Printed Patterns Storage for Small Spaces

Hello everyone!

Here’s Livia from LIVIALITY.COM and am here today to share with you my method of assembling and storing my printed patterns.

This has been one of the biggest challenges for me since I started sewing.
I would love to be able to use the hanging method, but my storage space is very limited and with the number of patterns I print, it would, unfortunately, not be viable.

The best solution I found was to use plastic sleeves and ring binders.

The one problem I found with this method is that some patterns were too big or had too many pieces to fit in one sleeve only.

Some of the bigger pattern pieces are awkward to fold and can get pretty bulky, especially when using a glue stitch while assembling.

So, how do I assemble and fold my patterns in order to make them all fit in the plastic sleeve?

First of all, tape. No glue sticks for this girl.
I find tape faster and cleaner to use and as I’ll show you, it allows me to remove the unnecessary paper excess.

The pattern I’m using to illustrate this is the Women’s Be Smart Jumper.

Ellie and Mac has awesome trimless patterns, you can watch this video to see how to assemble them: 

All there is to do is place the edge of the paper against the line of the next corresponding paper and tape them together.

Here’s where I take a couple of extra steps to minimize space storage. I flip one of the papers over the other and trim that excess paper off.

Keep doing that for each new paper attached until you have the row completed.

After you attach one row to another, do the same thing. Flip one over and trim the excess paper.

It really sounds like more work than it actually is and in the end, you eliminated all this unnecessary paper from your pattern pieces.

After that, I use the edges that have been taped together as fold guidelines. No extra folds and wrinkles on the pieces. ;)

Voilà! The pattern in a plastic sleeve with plenty of space.

You can print the cover page of the pattern and place it in the sleeve, so it’s pretty and neat. I, personally, use the back side of discarded papers (we all have some misprinted patterns, right?) and write down the pattern name, designer and size.
That way I save printer toner and get to print more pretty Ellie and Mac patterns! ;)

This method works pretty well.
So far I haven’t encountered a pattern that I didn't manage to fit into the sleeve yet. Even the Duchess Jacket is neatly stored in the binder! :D

I have different binders for different designers and keep the patterns alphabetically sorted in there. To organize the pdf files itself and keep them sorted I use a database app called Airtable, but that’s a topic for another post! ;)


If you’d like to see more of my creations or read more of my ramblings, I’d love to have you visit me: