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How to Organise Sewing Patterns, Fabric and Projects

So, you’ve firmly fallen down the sewing rabbit hole, you’ve got tonnes of patterns, notions, fabric, and you’ve probably got loads of project ideas floating around your head 24/7. But how to you organise it all?

Answer: digitally, with Trello.

If you’ve been sewing for a little while now, chances are you’ve built up a small collection of sewing patterns, fabric (and scraps!), and have a list as long as your arm of sewing plans and projects.

But how do your organise them all? Answer: digitally. Trello is a really great tool for organising your sewing (or knitting, crocheting etc) bits and bobs, so that you don’t forget what you have, and for easy perusal. You can create different boards for different purposes (patterns, fabric, notions etc), and within these boards create lists.

I use Trello mostly for PDF patterns. It’s really easy to see what you have with Trello; add a cover photo to each pattern and you’re winning. You can even play around with lists to organise your patterns as you please. Mine is organised by pattern designer, although I have been thinking of switching to organising by garment type.

Within the cards in these lists, I always make sure to note key bits of information – what size I would be in that pattern, type of fabrics recommended and how much as well as any notions required. This makes things much quicker and easier when planning projects further down the line.

Another way I use Trello is to back up my PDF files. There are obviously tonnes of other ways to do this, but I find it useful to have everything in one place. Also, if you have the mobile app, you can view the instructions on your phone/tablet instead of having a laptop on the desk when sewing.

For fabric organisation, I split my lists by fabric type. Each card has a picture of the fabric as well as a useful name for when browsing my virtual stash. Within the card, in the description box, I make sure to note the exact length and width of the fabric, composition, where I bought it from, and whether or not it has been washed. If I bought the fabric with a specific pattern in mind, I will also make a note of that.

Other Sewing Organisation Tips:

  • Pre-wash your fabric as soon as you get it, certainly before you put it away. This way, you’ll know that any fabric in your stash has been washed and is ready to use. No more waiting days to get on with project! Ensure that you mark it as washed/unwashed in Trello to avoid guesswork.
  • Make sure to take some decent images of your fabric before you put it away, and note down exact length/width, and fabric composition for future reference. Future you will be super thankful that you did when you’re looking through your (virtual) stash for the perfect fabric for your next project!
  • When you buy a new sewing pattern, in your Trello entry, note down how much fabric the pattern requires, fabric type and any notions needed. This will allow you to speed-browse your patterns when you’re searching for the perfect pattern for a new project.
  • Other ways I use Trello include boards for sewing planning, wishlists, measurements (my own and others for gifts), keeping track of orders, and also for finished projects – add pictures and make notes on fittings etc for future reference.
  • Offline, I like to store my printed PDF patterns in A4 envelopes or popper folders. These are then stored in magazine files. This is a good way to keep everything together, tidy and undamaged.

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