Over the last several months, we’ve made some incredible patterns from scratch. Today, I thought I’d show you how I store my sewing patterns and give you a free printable pattern record card to stay organized.
Creating your own sewing patterns can be quick and easy. If this is your first time on Creative Fashion Blog, check out my 3-step draped top tutorial or the asymmetrical top tutorial. Both are quick and easy! These pattern record cards will make finding them and storing them even easier!
But first, what is a pattern record card anyways?
A pattern record card is the final step in creating your own sewing patterns. It gives you the ability to learn everything you’ll need to re-create your sewing patterns at a glance. It contains a sketch of the design, the amount of fabric you’ll need, any extra embellishments or tools, and what pattern pieces are included in the project. Most commercial sewing patterns have their pattern record cards printed on the backside of their envelopes to make it easier on consumers.
After you’ve made your sewing patterns, I like creating my pattern record card right away. It gives me a place to organize my project and put it away so it doesn’t fall victim to my kids messy painting projects. Having a designated place for everything helps keep my brain organized, my craft room neat, and makes it possible to re-create that project down the road.
Since I love creating printables for you, I created an basic pattern record card complete with a sketch space to map out your design. As you get more experienced creating your own patterns, you may want to draw your designs in a blank space. When I was just getting started I just loved having the template so my artistic abilities weren’t challenged too much and my patterns always looked clean and neat in their manilla envelopes.
I store all of my patterns in inexpensive manilla envelopes. The large size makes them easy to fold my patterns into and I can tape a standard printer page right on the front. Manilla envelopes also store incredibly well in a filing cabinet, making them quick and easy to flip through when you’re looking for them.
But let’s get down to the details. What exactly are you tracking on a pattern record card?
First, let’s address the largest box labeled “Pattern Pieces.” In this box, you’ll jot down exactly how many pattern pieces are in the specific project. In college for fashion design, we were taught to make our cards idiot-proof for manufacturing and include detailed specifications like “1 right sleeve” and on the next line, “1 left sleeve.” For my personal patterns now, I find that kind of repetition just too tedious so write “2 sleeves” and “Back Bodice” and “Front Bodice” for basic t-shirt pattern- just to give an example. You may also want to include binding measurement specifications if you need to make your own. If your pattern calls for interfacing, facings, or pocket pieces, list them each out individually. You’ll do this for a few reasons- one to make sure your pattern is complete and isn’t missing any pieces before trying to re-create it again and also to jog your memory the next time you pull it out.
The supplies section of your pattern record card is meant to include additional materials you’ll need besides basic cloth. This is where you’ll add things like zippers, buttons, closures and embellishments. List them off and make it easy on yourself to gather supplies for next time.
The details section of a pattern record card is usually the area of the page you’ll search for when you’re trying to find a pattern once they’ve been stored. The Style # is usually the name you’ve given a design and can make it easier to track in manufacturing- if you ever find yourself in that situation. If you never plan on manufacturing, just label your pattern in this space. Under “Size Range” you’ll want to label what size it is that you created, making it easier to grade your pattern up or down in the future if need be. Measure and label the amount of fabric you’ll need to complete the project under “Yardage” so you know exactly how much to buy next time.
In creating these pattern record cards, I almost left this space blank but felt like it was SO helpful to have a basic shape to build off when I was just starting out. After all, when you’re finally done creating the most epic pattern that you are so proud of, do you really want to take on the other project of meticulously drawing out the design? Maybe that’s your thing… and if it is- you’re more creative than me. When I’m done drafting a pattern, I like to make the clean-up, organization process as quick and easy as possible. Having the basic dress-form outline will save you the extra time and leave all your patterns looking nice and uniform.
To get this totally free download, just fill out the form below and print your own Pattern Record Cards right away!
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