When I first began sewing I think I kept my patterns in a box, however my stash quickly out grew the two boxes I had. That is when I switched to the drawers system I still use. I found that the small 3-drawer Sterilite units house all but the larger Vogue patterns perfectly (which still “fit” just not as nicely). This includes printed indie patterns such as Closet Case, True Bias and more.
As you might expect I started with one set of drawers, then relatively quickly purchased a second and eventually (I’ve been sewing 4 years) I grabbed a third. I am promising myself that I will not buy a fourth. If I start to run out of space I will purge to make room for new ones.
My memory usually serves me right as to the pattern make and often time the pattern number, so I usually search for a particular pattern in my stash. In a previous post (Polka Dot Fun) I knew I wanted McCalls 7046 so I went to my McCall drawer, flipped to dresses and flipped to M7046. Even when I don’t remember the exact number I usually remember that it was a Vogue dress or New Look top. Therefore I like to order my patterns like so:
- by maker (McCall, Simplicity, Vogue, etc)
- by style (top/skirt/dress)
- by pattern number
Sometimes I don’t have a particular pattern in mind, but know I want a certain fabric to be a dress or I only have enough fabric for a top. So I have given some thought to separating them by style first, then maker, then number, but in those cases I actually look to pinterest first (where my boards are sorted by style) and once I select a pattern I go grab it from my drawers. This works best for me but obviously you can order them however works for you!
Currently I have two drawers each for McCalls and Simplicity and a drawer for Vogue. New Look and Burda share a drawer as do Kwik Sew and Butterick. Finally Indie patterns (printed and my printed pdfs) have their own drawer and I separate all the girls, boys, mens and pets patterns in its own miscellaneous drawer.