it in the comments below!