So how is 2016 shaping up for you? Hope it’s going well. We seem to be into a flurry of child birthday parties (there are 45 children in Beth’s foundation classroom and she’s been very lucky in how many invites she gets), crazy season at work and associated health problems (hello there, first migraine of the year!) so there has been very little sewing going on.
I did post on Instagram my intention to start on an Orla top: this however was foiled when I laid my fabric out and realised there had been some shoddy cutting going on and that my 1.5m was more like 1.3m once you squared off the ends, which meant my pattern pieces just would not fit! 😡 Less than happy about that but there you go, the joys of ordering online.
So instead I’ve been searching for inspiration (read: procrastinating!) by doing a little organisation of my pattern library, something I pick up and put down every few months. And I thought I’d note on here how I do things just in case it helps anyone else (or so I can laugh at myself in a year or two if I find a better method!)
Paper patterns: unused
This is the easy bit: anything unused gets stuffed into some very full boxes on my bookcase (or at least, somewhere near that!)
Paper patterns/ printed pdf’s
Again, pretty straightforward. I have a shelf of magazine holders. I probably need to have 2 shelves but right now just the one overstuffed shelf. Anything I’ve traced/ printed/ cut (extremely rare, I’m not a cutter generally) gets put into an A4 brown envelope, usually together with the original. These are labelled up and popped into the magazine holders. I may need another shelf due to the rapidly expanding collection of sewing magazines though!
Pdf’s / online reference
I’m addicted to my phone. I doubt this is going to be a revelation, especially to anyone who follows me on Instagram. And I doubt I’m alone in this. The one thing you can pretty much guarantee I’m going to have on me at all times is my iPhone. And that led me to wanting something on my phone that held all my pattern info. You know, for those ad hoc shopping moments when you just know a bolt of fabric is perfect for a specific pattern but haven’t a scooby doo how much you need. Or what length zipper. And does it need special interfacing?
I started off simple, creating a board for my patterns on Pinterest. But this didn’t really give me a very good system for organising and was completely dependant on there being internet signal. Not a given on EE!
So I did some reading around and found Evernote. I downloaded the free version and this, I really like.
It works by creating “notebooks” within which you store “notes”. I have notebooks for measurements, sewing patterns, sewing books, school and food (different conversation!).
There are a few features on this which I really like.
Firstly, as I have the app on both my phone and laptop, it syncs between the two so anything that’s on one is on the other.
Secondly, if you purchase a pdf pattern, you can store the file in Evernote itself, either by opening the document on your phone and choosing Evernote to open it with or by doing a bit of drag and drop on the laptop. Evernote creates a new note holding the pdf. You will then not misplace the pdf within your laptop storage (me? Messy?) and if you need to send it to yourself to print it out, you can do that from within the app.
For paper patterns, I take photos of the pattern envelope. If you select document instead of photo, it crops and tidies up the image and the text apparently becomes searchable (haven’t tried that feature!)
There are monthly upload limits on this (hence I haven’t finished the organisation) and loads of functionality and features I don’t personally use. But it does very nicely the job I wanted: I have an in-pocket reference guide to my pattern library which I can use for memory jogging or just for inspiration. It does what I was after and it hasn’t yet cost me anything: everyone’s a winner! Bonus points for not being particularly memory hungry on my phone either.
I think one of the outstanding jobs is to add a screenshot of the measurements and fabric requirements to the body of the notes about pdf’s: I’m still reliant on Internet connection here to open up the document.
I also need to come up with some way of logging the projects in my ever expanding collection of magazines: I find there are often things that don’t appeal to me at first but then are exactly what I need at some point in the future. This is especially true of the crafty projects: as the vast majority of my sewing is dressmaking, I don’t always take a lot of notice of these. Do I scan all of them? Sounds like a lot of work…
I’m sure an answer will occur (anyone?) In the meantime, a little parcel of Tilly patterns arrived from White Tree Fabrics yesterday (I’d been resisting the offer on Agnes + Arielle just long enough) so I’m off to log them!
Any ideas to help my organisational skills along?