First of all, I'm incapable of fitting a pattern back into the envelope once I've unfolded it. Well, I can but then the envelope is always all puffy and that bugs me. So, here's how it works for me.
I keep my pattern envelopes in a big binder inside sheet protectors. I have them organized by the type of garment or craft they are so when I know I want to make, say, a skirt, I just flip to the skirt section and look at the styles I have available to me. The sheet protector allows me to look at the picture on the front as well as the detailed information on the back of the envelope.
If you use patterns, you know that each pattern has a unique number associated with it. I found that the numbers aren't duplicated across different pattern manufacturers either although that may just be a lucky coincidence. At any rate, once I figure out what I want to sew, I turn to one of my drawers of patterns pieces which are all organized in gallon sized ziploc bags in numerical order.
I found that the bags stood up nicely on their own if I placed them all on their sides with the zipper vertical along the left. I also wrote the pattern number perpendicular to the zipper along the edge at the top.
When I'm working on a project, I can easily just grab the pattern I want then when I'm finished, the gallon sized bag affords me enough room to easily fold the pattern pieces back up and store them safely inside (without having to learn any sort of pattern folding origami to get them in the envelope).
So there you have it. What you see here is around 150 patterns so I think the space used is pretty low. How do you organize your sewing patterns?
Thank you for reading,
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