Organizing your Sewing Patterns

Organizing your Sewing Patterns

Hi there, sewing friends! My name is Wendy, and today I’m going to share how I organize my sewing patterns using an app called Trello.

Trello is a free project management application that can be accessed on the web and through desktop and mobile apps. It has so many features that you can customize to make it work for your needs. 

Once you’ve created your Trello account, you’ll have a workspace in which you can create various boards. I have boards called “Sewing patterns for children,” “Sewing patterns for adults,” “Sewing projects and inspiration,” etc. You can have up to 10 boards with your free account. Choose a pretty background photo for each board!

For the sake of this show and tell, I created a board for just my Sunflower Seams patterns. Each board holds various lists. I’ve labeled my lists with garment type: Dresses, Tops and Dresses, Tops, Bottoms, Rompers, Sleepwear… you get the idea! Each list has a series of cards, and each pattern gets a card. I usually label them <designer abbreviation> <pattern name> to match how I store my pattern files, and maybe add a few more descriptors like size range and whether it’s knit or woven.  Then if I want to see all the dress patterns I have by Sunflower Seams, I can just sort the list alphabetically and they will be grouped together.

Now let’s look at the different parts of a pattern card. 

  • Description: this is where I record notes about my makes with that pattern, like which size I made, options used, fabric details, etc. 
  • Attachments: I love the “Style Options” page in all of the SS patterns that lists all the options and has line drawings. I take a screenshot of this page, crop it, upload it as an attachment, and click on “make cover” so it’s the cover photo for the card. This can be time-consuming when you’re adding a bunch of patterns, but I have found it so incredibly useful when I’m scrolling through my Trello lists, trying to find the right pattern for a project/fabric. I also attach photos of my makes so I can remember what they looked like (and cry about how much my daughter has grown!).
  • Labels: so many options here! Use these to track the pattern features you care about and want to search for later. I love the ability to color code with 11 different colors. When I first started using Trello, I tried to create labels for all of the pattern features, like sleeve length, pockets, buttons… But trying to add those details for all the patterns got really tedious. Now I keep it really simple and only track a few things with the labels, like whether I’ve sewn it or not, whether it’s knit or woven, etc. 
  • Checklists: you can create checklists to help manage your workflow.
  • Dates: specify due dates and set reminders to get notifications.

That wraps up my mini Trello tour! As for organizing my actual pattern files, I’m a Mac/Apple user, so I subscribe to iCloud storage to access my files on my various devices. In my iCloud Drive, I created folders for sewing patterns for adults, children, and dolls, but then I have folders for each pattern designer/company, rather than garment type. This allows me to find my files faster and also check if I already own a pattern. 

I hope you found at least some of this blog post useful! Thank you so much for reading, and happy sewing and organizing.

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