A Guide To Organizing Sewing Patterns

I find nothing more relaxing than sorting through my sewing supplies. It really gives me the boost to discover what I have been hoarding and to start something new. I have been wanting to make something from one of my sewing patterns and so after pulling them out, I decided to organize them. Here is a guide to organizing sewing patterns.

Looking at how to organise sewing patterns can be tricky as you aren’t always sure how you want to store them. Organizing them first makes storing sewing patterns easier.

If you are looking for ways to store your sewing patterns, check out my other posts.

How To Organise Sewing Patterns

First I wanted to start with different ways of organizing sewing patterns because that can sometimes help create categories and define sections to your pile. I have mostly women and some children’s so mine are easy to differentiate.

If you have multiple sewing patterns such as bags, dogs clothes, babies, children, men and women organizing them into type/gender is a great way to start.

Here is a breakdown of different ways you can organise your sewing patterns.


This is probably the most simple and straight forward way for organizing sewing patterns. Dividing your stash into men, women, children, bags and even pet clothing can be the easiest way and most efficient.

I find this is best if you have a large collection of sewing patterns for a number of these categories. This will make it easier when finding a storage method later.

Organizing sewing patterns by gender or type can make your sewing life much easier. Type can be anything you decide it to be whether it is vintage man, vintage woman or vintage children vs modern womens.

You can create categories that suit your style and way of thinking. These are just a couple to help you along the way.

Style/Clothing Type

If like me you have plenty of women’s sewing patterns and not sure how to differentiate between them you can do it by type. Sort through the sewing patterns into skirts, blouses, dresses etc.

You could keep them separate or just order them in a way you like to make finding what you require easier. You could even go as far as using cardboard dividers with the label on to help you skip to skirts or bags etc.

Tip: Work out your categories for your sewing patterns looking through them and then create your labels and structure. This way you can make sure you have the exact amount of storage boxes for them.

Don’t forget about where you are going to store them. That can sometimes be the hardest part.

By Size

I don’t have many patterns that are size exclusive so this wouldn’t work for me. If you have any patterns that are size-specific or cut to a specific size this is a great way for organizing sewing patterns.

You can create sections or baskets to store your different sizes. You can also do this and group them together within sizes such as children 2-3 or 4-5 etc.

You can band these together in boxes, baskets, folders or with elastic bands. Remember to look through your sewing patterns and create piles before you start making labels and buying storage.

By Brand

I have plenty of different brands both online pdf patterns and shop bought. Many of us know we have a favourite brand or pattern which we will often go to for making again.

Separating your sewing patterns by brand is a great way for staying organised. You can use cardboard dividers among the patterns to make it quicker and easier to skip to Simplicity or to your desired pattern/brand.


I am no where near tempted to try and do this with my patterns, I am not organised enough to keep them in such a strict order.

This is designed for people who like to keep their sewing room really organised and in tight order.

It is a wonderful way to organise your sewing patterns and keep them organised but can be a little more work than the alternatives.

I would suggest doing it this way if you have a LOT of sewing patterns and wish to be able to flick through. I feel like this may not be as helpful if you just know the pattern by image, this can only work if you know the brand, name and even number of the pattern you need.

By Decade

I love this idea, especially for those who work and collect vintage sewing patterns. I have a couple myself and would love to collect more.

You can again use a divider of some sort to keep them organised and make finding your era easier. Alternatively, you can store them separately in one of the ways further on in this post.

You can even organize them again into categories of the style of clothing. Such as summer wear, winter wear, etc.

By PDF Printed/Store Bought Or Self Drafted

Many of use download our sewing patterns these days and I think it is a great way to shop. I love finding online deals and putting together a pattern – though it can be hard work.

Storing these are just as important as storing your physical copies. You can keep these in a file on your computer/laptop on your desktop.

If you have a computer or laptop I would advise you to keep a back up on a memory stick or hard drive in case your laptop breaks or encounters a fault. This will make sure you don’t lose all your patterns and can use them still through the other medium.

I hope you have found this post helpful and you can now know how to organise sewing patterns. If you have any other ways you find useful for organizing sewing patterns let me know in the comments below.