crafts · patterns · Sewing

Pattern Organization

I like to think that I’m a fairly organized person.  I love to make lists and check things off, and I almost always know where in the house a given item can be found.  I only keep a calendar for my husband’s sake… I never check it, and I always remember where and when I have to be somewhere.  But since taking up sewing, one task has completely overcome me… organizing the pattern collection.

I started keeping a list of my patterns in Microsoft Excel, hyperlinking each one to a photo and entering all the info needed.  After I entered each pattern it went in a box with all the others.  I’ve recently organized my patterns into boxes by company, with one box containing the patterns that I currently have fabric for, and that’s working nicely for me (as well as insuring that I get my patterns cut out early!)

But Excel… was just not working for me.  It decided that it would only open the hyperlinks if it was in the same directory as the photos, and then I had to format my harddrive and lost my copy of Excel anyway.  I downloaded Open Office, but it wasn’t any better (not worse either, just not what I wanted.)  I thought about using flickr, but it didn’t have the features that I wanted, and besides I am loath to pay for another photo service when I already pay to host the photos for my blog!

I read on a few blogs about a service called Evernote, and decided to check it out.  As it turns out, it’s exactly what I wanted!

You create notes for each pattern – it even has a plugin for Chrome that allows you to clip the info straight from the BMV website for current patterns, saving a lot of work.  The patterns are grouped into notebooks – I plan to make one for my fabric stash as well.

It has text recognition, and each note can be tagged and searched.

It also works with many smartphones, including my phone the PALM Pre.  It’s free up to a certain amount of data transferred, and $5 a month otherwise.  I’m really hoping this will be the ultimate solution to my problem!  Check it out if, like me, you are drowning under a sea of unsorted patterns.

(not affiliated etc, just a happy customer!)

14 thoughts on “Pattern Organization

  1. THat’s a good idea! I use evernote for some other stuff (usually recipes that I find online and am too lazy to actually copy down. Or carry my laptop in the kitchen.) I like how it links to my ipod! I’ve been wishing that patternreview would have an ipod app for on-the-go, but this is a good use for evernote! Yay!

  2. I have a great way to store my patterns. Put pattern pieces in manila envelope with number only on the outside. Patter envelopes are put in a plastic sleeve and in a notebook. You look through notebook, see pattern you love and go to the manila envelope box, get the pattern pieces and are all ready to go. Pattern numbers are not repeated even from company to company. Much easier to put pattern pieces away in the larger envelope. It really works, especially if you numerically file the manila envelopes.

  3. What a great idea! I use Evernote for many different tasks, such as taking quick notes in woork meetings (obvious use, I know), snapping pictures of wines I like, jotting down recipes, making to-dolists and so on. I also like the way Evernote integrates across platforms as I have an iPhone, a pc and an iMac. But I’ve been looking for a way to keep track of my knitting projects too, and your system could easily work for me as well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love EverNote; I use it to organize home decorating ideas/photos that I like, crafty ideas/patterns/tutorials, and recipes. I’m totally obsessed, and am even considering doing a paid subscription, since I’m almost using up my limit each month!

  5. Oh thank you for sharing this info. Currently I use the same filing method as Susann. Having over 300 patterns from one company was overwhelming to file this way. I may take a look at this.

  6. That looks lovely! I have a question for you — how do you get it to show the pattern front instead of the back? I’ve been trying this (grabbing the images from a google search), and it insists on putting the pattern back as the thumbnail.

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