Storing your patterns Posted by Na on Apr 07, 2015
I am at a loss as to how to best store patterns. I tend to either hand make them out of sketches or newspaper, or print them out for shadow puppets. So far I have tried keeping them pasted or taped inside a portfolio sized book, stacking them inside magazine holders, stuffing them inside a document display folder... Nothing is right to me. Taping them inside a book makes the pieces hard to find and messy, the magazine holders are bulky and difficult to sort through, and the display folder much the same. Anyone have some good suggestions?
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by Chris Arveson on Apr 07, 2015
I have been using large heavy-duty mailing envelopes to store my pattern pieces. Each envelope holds one pattern, and is labeled so that I don't have to guess what is inside.
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by pagestep007 on Apr 07, 2015
I am like you Chris, Each pattern is in a large labelled envelope, and every variation on the pattern gets its own envelope. Smaller ones get a zip lock plastic bag, along with a drawing, or better still a printout of a photo of the final puppet, for quick identification. Card envelopes are used for frequent use ones as they last longer, as do plastic courier envelopes. During prototyping, I use paper pattern pieces, then when the design is solid, frequent use ones get a cardboard set. As soon as the prototype is looking close to finished, the patterns are transferred to A4 paper sheets (some need splitting for that) so that there is an official record of it archived, and it can be photocopied if necessary. Notes and assembly instructions go with those, and they get a section with dividers in one of those fat office archive binder folders, that I sometimes find on the street. Next step, if I have time, is to overlay a 1cm grid, so that I can scan the archived pattern and have that electronic copy, just in case I have to flee the country and can take them with me or upload them to the net for international access there. Finally , if I get time I will  record the shapes as  vector points like (1,45) (364,23)... so that they can be written down and be  stored, copied, or transferred as text documents and can be replicated  elsewhere. But that takes a lot of time , so  not all of my patterns are  done  like that. All the  Envelopes, and folders go on a shelf for  easy access, and electronic scans and text docs.. in the digital archives and  some up on the net.
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by Na on Apr 07, 2015
Oh I'm an idiot. That's basically what costume designers do and I literally have 2 costume patterns in envelopes just like that outside my bedroom door. :p

Thanks for the suggestion, it's perfect... And really obvious now that I think about it.

Pagestep that sounds like a lot of work, but a good way to do things. Fortunately most of my patternwork is done on the computer so all I need are the files and my printed copies.
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by jeezbo on Apr 08, 2015
Not that its any different from the others suggestions, but I also keep mine in large envelopes, but mine are those document holder envelopes that are made of plastic and I keep everything in a filing cabinet in my workshop. also can I say that I love Phillips (pagestep007) things he does with printing out his patterns onto 1cm grid paper is genius, I have had a lot of trouble trying to digitise my patterns over the years and I feel stupid for not thinking of that before, I use inkscape as a vector program and once I have scanned my patterns in, im a little stuck trying to get them back to the right size for printing back out or sending on to people (I get there, it just takes me longer) and the thought of creating my patterns on gridded paper to start of with will make things a lot more easy once I have scanned my pattern onto inkscape as its only a case of making sure that the pattern is scaled down to match the little ruler icon on the program for 1cm squares or whatever size I use!! sorry for going off topic, I just really like that idea!!
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by yalaurie on Apr 08, 2015
I transfer my patterns to interfacing which is a slightly stiff fabric. That allows me to fold them, ball them up, box them, put them in folders or whatever. When I need to use them, I just give them a quick iron and that takes the winkles out.
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by Na on Apr 09, 2015
Posted by: yalaurie on Apr 08, 2015
I transfer my patterns to interfacing which is a slightly stiff fabric. That allows me to fold them, ball them up, box them, put them in folders or whatever. When I need to use them, I just give them a quick iron and that takes the winkles out.

That's a really great idea. One thing that annoys me with my patterns is that I tape them to my plastic sheet (for shadow puppets) and then cut around the edge, instead of tracing it then cutting out because it saves time. But I often end up cutting the paper pattern too and need to reprint, and/or I tear the pattern in the more delicate or complicated parts during building. Interfacing would probably be stronger and could handle a lot more wear and tear, plus save on space.

I'll remember that for next time I'm at my craft place so I can see how much interfacing is. Thanks Yalaurie!
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by pagestep007 on Apr 09, 2015
Na, It is a bit of work, but it saves weeks of work in the long run.

Jeezbo, I have all this process, and the grids, through experience. The first puppet I ever did I did in NZ and then took it to South America. I had problems replicating it, as foam thicknesses were different and the pattern did not work, so I had to rework it. I then wanted to share that pattern and that was back in dial up days, so I vectorized the patterns to send as a text files, but the people receiving them were not too conversant with such methods, so I tried sending scans, which then had no size reference, and they could not get the sizes to print out right. Then I started putting them on a grid, so that if you print right, they are fine, but if not, at least you could draw a grid and use that reference while hand drawing them. Then I put that in  video, so you could copy straight from the video, but people were lazy and I ended up uploading a gridded pattern, which seems to keep most people happy. I like your idea  using Inkscape. I might give that a go.
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by Gail on Apr 27, 2015
Pagestep "Flee the country"  that is a scary thought! Love the Grid idea. Sew Much More sewing classes (best classes ever)had interfacing type fabric to make your custom patterns and they stored them in large envelopes. They pointed out that you could "see through" the product called "Do Sew" I believe.  That is very helpful when matching patterns or stripes in the fabric so the stripes meet at the seams nicely.  I did find that it could stretch if you were too rough with it because it is not woven but pressed together.  I like to write the descriptions at the top edges for filing and I can write other notes down the front too like good legs, bad mouth plate etc. My best patterns are really a mixture of the best parts of several patterns. I wonder if you can get acid free envelopes, my pattern envelopes are so old that they are starting to crumble.  I have seen see through plastic type envelopes, might be expensive and hard to write on but you could use printed label stickers to look nicer.  There are lots of nice filing boxes with handle that fit those large envelopes to transport your collection too.
Re: Storing your patterns Posted by Na on Apr 27, 2015
Forgot to update this: I did buy myself some large envelopes and smaller ones (roughly A3 and A5) for my different patterns. These are really handy because I have now used them to store some shadow puppet pieces and their patterns, so I know exactly where everything is. I've labelled the envelopes but also written notes on them too, such as measurements and whatnot so that if I need to remake a piece I don't have to hunt around for my barely-coherent scribbled substractions/etc. I've also put on some diagrams so the measurements are a bit clearer.

I had hoped to update another thread of my latest workshop space but that has to wait due to an unforeseen interruption with changing web hosts. I don't have pics of my pattern storage but you'll see why I asked about it in the first place.

Thanks everyone for your input, as always a font of knowledge here!

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