If you use digital sewing patterns a lot, you may find you have a pile of unorganised patterns in the corner of your sewing room. Here are some clever and affordable sewing pattern storage ideas to help keep your workspace organised.
I have 10 clever, easy and affordable options to help you save time when searching for your digital sewing patterns.
The first thing is to organise your pdf pattern files into a folder on your computer so you don’t lose any important information you may need later. There’s nothing worse than needing to reprint a pattern piece but you can’t locate the pattern file anywhere!
I have created a folder on my computer desktop called ‘Digital Sewing Patterns’.
I then made an account on Google Drive and uploaded the folder. This means I will have access to my patterns from any device, which is handy if I’m near a printing shop and want to get a pattern printed off.
You could also use One Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox or an external hard drive. These are all similar digital storage solutions.
Once your digital files are stored in a safe place, let’s look at how to store your pdf sewing patterns once they are printed.
Sewing Pattern Storage Ideas
Option 1: Pattern Hooks
When I was at fashion school, we stored our patterns on a clothing rack hanging by metal hooks. This is still how I store my card stock sewing patterns now.
If you have a wardrobe with extra hanging space, pop the patterns behind your clothes. This will keep them out of sight and unwrinkled.
You can purchase pattern hooks and a large hole punch to cut into the patterns. I use a scrapbooking hole punch, which works great. You can get large hole punches made for cutting through multiple pattern pieces at a time, but they are more expensive. We called them ‘bunny ears’ at fashion school.
I then like to tie off each set of patterns with ribbon and pop that around the hook. That way, I can easily remove groups of patterns to get to the one I need rather than individual pattern pieces.
You can print out the first page of the pattern and hang it in front of the pattern pieces, so you know what pattern it is. Either hole punch the paper or use a clear file. I think clear files are the best option as it’s less likely to rip off the pattern hooks.
Or you can print out our pattern record card, which is handy to write all the pattern information. This pdf can be printed using your home printer and will have the best longevity when printed onto cardstock. There is a circle at the top, which can be hole punched or cut out, then hung onto the pattern hook.
Visit our Etsy store to purchase your copy of the Pattern Record Card.
Option 2: Clip Hangers
You can use clip hangers from your wardrobe or the dollar store to hang patterns. This is a free option if you already own spare clip hangers. Bonus!
Simply combine your pattern pieces and clip them on a hanger. Print out your pattern instruction page, so you can quickly see the pattern when looking through.
Tip: You could combine options 1 & 2 by using clip hangers instead of buying pattern hooks.
Option 3: Clear Files and Folder
This is a good choice if you have limited hanging space. Grab a pack of clear files and fold each pattern up neatly. Slide the corresponding pieces into the file and write the pattern name on the sleeve or print a picture of the style. Now you can pop each clear file into a binder book and organise the patterns by style or brand.
You could print out our free pattern organising printable and pop it into the front of the clear file with all the pattern details.
You can use file organisers to split the patterns up into categories that are easy to find or coloured files. For example, by style would be tops, pants, skirts, or categorise by brand eg, Makyla Creates, Simplicity, or Helens Closet.
I have stored my home printed pdf patterns this way as it’s been the easiest option for me. I already had a folder and the clear files on hand.
Tip: To add some sturdiness to the files, add a piece of cardstock into the clear file before putting in your pattern pieces.
Option 4: Large Envelopes
Another affordable option is to use large envelopes. I suggest larger envelopes as the printer paper weight is thicker than the usual tissue paper patterns are printed onto. You can pop a printout of the pattern on the front.
Option 5: Pattern Storage Boxes or Baskets
Find some cute boxes or baskets to store the sewing patterns in. I use seagrass baskets to store my vintage sewing patterns in.
You could also find storage boxes with lids that can stack on top of each other. Label the front so you know what patterns are in each storage box.
Tip: Wrap some vinyl around an old shoe box to match your sewing room vibe!
Option 6: Manila Folders
Manila folders are affordable and easy to find at your local stationery store. You can fold each pattern and store it in a manila folder. I would use a clip or rubber band around each folder to ensure it doesn’t open when stored.
You could also use the envelope style with a snap closure. They come in lots of colours if you would like to organise your sewing patterns that way. E.g. Pants patterns = Pink folders.
Pop these into a magazine holder, concertina box or box.
Option 7: Concertina File Box
Remember these ancient filing devices! I think my mum used this to store bills back in the day! Well, these are super useful to organise your patterns.
Each pocket can store a pattern or envelopes filled with the sewing patterns. Write on the tabs what is stored in each pocket to quickly access your patterns.
Option 8: Roll Your Patterns Up
Sometimes I will get my pdf patterns printed off at the stationery store and that can be pricey. So, I like to trace off my pattern from the A0 print and keep the pattern rolled up in a basket. Use cute ribbons or fabric offcuts to tie around the ends.
This way, I can make a toile of the pattern and check the size is right. I can also adapt the pattern much more accessible by making tracings instead of lots of prints.
Grab a cute basket to pop all your rolled patterns into if you have space in your sewing room.
Option 9: Zip Lock Bags
Zip-lock bags are so handy for storage! You can use one for each pattern and label them with stickers or a felt pen. Try finding the ones with the sliding top instead of snap closing because this will get annoying to close.
Try boxes or baskets to store the zip lock bags as mentioned above!
Option 10: Magazine Holders
Use magazine holders to store your sewing patterns. Try using envelopes, zip lock bags or Clear files and putting them into magazine holders. These can be easily stored on a shelf or under your workspace.
There are so many clever and affordable ways to store your sewing patterns. Remember to download and use our free printable to help you get your sewing patterns organised quicker.
If you have any different sewing pattern storage ideas, let us know in the Comment section below!