On using commercial sewing patterns and how to organize them

I love sewing. I love making new things and learning along the way. I prefer to make my own patterns for the clothes I make, but I do admit using commercial patterns has some major advantages. Generally using a commercial pattern means less fitting and fussing, even though I think you should always modify a commercial pattern to suit your shape and style – in the end you are custom sewing, not just reproducing pieces – and sometimes the end result is just a disaster.

And then you’re learning. You cut and sew a pleat here, a different seam there and then you just understand more and more about pattern making/ customizing/ transformation. That’s great.

What I don’t like is transferring the patterns to paper. Copying, cutting, fitting. That’s fine. But storing?
I always end up mixing them and then I can’t find anything I can use. Every time I make a dress I fold the pattern carefully and then I think: “I’d recognize that shape from a mile, i will know these pieces belong to this dress”. Right. Not true at all.

And then if you’re “cleaning”, or just flipping through your patterns and they’re not carefully separated in a folder per garment system – you can just say goodbye.

I had to throw away lots of already copied patterns because I couldn’t make which piece was which.
To make sure this doesn’t happen again, I now put all the pieces in a paper envelope, and just to make sure, I write on each piece of the pattern the number of the issue, the model and the number of the piece.

Will it work? Time will tell.

How do you organize your patterns?