Here is what you will need:
- 10x13 inch white envelopes
- baskets or filing cabinet for storing the envelopes
- patterns, of course
- inexpensive light weight fusible interfacing
Right now, I have my patterns quasi organized into the four drawers of a smallish dresser. The drawers stick. The patterns get crunched because they don't fit. The envelopes are different sizes. Of course I have the usual problem of exploding pattern tissue once I open the pattern envelope. And they tend to tear from multiple uses.
I have just begun to organize my patterns using Valorie's storage method. My plan is to gradually introduce this, maybe by cleaning out part of a drawer at a time. Or I'll convert each pattern to this system, as I use it.
I reuse my patterns over and over again. I have patterns that I use regularly that I have had for 20 years. I alter them; I change collars; I lengthen them and change or remove sleeves all together. The result of all of this was I needed a system for preserving and storing my patterns.
The first thing I do with a new pattern is that I cut out the pattern pieces from the tissue leaving an ample amount of paper surrounding the pattern piece. I then lay a thin fusible interfacing, glue side up, on my ironing surface and position the pattern pieces on the interfacing. I then iron the pattern pieces onto the interfacing and cut out the individual pattern pieces. For the interfacing I prefer to use Pellon Apparel Interfacing - Basics: P44F JAS Fusible Interfacing. The cost is $ .99 per yard; I wait for a coupon from Joann's and buy it by the bolt. Do not use a stiff interfacing.
Now that I have my pattern pieces, I need to store them. I purchase 10 x 13 white envelopes from the office supply store. I take my pattern envelope and cut the front and back and place them side by side and tape them to the envelope. I use the reverse side for any notes. I store the envelopes in wicker baskets on shelves in my sewing room. A file cabinet would work also, but I like the baskets because when I am fabric shopping online I place the basket next to me so that my patterns are handy.