How to store your sewing patterns?
Sewing,  Tutorials

How to store your sewing patterns

Sewing patterns come in many forms, you have magazines, pattern envelopes, pdf-pattern files plus those patterns that you have printed or traced. But how do you store them all? Here are my tips that I use and a few that I don’t currently use but I think are good alternative options.



I am a long time subscriber of the Finnish sewing and crafting magazine Suuri Käsityö and those magazines pile up! Luckily I was sponsored with these lovely magazine binders that hold a year’s amount of magazines in a way that still allows easy access to the magazines.

The binders have wire holders that go through the centre-fold of the magazine keeping the magazines firmly in place. And because these are sewing magazines, the folders come with two plastic pockets for the pattern sheets:


The binders for Suuri Käsityö magazines can be bought here. You may also be able to find generic magazine binders if you search online.

Another way is to use regular magazine files:


These are easy to find and use. If you are more organized than I am you may even manage to keep your magazines in order! I like these magazine files from Ikea, since they are sturdy enough to hold the heavy magazines without breaking in use.

Printed pdf patterns and traced patterns

I recommend going through your pattern stash and throwing away the patterns that you do not have any use for before anything else. However, you will probably still end up with lots of patterns that you need to store. I use binders with plastic pockets to store mine:


I fold my larger patterns carefully and place a little note describing the pattern into the envelope. Sometimes I even leave a little piece of fabric that I used for the particular project. I have separate binders for tops, dresses and other garments. I also have a binder for my daughter and for the “boys” in my family.

Another good storage idea is to use suspension files. If you don’t have a filing cabinet you can always purchase special boxes designed to store suspension files.

If you are not interested in investing money in pattern storage, I can recommend using recycled envelopes. Before I started using pdf patterns, I saved the envelopes that I got in the mail and used them to store all my pattern pieces. I wrote the pattern details on the top of the envelope and collected all the envelopes in a box.

Pattern envelopes


I have divided my pattern envelopes in those from the big four (McCall’s, Simplicity…) and other pattern companies. The white Ikea box stores the big four patterns and the plastic bin has the rest. I have arranged the pattern in a vertical position so that I can easily leaf through them and find the pattern I need.


Sometimes I have had to draft the patterns for myself or for others. After the drafting process is finished, I rip apart my toile and use the pieces as patterns. Storing these in plastic pockets doesn’t really work since they lack the structure of paper. Therefore I use these expandable folders to store them:


Do you have any good tips on how to store sewing patterns? Comment below!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time, happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


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