Saturday, 6 October 2012

Pattern Management!

I know I said I'd be back with sewing, and there is some coming but tracing and cutting doesn't make for very interesting pictures.  
So here's something practical for you instead!

For those who are not familiar with it, Ottobre is a kids clothing magazine published in Finland that features funky sewing patterns for kids aged from babies through to teens.

They also use fabulous quality knits that Crafty Mamas stock as well

There are four editions every year and each issue has 40, no that wasn't a typo, 40 patterns in it!

They are seasonal so you need to have a few editions before the seasons line up, but once you get a bit of a collection it doesn't matter that Autumn arrives in your letter box when the season has just finished here.

You can subscribe in Australia via Crafty Mamas and it is wonderful value for kids patterns - and sewing inspiration.

Because there are so many patterns in each issue you have to trace off the pattern you want to use from giant sheets that look like a very confused road map! (the only downside to these mags!)

Thus you end up with lots of traced off pieces and no envelope to store them in as for a regular pattern, so storage can become an issue.

It's been a case of figuring it out as I go along, so here's what I do...

Take your gorgeous magazine, open it up and take out the pattern sheets that are in the middle of each mag...

See how they look like a roadmap - I wasn't kidding

Then I slide the pattern sheets into a plastic sleeved folder so it can be stored on a shelf.
These are in order of edition so they are easy to find.

This folder is now quite bulky so a new one is in order
Next, open the magazine to the spread that shows you all the design in that issue. It lists the sizes each pattern is for so it is a great reference.

The edition details are listed at the top for added ease
Slide this into another plastic sleeve folder so when you want to look for a pattern you just browse these sheets, find what you want, then go and grab the appropriate edition and pattern sheets.

No need to drag all the magazines off the shelf each time and try to remember where the item you want is.

Having them stored like this makes me more inclined to search here for a pattern rather than pulling magazines off the shelves.
Once you have chosen a pattern and traced it off - return everything to its place and grab an envelope to store the traced pattern in.

I put some information on the front such as the edition it is from and the size that is traced off in the envelope.

Then I print off the instructions for that garment and the line drawing and stick them to the front, so if I want to sew the exact same item again all I do is grab the envelope and everything I need is there.


Excuse this lousy late night taken on my phone photo but this is what was traced and cut and had the interfacing fused on it last night - let the summer sewing begin!

A pretty and girly summer dress with a zip at the back
Do you have a pattern storage system you'd like to share??
I'm always after tips and tricks to keep them under control.

Are you Blogtoberfesting along - how are you going with posts, plenty to say still??

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Pop over to Wendy's blog before Monday October 8th 8pm AEST and leave a comment for the chance.

13 comments:

Peta said...

My Ottobre patterns are in a state of total disarray, I think I need to get sorting your systems looks great!

Susan said...

Oh I love Ottobre! I should sew more from it. Love the idea too of putting the pattern diagrams altogether to make it easy to find the designs. Susan

Carmel Morris said...

I like your system. I have a similar sort of set up - I print the page with the line drawings off the website and store that in a big ring folder, though I might move them to a smaller folder like yours, and I store the pattern sheets with the traced off pattern in a clear plastic envelope for each issue. I also copy the instructions (plus the supplemental instructions like how to put together a placket or collar) and place them in the bag. I really like your instructions stuck to the envelope.

make it perfect said...

I do the same Karen - but printing the instructions on the little envelope...GENIUS! How many times have I had to sort through the magazines for the instructions? Going to do this for sure! x

Amy Grant said...

Your organisation makes me swoon! That is an awesome system.

I currently have all of my patterns in simplick wallets that I have stacked in a shelf but there are so so so so so many of them that I can't keep them neat.

I think I need a filing cabinet!! That would be awesome...

sisforsewing said...

Love your organization tips!
I've a similar system of my Ottobre issues - but miss the final tip (the envelope printing is amazing) :)
Thank you so much for sharing! Now, off to do the same :)

Ellieboo said...

I can only dream of such organisation......my patterns are scattered to the four winds (well around my unit at least) and I can never find a thing - aaaaarrrrrggghhh.

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

THANKYOU!!! I've never heard of this mag but am now off to check it out!
I have a folder with clumsy plastic sleeves that is not as easy or as cool as your system.

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

THANKYOU!!! I've never heard of this mag but am now off to check it out!
I have a folder with clumsy plastic sleeves that is not as easy or as cool as your system.

Seaweed and Raine said...

Oooh Pretty pattern. I look forward to seeing how it turns out! :)
I store my (very few) patterns in the draw of my sewing cabinet.

Fiona said...

What a great system! I love the Ottobre patterns, but the pattern sheets are very confusing! Thanks for sharing you system :)

Tanya said...

oooh, just read all those comments- lots of organisation love out there- added to from me here. Thanks. Practical?- come on, what else have you got for us :) Not all of us are gifted with the practical or the organised gene!

Sally said...

I do something similar to you. I have a lever-arch folder for all my Ottobre traced patterns. I photocopy the instructions and keep all the pieces in a plastic sleeve. It works well.