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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sewing Pattern Storage

As an avid pattern collector as well as a former art museum employee, I am adamant about protecting my collection.  However, unlike a museum collection I do not have a large temperature controlled storage room with racks, archival quality large flat latching boxes, and unlimited amounts of glassine among other things (hmmm... future gofundme project?)

What I am discussing here is not the perfect way to store your pattern collection, but it is a practical way (I think).

I take each of my sewing patterns and if possible try to remove any old pins that may be attached. I have found the occasional pin which is so rusted that I will leave it rather than risk ripping the pattern, but most remove easily.   I then store each pattern separately in a 4-mil polyethylene ziplock bag.  These are the same type of bags that comic book and magazine collectors generally use for storage.

For standard sized patterns, I use a 6 x 9 inch bag, such as this one here.  The 6 x 9 bag generally fit patterns by Butterick, Simplicity, Hollywood, etc. perfectly.

For larger sized patterns, I use a 9 x 12 inch bag, such as this one here.  McCall's patterns tend to be a bit wider and slide into these bags perfectly sideways, I then fold the excess plastic over.  These bags are also perfect for storing larger Vogue Patterns, as well as vintage pattern magazines and smaller pattern catalogs, and etc.

I always make sure to get the ziplock kind to keep out moisture and dust.  I then store them in large plastic bins or standard sized filing boxes such as these here.  Cardboard boxes like these are fine if as long as the patterns are in sealed in the plastic bags and therefore won't touch the box.  What I love about using these boxes is that with standards sized patterns you can perfectly fit two rows of patterns in the box, longways, and on the outside you can mark what is inside the box (e.g. Simplicity 1970s Patterns).

Generally, I store my patterns with the tissue inside of the package, unless it is brittle or frail.  I have heard of some people sandwiching the package between the pattern pieces for protection.  However, I think of it much like I would a book.  The cover of the book was put there to protect the pages, much like the pattern envelope is there to protect the pattern pieces.  I'm sentimental, so if someone left a swatch attached to the pattern for the 1950s dress they made, I will typically remove the pin but leave the swatch with the pattern. Whenever I ship a pattern to someone, I send it in one of these bags - archival and extra protection for the pattern during shipping.

If anyone has any thoughts or other ideas, I would love to know what works best for you!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Butterick's Delineator Fashion Magazine from August 1888 for PDF Download

I previously posted about my new store that I am beginning to set up online.  The first two items are up, and both are digital downloads.  The first was McCall's Magazine from September 1903.

I have also recently uploaded for sale Butterick's "The Delineator" Magazine from August 1888 for digital download (copy). There are additional example plates from the magazine on the store website.

As I said on the other one, the watermark on the cover is removed in the downloaded version.  Shortly I will be adding some sewing patterns for sale.

This is such a neat magazine, and I LOVE the fashion plates and pattern descriptions in this magazine and cannot believe it has held together for over 120 years now!  I know some people buy magazines like this and pull them apart and sell them off page by page.  Personally, that makes me sad...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

McCall's Magazine September 1903 Fashion Patterns for PDF Download

I have been working on setting up a retail website to sell some digital downloads of some rare pattern magazines I have as well as to start selling some of my sewing pattern collection.  I have downloads up and available now.  I would love any feedback anyone has, obviously I need more content since this is a start up it's a bit sad looking now.  I would also like to scale down the size of my logo... once I figure out how to do it... lol!

Here is one of the first digital downloads I have available.  It is a gorgeous magazine and a prized possession :)  It's watermarked with my logo now, but the watermark is removed in the PDF download version.  Several other pages can be viewed on the new store website I am working on.

Let me know your thoughts!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sewing machine man article & a preview of my newly inherited sewing machine (which I know nothing about)

Sewing machine man - Kentucky New Era: News

I inherited a sewing machine recently, an Emdeko Precision LT-72 (Made in Japan).  While doing research on it, I came across this article and wanted to share it because I thought it was so interesting.  I'm a compulsive pattern collector... I don't know how I would store a sewing machine collection!!! Patterns take much less room, phew!

I will be posting some photos of my "new" old sewing machine soon.  I have no clue about how to use it, can't find an instruction manual, can't find info about the manufacturer, and etc, and am hoping someone can help me out...

Monday, November 17, 2014

A side note on cataloging my patterns... I work on inventorying my pattern collection, I have noticed that some patterns are rather neat, and there are some others where I can see why someone decided to get rid of them.

I won't post any particular patterns, so as not to offend.  It's just a random thought I felt I should share :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sewing Pattern Inventory Database Using Evernote...

... so I have about a couple thousand sewing patterns, as well as other memorabilia (catalogs, manikins, vintage clothing, thread spools, iron-ons, other vintage crafts, etc lol) which I have been wanting to catalog for quite a while.  I'm a collector and it's a sickness.   I have been trying to find the best way to catalog all of it.

I saw a couple of people using Evernote as a resource to catalogue their sewing patterns.  At first, I thought this wouldn't work for me for my requirements were:

1. Being able to scan the front and back of each pattern
2. Being able to add notes to the pattern (Fabrics, sizes, etc)
3. Being able to notate the year of publication
4. Being able to mark what box they are stored in (this was very important to me, as every time I need a pattern I have to go through 20 boxes looking to see what I have... which is fun, but sometimes time consuming.
5. Be able to sort them based on women, men, children, decor, etc... then subcategory, dress, pants, top, etc.
6. Be able to figure out what duplicates I have based on them being catalogued.
7. Be able to show them off.  That's what a collector does... kind of like how I text pictures of my twins to people everyday... who probably think I'm nuts, but I don't really care because it makes ME feel good. LOL!

So... I asked for some suggestions on my Facebook page, and in the meantime I found both an online website which I thought at first would work and a downloadable open source database (for people with music, video, CD, and etc collections. Then my friend Charles (thankfully) responded to my FB post and pointed out... what happens if the website shuts down? Would I be able to export my collection, etc. He also asked what my main purpose was,
"is sorting/organizing the important thing? Or searching/finding based on your titles and notes? Do you need to know "I have twenty-five sweater patterns, seven of them are cardigans," or "I need to find that wool cardigan pattern with ribbed cuffs."?
He later asked, 
"Can you give me a better understanding of why you want to sort and group? How will you use that ability? These aren't idle questions. Asking why and what leads to the how. The same way you might ask someone "why do you want a big buckle?" If the answer is "for strength," you might say, "here's a better solution.
These were good question which got me thinking, and he kindly did some research and sent me some GREAT links with ideas.  After looking them over, I decided the best method which might work for me was to use Evernote to catalog my collection.  I already am a user of Evernote (often clicking to save articles never to be looked at again lol)... so I am attempting it (there also was a nice idea for cataloguing with your iPhone - which would be awesome accept that my iPhone 3 [yes you read that right] seems to disagree).   What's nice is that, as one blogger (and fellow pattern hoarding nerd) pointed out,  Evernote allows you to tag and search items, and it has an app for your computer, iPad, phone, etc so if you happen to be at the fabric store and see a fabric that would be great for a pattern you know you have, you can look up the pattern and see the required yardage and notions right there!!!!

So... I am currently testing out the Evernote method using some "newer" vintage patterns.  What is nice is that instead of scanning in each of my individual patterns, I can do an internet search and find where someone has already scanned it and just drag it over into my note.  Saves me a TON of time.  I have a feeling I will be scanning when I get to the really old patterns, but starting out with the more recent vintage patterns, there's often someone selling it somewhere who in addition to having already scanned it has typed up the description on the back of the pattern, which I can copy and paste to my note.  Additionally, I am thinking of later setting up a separate notebook for patterns and items that I want...

AND as I stated above, I want to show it off as well LOL which gives the added advantage of people possibly giving me helpful suggestions.  I have added a tab at the top of my blog which should open up the public link to my pattern database for anyone who would like to see my work in progress.

You can see my database (work in progress) at my public link Aimee's Personal Pattern Inventory.  There's also a new tab at the top of my blog which will take you there as well.

To give credit where credit is due, as well as very precise instructions on this method, here is the link to the method I'm trying out

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Little Lobster Twins on Halloween

This year, for their first "official" halloween, (they were only 2 weeks old last year so we kept them inside) my 1-year old twins went as lobsters.  Even my hubby congratulated me on the costumes as we laughed our butts off.  I also got my hubby a $3 chef hat off Amazon which he wore as he strollered them around the neighborhood with the rest of the trick-or-treat crew.

I didn't make these.  I actually bought them off amazon, last minute.  Thankfully I'm a member of Amazon Prime so I ordered them and 2 days later (the day before Halloween) they were on my porch.

(By the way, these were super warm and the fit was perfect.  Here's the link to where I got them if you ever want your own baby lobster :) Lil Characters Unisex-baby Infant Lobster Costume

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