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If you like to sew stuff, chances are you have a LOT of patterns + and templates. Today I’m sharing a super-easy way to keep them all organized in a binder!

Here’s what you need:

1. 2-inch 3-Ring Binders

Go for a 2-inch binder so you have some room – the 1-inch binders will fill up pretty fast. I prefer to have multiple 2-inch binders than trying to fit them all into a 3-inch or 4-inch binder because 3-inch and 4-inch binders are clunky + heavy.

The nice thing about having multiple binders is you can sort your patterns by project type – maybe you have one for quilting/English Paper Piecing, one for plush + softies, one for clothes, one for bags, one for holiday projects, etc. etc. Of course, if you don’t have a lot of patterns yet, you can get by with just one binder for now + use dividers.

2. Binder Page Protector Sheets

I like the full-size page protector sheets for larger patterns and the divided photo album sheets for smaller things.

3. Divider Tabs

You can make your own divider tabs pretty easily but you can also buy them. These are good for organizing patterns inside the binder – maybe you have a binder all for clothes + you want to sort by type (shirts, pants, dresses, etc.) or sort them for kids, women, men, pets, etc.

4. Paper Clips

This is not totally necessary, but I like to put them at the top of the page protector sheets because it can really save you should you ever accidentally turn the binder upside down or drop it. I’m clumsy + easily confused with “which way is up” so this happens to me all the time! And so this leads me to the next thing you need…

5. A Binder Cover

You definitely want to make sure that whatever you use for the cover of your binder clearly makes it easy to see which way is up!

If you buy a binder that already has a design on it and you can tell what direction is “up” then you probably don’t need to make your own cover. If you buy a binder that has a clear slot for inserting a cover it’s super easy to make one – just take a piece of paper and write “Patterns” on it + maybe doodle some arrows or a picture of a flower or something so you know what direction to hold the binder + use it. You don’t want to accidentally turn it upside down!

Alternatively, you could get a binder that has a zipper closure case or you could even sew up your own fabric cover that you can wrap around the top + and close with a button or a snap. I might make a video on that if I ever get around to doing something that fancy. 🙂

6. Your Patterns

If you ever buy a sewing pattern, whether it’s vintage or newer, you will always notice it’s on super flimsy paper. I ALWAYS make my patterns sturdier by using a glue stick to glue them to thin cardboard (think cereal box weight – file folders can work well too). This makes it easier to use them + manage them without worrying about them tearing.

If you’re printing patterns out, consider printing them out onto heavy 110+ pound cardstock paper – this will help you be able to reuse them over and over again and eliminates the extra step of needing to glue them to cardboard.

How to Assemble Your Binder + Organize Those Patterns

I usually put all the pieces of one pattern in their own page protector sheets. For patterns I reach to again + again, I put a picture of what the pattern is for on the FRONT of the page protector + not inside of it. You can attach it with a paper clip or use a permanent glue stick + stick it on.

Super easy + you’ll feel so organized! 🙂

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