Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pattern Overload- Let's Get Organized!

Are you drowning in patterns?  Are you tired of searching through boxes, baskets and drawers..or in my case..more boxes, baskets and drawers...for a pattern that you know you own?  My January goal was to get my patterns into some sort of an organized state.  Here it is, the beginning of March, and I have yet to start.  Well, I am no quitter so I have spent the last few days searching the internet for tips.  I even found some apps that intrigued me but they looked way more involved than what I wanted.  Some of the girls out there in blog land had some interesting systems too but I decided that I wanted something that was pretty index!
Here's what I was starting with....arrrg!

At first, I thought that I would just categorize the patterns and make a list of them by name.  The problem with that idea was that I can't always remember the name of a particular pattern and with the mess of patterns that I currently own, there are some that I don't even remember that I have!  You do know what I am talking about, don't you?

I decided that I needed a photo reference so...and here's the challenging part...I made up my mind to photograph each pattern cover.  I know that you are probably thinking, "that's impossible!" It really isn't as bad as it sounds.  Let me show you.

I started by categorizing my patterns: purses and bags, home decor, adult garments, child garments, quilts, quilted gifts, etc. You could choose whatever categories work best for you.
My organized patterns with my not so helpful assistant.

I also "weeded" out any patterns that I thought I would not use again.

Once I had my stash organized into categories, I numbered each pattern by putting a small sticker on the envelope.  I numbered each category separately.  In other words, in the purse category I had patterns numbering 1- 84 (I love purses!) and in the clothing category, I had numbers 1-40, etc.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself by this time but I have to admit that I thought the photographing of each pattern envelope might take forever.  I decided that since this was just going to be a reference for me that I would take the pictures quickly and not worry too much about quality.  I am happy to report that I was able to finish all 340 patterns in about an hour...not bad!

Next step was to load the pictures on my computer and resize them.  I made them about 2"x 3" and fit as many on a page as I could. I didn't worry if they weren't all exactly the same size.  I cut them apart and sorted them into the same categories as my patterns.  This was easy because my patterns were still in
 neat (?) piles on my work table.  I numbered the picture tiles to match the patterns.

I mounted the tiles on cardstock and lettered the boxes that I already owned.  I arranged the patterns in the boxes with dividers and lettered the pages to correspond with the boxes.   I bought a pretty binder and tabs along with some page protectors and arranged the pages.

I'm happy with the results and think that it will be fairly manageable as long as I return the patterns to their proper place.   I will also be easy to add new patterns because I will only have to photograph one or two at a time...that is, unless I find a great pattern sale!  How about you?  Are you ready to get those patterns organized?




PeggyinNO  March 23, 2014 at 9:21 AM  

What a great system! I need to get my patterns in order, so I may have to give this a try! I actually have an old McCall's pattern cabinet from a JoAnn's store that I will be using for my pattern storage. But first I have to empty all the stuff that is in there!

Barbara Huber  March 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM  

I hear what you are saying....Where does all that accumulated stuff come from?! Good luck

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