Evernote It Is!

Thank you for all the terrific feedback on pattern cataloging. I’ve decided to keep my patterns for now sorted by brand. I like the symmetry of it. But, i have switched to Evernote. I was an early adopter of Bento for Mac. But, they discontinued it. Evernote, based on your feedback, seemed to give me the best of it all. I can access the patterns and pictures on my computer and my smartphone. And, I can print them out if I want to create a folder. Also, I could use the same program for fabric stashing (which is how I used Bento).

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I also like that for current patterns, I can grab and paste a ton of info into this:

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I’ve done 28 so far. And, um, 200 more to go. I’m also going to hunt for these Australian zip lock bags that fit the Jalie patterns. Seriously, I got to get a niece over here to do some work for me 🙂



  1. I love Evernote & I have not thought about it for patterns. This is a great idea. I am using the very screwy Sewing Kit HD for the iPad & iPhone. McCall’s recently became a partner, so I hope that soon the app will improve. You can scan the code on the envelopes & some of the time it will download all the info & photos, which is great. When it doesn’t work it is very frustrating. Check it out if you have iOS devices (don’t know what else it works on) I love it when it works.

  2. Hey before you look oversees I bought commercial sized ziplock bags to store my Jalies from a large scale commercial food place (Sysco)… They are bigger than the large freezer zip locks and work great. Maybe check around and see what you can get locally….do you know anyone that’s a Foods teacher or in the restaurant biz? How many do you need anyway? I’m a foods teacher and order all the time. I could just mail you some. Email me and let me know

  3. Great idea about evernote. I have the app and never thought about it with patterns. I’m going to use this same system and work on cataloging my patterns as well. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  4. I love this idea! I have Evernote but haven’t quite figured out how to utilize it yet. What a great way to peruse the stash.

  5. I meant to comment on your precious post – but didn’t get round to it. So I will here!! I have two of the four drawer units from Ikea (similar to yours) and my regular sized patterns are stored in strict numerical order in brown envelopes with the pattern number written on the front. The actual pattern covers are in protective plastic sleeves in ring binders, sorted by category – I can then peruse my ‘pattern catalogues’ and select the actual pattern from the drawer when it is required. My larger patterns (some Vogue, Folkwear, Jalie etc, are in their own drawer. I don’t have too many of those – about 40ish. I have closer to 600 regular patterns (cough. cough.)

    I also wanted to let you know that here in Canada the food stores (maybe Wal-Mart as well -the ones that sell produce) sell ‘Extra Large, Heavy Duty, Double Zipper, Freezer Bags’. They are 33cm x 39.6cm and a Jalie pattern fits comfortable inside. The come in boxes of 10 bags – if you would like some sent across the border, let me know!

  6. I love Evernote for patterns, too. I haven’t gotten all my envelope patterns catalogued there yet but I have been maintaining a database of Ottobre patterns
    (https://www.evernote.com/pub/jne4sl/ottobredesign) and it’s so useful to have them searchable. I also have a binder of all the line drawings which I used to poor over but now that it’s all in Evernote I sometimes forget to even add new issues to the binder. I do also use the notes for printing envelopes. It would be really great if someone could consolidate databases on more companies.

  7. Long-time reader from Oz here – very glad to send you Aussie bags if needed! Drop me an email if your other options fall through.

  8. Seems indeed excellent to use evernote. I’m a very recent evernote user, not yet perfectly confortable with the app but I’ll get to it. Would be great if you gave a peak of your use of it :-). Inspiration, inspiration, …
    And have fun encoding all 200 remaining patterns 🙂

  9. I should look at Evernote again. My biggest complaint was that I couldn’t get the phone app to be large enough type for me to actually read it. Is that adjustable now? Are you using it for fabric too?

  10. Good luck with Evernote! I had a good, but overwhelming, time reading all the responses to your last post, but had nothing to add since I’m in a bad place with pattern organization too. I tried Springpad but gave up archiving after about 20 patterns…

  11. Oh wow, Evernote is a great idea! I use it on my iPad/iPhone to keep track of my ever-growing list of sewing projects I want to make, but never thought to use it as a pattern catalog. Off to do this right now! Thanks!

  12. Good morning

    I have just read your latest posting and noted that you are looking for zip lock bags here in Australia.

    I use Coles large 20 pack bags size 35cm x 27cm and I have one Jalie pattern fitted into this particular size.

    Your niece should be able to pick them up at any Coles supermarket.

    I really enjoy reading your postings hope the new sewing room becomes a wonderful creative space that you will enjoy.


    Ronnie (Melbourne Australia)

  13. I’m a little jealous of your organization setup. I really need to do something about mine- I have a wire mesh basket of patterns I’m interested in making in the near-ish future, and everything else is still in cardboard moving boxes, totally jumbled. 😦

  14. Will trade niece researching for one copy of a burda magazine pattern you own lol

  15. Whoa, that is a lot of work–paying off already. Looks great! Is there any way to share data like someone in the last post did, she shared pattern scans with a few friends? That could make it go a lot faster. Bet you someone out there is willing to scan the autumn seasons of Burdas etc. to somehow cut the work down.
    I was rifling through my cupboards yesterday for star anise (where did I put that?) and probably Evernote would be good for keeping track of ingredients one doesn’t use everyday. I had two packages of black sesame seeds, see… LOL.

    • I was just thinking today this would be a great project. Like 20 to 50 people with Burdas. Otherwise, it’s unmanageable. And, since it can be shared they could be public.

      Sent from my iPad


  16. Great job. I started Evernote for my patterns, put in a dozen or so and stopped. I wanted both the front and back of the envelope, but there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to which one Evernote used for the main picture, and I couldn’t figure out how to force the front pic to be the main pic. How did you manage it ?

    Good luck with the rest of your entries.

    • I just looked this up myself. You can’t force it! There’s an algorithm they use that comes down to size.

      Sent from my iPad


  17. What a great idea! I hadn’t thought to use Evernote like that. Years ago I started cataloging my patterns in Library Thing like books, but it’s not the easiest tool. I’ll be interested to hear how this goes! I have so many to update/add to my “library,” that now would be the time to switch to a new system.

    My patterns are right now sorted into plastic file boxes, by theme (so many are period or costume oriented for shows rather than me), with vintage stuff mostly separate in plastic sleeves/bags. But I never have enough bins or shelf space for the bins!

  18. Thank you for sharing the cataloging in Evernote. Did not think of it. So I also began to enter patterns. Would like some input on how you got the pictures so clear. Did you take them with camera? Your sewing room is looking fabulous.

    • Right now I’m copying from the internet. But, I think I will post my file today so we Evernote users can share. I’ve been adding slowly. So far I’m really digging it.

      Sent from my iPad


  19. As I’m sure you know, storing patterns in plastic will cause the paper to erode over (a long) time (bags and bins). And colors to fade. If you’re caring for vintage patterns or want them to be vintage, consider wire or fabric bins. #treeHugger

  20. Thanks for the idea to use Evernote! I’ve already started organizing my patterns. I had thought about using Access, but I haven’t touched it in so long, I don’t think I even remember how lol

  21. In gave up Evernote. After reading tons of posts about storing patterns on Evernote, I tried it – after 60 patterns added, a note showed, that I have to upgrade.. Not my cup of tea.
    Best solution for me is a WordPress.com private blog – every pattern is a post, and you can add tags, like type of garment, season, size, collection, and any other words, which make searching easier 🙂

  22. This looks great. I’ve been thinking that I should really make it a goal to get my patterns organized so that when I spy great fabric I can buy it project appropriately! It looks like I could also drop pics that I find around the internet into this? Such a great way to keep the pattern and inspiration pics together!

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