The more I sew with PDF patterns the more I find certain things make my process easier and more enjoyable, so today I thought I'd share a few of those things that have become "sewing essentials" for me.
First up is a paper trimmer. I happened to have this one already from scrapbooking, but it has quickly become my sewing room tool as it makes trimming my printed pattern pages quicker and more precise. This has really sped up the time it takes to assemble the pattern pieces, which I appreciate very much since I'd of course rather be sewing! :) You can find paper trimmers of all different sizes at most any craft or hobby store.
Secondly, GOOD tape. I've been accused of being a "tape snob", but after years of helping make gift baskets for our family's florist, I can undoubtedly proclaim that all tape is NOT the same! :) My personal favorite is the Red Scotch
. It holds very well, even when I print my pattern pieces on cardstock, and it is perfectly smooth and clear. Using good tape means that I don't have to reprint the pattern pieces again if I want to store and reuse my pattern later since it helps the pieces to stay together as they were originally put. Other tapes will loose their "sticky" and even roll up around the edges causing the pattern pieces to shift. (if my husband is reading this, he is TOTALLY rolling his eyes at me right now! lol!!!) Maybe a small thing, but this is certainly a preference for me.
Lastly, with so many great PDF patterns available it can be very easy to accumulate quite a collection. I had to find a way to keep everything neatly organized so that I could find what I was looking for and not accidentally purchase the same pattern again....not that I've ever nearly done that or anything! ;)
When I first started using PDF patterns, I would print and bind the complete pattern instructions in clear presentation folders. I would also print the pattern pieces which were kept in an envelope within the folder. Additionally, I would burn the pattern to CD and store it with the pattern. As my PDF pattern collection has grown, this has been impossible to maintain due to storage and cost. So....a new plan!
Now, I have a Pattern folder stored on my computer. Within the folder I have additional files for specific pattern designers that I own a large number of patterns from and then category files for the others. Now, when I'm ready to sew, I print only the pattern pieces and pull the pattern instructions up on my computer to follow along. I have a designated basket that holds all of my printed and labeled pattern pieces should I want to sew the pattern again.
I also back up my pattern downloads to this PINK memory stick. It's PINK so it doesn't end up in hub's collection! ;) Everyone knows this is MAMA'S!
And then I have this little book...
This little book offers me a tangible list that is easy to flip through whether I am shopping for a new pattern or looking for sewing inspiration. Being a hands-on person, this little book is a necessity to me and helps me to easily see what I have available at a glance.
Thanks to the clever suggestion of a reader, I also now have a board on Pinterest specific to my pattern stash called "Pattern Collecting"
. It's so nice to be able to look in one place, and see all the patterns I have available to sew!
So there you have it...a few of my PDF Sewing Essentials.
For other items that I consider essential or especially helpful in my sewing room, just search "sewing essentials" in the tab in the sidebar.
Simple things that make sewing even more enjoyable!