comments roundup and ugly pattern confessional

Wednesday, 7 April 2010
So I'm guessing by the number of comments to the last post that quite a few of you have problems with pattern storage! In answer to some questions that came up in the comments:

Anna - I answered on your blog, but I'll repeat it here. I don't trace my patterns, even my vintage ones (shock! horror!) because generally I use the pattern only once or twice, I only do a small amount of pattern adjustments, and if it's a multi sized pattern I just fold along the size I want, tucking the excess under and ironing it flat (sometimes clipping the curves to do it). But I have read on other people's blogs who are more diligent or do more pattern adjustments use cheap interfacing to trace onto. Anyone else got any tips?

Carol - I don't have the scanned patterns saved in any searchable database, just sorted in different folders depending on what they are (dresses, suits, kids, skirts, etc). But a searchable database sounds like a good idea, and an even better idea for my fabric had I photographed and measured each piece.

Katherine - I wondered how you could bear to sell any of your patterns, but now you admit to having 5000 I can see how!

Livebird - you lucky girl having a $5 sale and thank you for your kind offer, but I must. stop. buying patterns when I have so many projects already lined up.

marLou and Reethi - same for you both, stop tempting me people!

Neighbourhood gal - I'm using B2 sized envelopes, they fit an A4 sheet of paper folded in half once. But just for you I tested it out with the A4 sized envelopes, and you would get two rows of them laying on their long side, with a bit of space left over for some smaller envelopes.

Jean - I have my patterns spaced out now since they're ordered by pattern company, but until recently I did have them all crammed in the one chest of drawers, so I'd say you could fit around 700 or so of the standard patterns (not the big Vogue ones though) in the one cabinet. And I'm working on the appearance of them, stay tuned for a sewing room reveal.

And Audrey, you are so right about finding things you may not want to know about - check out this ugly pattern I found in the stash, that I have no idea where it came from, I know that I will definitely not sew it and yet I still didn't trash it (proof of my hoarding):

please, someone out there, confess if you made this or a similar pattern in the decade that style forgot!


  1. When I trace patterns, I use medical examination table paper, the kind you sit on when you visit the doctor. It can be purchased by the roll for $3 at a medical supply store, here is Texas, USA, anyway. It last forever,

  2. Hee hee hee ... you know that is a great pattern, um back in the 80s or 90s I guess :) I don't have that one, but I am sure somewhere in my pattern stash I have something equally hideous (at least to me). Why do we hold on to these? Hey you never know it may come back in style ;)

  3. Keep the 80's pattern - one day your daughter will covet it and dream of making it up in vintage linen or something!!

  4. I do what you do... I clip into the curves of multi sized patterns pressing the extra pieces under. Why pay for them if your not going to use them? Besides... if I pay for them... I want them to be convenent to me!
    Thanks for the info... I will have to check out Ikea for that dresser.. my patterns are all in tubs... and really except for the fact that I have sorted by catagory like, kids, women, costumes, etc... they are not in order at all. So of course that means I have to really dig thru to find anything!
    Oh, and no thanks... I'm not interested in the pattern... I suppose "if" you don't have maybe a skirt pattern like that... you can use it for that. Guess you could always donate it! LoL... but you know... someone may buy it since it's soon to be considered "retro"! LoL....

  5. That pattern looks awfully like the first suit I bought for work circa 1987, in navy no less, my absolute worst colour. What was I thinking? Thanks for dredging up memories I'd rather forget!

  6. Really? I like that jacket. You'd have to ditch the huge initial, the notches in the collar, and lose dorkette buttons. Make it longer by a couple of inches in a dark color and it would be a striking coat, shoulder pads and all.
    Imagine Sean Young from "Blade Runner" walking into a room and staring at you, wearing that coat.
    I sure hope I've commented in a rational way here before, instead of just bursting out of lurkerdom with my defense of shoulder pads.