PDF Patterns – Long Time Convert and Storage Solutions

I had always been the traditional sewer, buying store bought patterns, and I still do – even though fustrated at times because the ones I liked weren’t available or more to the point, they are extremely expensive here in Australia unless there is a sale.

I think it was a couple of years ago now when I first discovered PDF patterns and spoke about my conversion in this post from 2015. It’s the convenience of shopping from home, being able to save and reprint certain sizes, having the ability to connect with the companies online via Facebook and having a relationship with an online sewing community, that made it a more viable option for me. And of course with children, who has time to look through pattern catalogue books when I can browse online and have instant gratification of an emailed pattern. You may ask that some PDF patterns are more expensive, and I have to agree, but again I try to buy them when there is a sale and the fact that it’s a digital file is really appealing.

The down side is the cutting and taping of endless pages together. Some companies have no trim pages and others have bought out A0 files that can be printed at a professional printer on a big sheet of paper – this is a very tempting scenario but after thinking about the hundreds of patterns I have accumulated, it would be a very expensive process.

After all that, the main reason for this blog post was the satisfaction I have in saying that finally my PDF patterns are catalogued and stored neatly. I used to put them in plastic sleeves in binders but found that was getting out of hand and looked messy. I researched online, as you do, and thought the most practical and tidiest method would be to store them in boxes. I used archive boxes from the stationary store which stores the envelopes perfectly sideways.

I went about printing the first page of the instructions and gluing the image to the front of a white C4 envelope. As long as I could see the pattern company and pattern name on the front, all was good, otherwise I added them on manually. I didn’t print off all my instructions or patterns if they weren’t already done so, just having the envelope was an indication the pattern existed on my computer. I don’t always print off the instructions anyway as I tend to read them on my laptop while sewing.

 

                                               

For those patterns which I have already sewn up, I placed the individual sizes pattern pieces in labelled plastic sleeves within the envelopes. This was more the case with kids patterns.

I made sure all my computer files were well labelled and in alphabetical order also as a cross reference. The last thing was to print out the patterns I owned from each pattern company individually and file that in a binder as my own personal pattern catalogue. This way I’m not searching through each box or envelope for a pattern when inspiration strikes.

                        

So far this has been a good solution for me that is both practical and neat. I did realise though that I have too many patterns and should really be put on a pattern buying ban, unless something different that I can’t resist gets released. Now to work out a storage solution for my paper patterns!

What’s your pattern storage solution both PDF or traditional paper patterns?

 

 

 

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What Has Sewing Taught Me …. ?

First and foremost I think it has taught me the styles and silhouettes that don’t flatter me more so than those that do. This has naturally changed over the years due to the natural progression of certain body changes however it also has to do with personal taste and first and foremost lifestyle comfort.

Sewing has enabled me to make things I thought I’d like but upon completion don’t feel right wearing. These items were such that I would probably never spend money buying in a store anyway. I don’t feel so guilty donating or refashioning/thrifting fabric from a project that hasn’t turned out quite right because more often than not it has been a labour of love. Also helped by the fact I have 2 young girls that love wearing mamma made and often my project failures leave me with enough fabric to make something for them.

I have established after a few recent makes that elastic waistbands in dresses are not my friend. It makes my tummy bulge even bigger or maybe they just don’t hit me at the right point. Additionally the empire waist is not flattering for me, those items have become “house” dresses but yet I still am attracted to trying those certain styles because they look so nice on others.

Sewing for me though isn’t just about the materialistic outcome of making something wearable, that not only fits well but is also fashionable, it’s probably more to do with the emotional and mental journey.

Sewing has taught me self-confidence to try new techniques and even though lifes’ journey may otherwise be difficult or frustrating at times, sewing is my outlet, it just makes me feel good!! And the more you practice, the better you get, that’s a given.

I always thought of myself as a patient person but sewing needs lots of it. I don’t have stretches of uninterrupted sewing time so things may take longer to complete, especially if a mistake has crept into the process. Same goes for wanting to sew everything yesterday! My sewing list was growing so long at one stage, I have since abandoned it. Likewise, it’s not only a problem solving activity but at times requires perserverance and persistance and the need to the leave the perfectionist at the door. No-one else can see that slightly uneven row of stitching, or will know you used the wrong interfacing, we in the sewing community are often our own worst enemy. Not to mention to know when to walk away from a project. My most important technical lesson I have learnt to date is to never sew when tired!!!!!

My sewing room is my happy place, albeit the messiest room in house. Maybe like minded sewists will understand that for me “organised chaos breeds  creativity”. Not to mention how pretty and colourful it looks with the excess amount of fabric 🙂
HAPPY SEWING HOWEVER MESSY OR NEAT IT MAY BE!!!
What have you learnt in your sewing journey to date?

 

Not a 2016 Sewing Round-Up or a 2017 Resolutions Post

I’m not doing a round-up this year of what I have made or worn most or least but I’m just checking in with you all.

It’s been a busy year for a number of reasons for me and sewing productivity has been lower than other years but more to the point, blogging has been sparse to say the least. I think I have about 20 posts that are half written, here’s hoping the new year will get that number down.

I’m not making sewing, or any life resolutions for that matter for 2017 either. I am simply making some broad statements about things that I hope to have completed by the end of 2017 but may well be carried over into the following few years …. it’s really a work in progress.

Firstly, I plan on working through my 2017 Summer SWAP, which by the time I finish, it may be winter anyway. Having seen Pantones spring fashion colour for 2017 – Greenery, and the other top 9 colours, I’m glad I’ve hit the money with my plan and seem to be on track for a “fashionable” wardrobe.

pantone-color-swatches-fashion-color-report-fall-2017

Source: PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2017

Secondly, I’m working on creating a wardrobe that I can look into and would be happy to wear any item. At the moment I wear things just because that’s what is there and I often wear things I don’t like. I’d like to change that so that I love everything I wear and I have lots of options.

Lastly, I have made a recent discovery about myself and my wardrobe however. Although I love me some prints, I have finally established that solid colours are my preferred item of clothing to wear. Probably due to the simplicity of dressing and the fact you can co-ordinate a number of items together. So moving forward I hope to fill more of those gaps and to add some patterned flair whenever I feel like it.

Happy sewing for 2017 everyone 🙂