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March 15, 2016

Does Sewing Pattern Organization Have You in a Bind?

My recent trip to Goodwill was one where I had to knock a couple of things off the list. The bin holding my fabric and sewing patterns was getting out of control. A friend of mine had mentioned how she switched all her patterns over to binders and I thought that was a great idea.

Also, my son needed an outfit for Easter. I didn’t want to spend much on something he wouldn’t wear again so Goodwill was the perfect place to go.

I found several binders and got four of them. I wasn’t sure of how many I needed, but figured I could always get more.goodwill1

On the same shelf were a few patterns. I love finding vintage patterns; they tend to be more of my personal style which was once labeled by someone as Hippie Vintage.

This skirt pattern came home with me.


To hold the patterns (within the binder), I picked up some sheet protectors from Dollar Tree. As soon as I got home I started transferring the patterns from the bin to the binders. I broke the patterns into five categories: Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear, and Accessories/Miscellaneous. I may break the categories down more (by pattern brand, numerical order, etc.) but for now I’m just happy to have them more organized.



On to find an Easter outfit. My mom came along with me on the trip and suggested I find a vest for him to wear instead of a jacket. She figured I would use the vest again (Hello, Picture Day!) and the jacket would stay in the closet unused (most likely true). If you are looking for something specific it is best to go a few weeks (or longer) in advance because the inventory is forever changing. We lucked out this trip.


We found this vest and shirt (separately). To make dressier I was going to make a bow tie for him. We were about to leave that rack to find some pants but I wanted to keep looking.

Always keep looking.


Just a little further down on the same rack I found this vest. This was much more of the style we were looking for. He already owned a white shirt and a pair or black pants so I don’t have to buy anything else. No need to make a bow tie since a clip-on tie comes with it. So, saving money (on having to buy new pants) + using items we already have (sustainability) + I don’t have to make a bow tie (one less DIY on my list) = WIN WIN WIN!

What’s the last thing you’ve bought from Goodwill to help with organization? If you’re looking for a specific item of clothing, how long in advance do you give yourself time to find it?


  1. I *love* the patterns-in-binders idea! Mine are currently stored vertically on a shelf in zip-close bags, but the shelf is still messy-looking. I am totally stealing that idea!

    • Steal away! What I love about the binders is how the “mess” is now contained and can easily be placed in a closet unseen.

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