Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tips & Tricks: Keeping Pattern Pieces Pristine

One of the easiest traps you can fall into when using patterns is losing critical pieces in all the hustle and bustle of cutting and sewing.  For those who suffer from an abundance of disorganization and discombobulation (me), here is a strategy you can use to keep your patterns (and your sanity) neat and tidy.

When you first use a new pattern - or reuse an old one - cut all the pattern pieces apart.  You don't have to do it neatly, but you can also trim off a lot of the unprinted paper.  This will help reduce bulk in the pattern envelope later.

Once you've separated out the pieces you need for the project you're working on, refold all the unused pieces individually.  Fold each piece so that it will fit back in the envelope and so that the number is clearly visible on the outside.  Don't worry about the original fold lines.  The focus is keeping the piece number visible:

You can, of course, use the original folding lines if they help you in this endeavor.  
Now stack all the pattern pieces in numerical order, and return them to the envelope.  Once you have finished using the pieces for your project, refold them in the same manner and put all the pattern pieces back in the package in numerical order.

Next time you need to use this pattern, it will be simple and quick to find the pieces you need.  It will also be easy to determine if any pieces are missing or if any pieces were accidentally put in the wrong envelope.  It's pretty simple, but it works for me.  :)


  1. I might just be an ironing freak but, I've found that ironing the pattern once folded (on very low heat!) seems to have a vacuum-effect and helps it fit back into the envelope nicely.

  2. Ooh, good idea! I have ironed patterns flat before, but I haven't ironed them folded. :p I shall have to try that next time.