Monday, December 27, 2010

A Little Pattern Organization

As you know I've made over 40 variations of my TNT dress pattern.  I've done this by copying the master pattern pieces and then cutting up the copies to achieve the look I wanted.  Then when I was finished with the pieces I would stuff them all back into the original pattern's file folder:

But lately this has really started to get on my nerves, looking through all of those pieces and trying to remember which pieces went with which dress.  So I got the bright idea to make separate folders for each version of the dress as I pulled the pattern pieces out and used them.  I now have 4 folders for four different versions of my TNT dress pattern.

However, today when I went to look for a folder, I found that my description wasn't adequate enough for me to remember which v-neck version of the dress I've made.  So I went to my flickr account and printed out pictures of the dresses and taped them inside the folder.

I had already placed a copy of the Macy's ad
inside the pattern pieces for the Macy Dress.

Now when I need to make another one of my TNT dress variations, I can easily flip open the folder and see not only the pattern pieces but a picture of the completed dress.

And yes, I'm sewing...even though the super has cleaned out all of the parking lots he still hasn't managed to snow blow out all the sidewalks I'm stuck in the house!  'Cause there was no leaving the state of NJ this morning since all bus service was suspended.  Hopefully everything will be back up and running this evening.

As an aside, I was reading an article in the January 2011 issue of Bazaar, "The Untold Jackie O" by John Loring.  He wrote a book with the same title that was recently published and the article is an excerpt from his book.  What struck me was when he talked about the designers that Jackie loved to wear..."obsessed" was the word he used to describe how she felt about Carolina Herrara (and I can understand since she is one of my favorites too!) and that she was wearing a dress designed by Sybil Connolly (another one of my favorites!) for her official White House Portrait.

courtesy of  The Huffington Post

I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to read the book yet but I was just tickled to learn that fact!

I'm headed back to my sewing machine.  I will have pictures of the finished dress soon.

...more later!


  1. Very smart thinking on creating this filing system. Great organizing too. Would it be possible to show the original pattern that the 40 variations have come???

  2. What a great idea for filing pattern variations!

  3. Pattern organization helps me to mentally organize a sewing list too. Great system!

    I have to check the Jackie O. book. I did hear that she was obsessed with the fashion houses and would often give them a social visit.

  4. I like the filing system, especially adding photos of the finished garment and the inspiration!

  5. Awesome organizing tip! Having a pic inside the cover makes so much sense.

  6. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

  7. I also have a hard time figuring out how to store altered patterns (or my new 1 traced Burda pattern). This is a good idea!

  8. 40 versions of the same dress pattern? You're amazing! I feel good if I use the same dress pattern more than twice.
    Love your organizing tip - makes perfect sense. (a picture is worth a thousand words, right?)

  9. I think you are really a designer, just using the basic dress to create your own ideas. Love a bit of organising, I have cleaned up one of my sewing areas, and feeling a whole lot better for it. Hope you are not suffering too much with all the awful weather you are having.

  10. I really like your idea for organizing patterns. One of the (many) things I need to do in the New Year is work on getting my pattern, and fabric, stash sorted out!
    P.S. Hope the snow thaws soon - I know how you hate it!

  11. Good organization method. I think I'll adapt that to my system. Be safe in all of that snow. I was trying to convince hubby to take a quick jaunt up to NY for some shopping (fabric for me and photography equip. for him) and the dang snow squelched that.

  12. I have a great system that I use to organized my patterns. However your folder system is a good idea for the patterns that I have altered and recopied that don't fit in the original envelope. Thanks for sharing. 40 garments from one pattern, Girl that is awesome. It just proves that you don't need to have a million, gazillion patterns to have a great wardrobe.

  13. You are so well organized. Like what you have done.

  14. When I change a TNT pattern, I make up a set of pieces and put them in a separate envelope with a picture of the first finished dress on the front. I also note on the original pattern envelopes what the first 2 or 3 garments I make from each view are, so I can remember them. It's the engineer in me, wanting blueprints for everything in plain sight.

    We were supposed to get a foot of snow, but got basically nothing. We were fortunate that our son was supposed to fly to Phoenix via Newark, and Continental cancelled his flight to NJ before it took off. He had a 1 day delay, and got back to Phoenix via Detroit. Hope you're out and about by now.

  15. I love the addition of pictures for both inspiration and your results to the folder. 40 from one pattern - WOW! I don't think I've sewn 40 garments total, let alone from a single pattern. Plus everything else you've sewn.


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