Simplicity Patterns Cabinet

Remember my interest in a pattern cabinet? Well, I found a very old one locally!

 photo e3df99fe-869f-4af9-9251-3fb70615f23f_zps7ce62669.jpg

Yesh. That’s truly a vintage Simplicity Pattern cabinet from goodness knows when. I bought it from Housewerks here in Baltimore. The guy told me it came out of an old uniform factory in the area. I wanted to haggle and bargain. He, did not.

 photo IMGP0035_zps4c17e125.jpg

The outside though has seen some wear and tear. I’d love to get it blasted and powdercoat repainted. But, Jordan took delivery and he said removing the drawers was a huge PITA. And, I’ve spent enough money the last month that I can think about it another time. Plus, I’d want to keep the original SIMPLICITY there at the top. I think I could also have a new decal made.

 photo IMGP0041_zps421e8649.jpg

From looking on the inside I can see the original chocolate brown shiny paint. Which isn’t a color I would want anyway!

 photo IMGP0039_zpsf330395e.jpg

So, the drawers are wonderfully split in to three sections, perfectly sized for all but McCalls and Vogue Designer of my Big Four. This also helped me pare down my traced off pattern collection. I probably pitched 30 patterns that never did work or were now way too small for me.

 photo IMGP0037_zps97b535d3.jpg

There is one drawer that has a missing divider, and in there I’ve put my designer Vogue patterns and bigger envelopes like Hot Patterns.

 photo IMGP0036_zps63d30e67.jpg

I also finally bought plastic baggies (thank you for the suggestions) for my Jalie and Hot Patterns. The larger Jalie are being stored in my filing cabinet. I still have two empty drawers in the cabinet. So, I’m thrilled!

Remember almost two years ago when my gravity feed iron short circuited? Well, I replaced it last month too.

 photo IMGP0047_zpsd5a44a6c.jpg

I was using my 13 year old Rowenta Sew ‘n Press (I friggin loved that iron). But, the temperature is unpredictable. And, Jordan used it to iron his suit (don’t ask. I told him not to iron suits). It scorched a few holes right into the wool blazer. So, he bought a garment steamer and I bought a new gravity feed iron.

 photo IMGP0042_zps5159e4fe.jpg

And, last update to the sewing room:

 photo IMGP0048_zps90f36fdd.jpg

I added a double (like 120) spool thread rack to my other two thread racks. If I run out of space now, I will seriously have a thread problem. I think I’m going to start buying larger Gutterman in bulk. Most of my prior thread accumulation came from trips to Panama.


  1. I like your new sewing room additions! I say leave the pattern cabinet as is because it screams vintage! And yes, you should be buying Gutterman thread in bulk…its the only way I buy it and Wawak has amazing sales on it with quick delivery.

  2. I like the bait dropping down the side of your blog…interesting. It should be a needle falling to the floor, waiting for some poor innocent soul to step on it. But I digress. I dream of a sewing room. I’d sew more than I do now, I have to lug everything I need for the day and then put it away at EOD. Pain in the arse, I say.

  3. Awesome find!!! the cabinet looks great. Say, i have that same serger. I broke a needle in it and had to get the timing fixed. i took it to bear’s paw. a month later the little needle thingy the thread winds around broke and i’m gonna have to take it in again for fixing. what am i doing wrong?

    • If you have the time, I would take it to Stadham Sewing. I think it’s $40 to evaluate a serger and they apply that to repairs. I *just* got the serger pre-owned last year from Bear Paw. So, I’m really not super familiar. But, the guy at Stadham knew the BL. He’s not a huge fan of them (too complicated and too many things that can go wrong) but he’s been a whiz at fixing everything else.

      On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • I vote for buying Gutterman from Wawak in bulk. Even if you don’t buy it on sale it’s cheaper than elsewhere, but I try to buy on sale. Same thing with my serger thread. Of course with the limited colors I sew it’s easy to cover my thread needs!
        I bought a couple of bob’n serge thingies and use it for my coverstitch machine where I don’t need a lot of thread. I love your Simplicity cabinet! I’d leave it alone; it looks ‘antique’ and cool.

  4. OMG, that cabinet’s a beast! Your pattern collection has met its match!

    I have a lot of traced-off patterns, too. You remind me that I should go through and toss out the ones that I will never make again.

  5. I envy you your sewing room and all the organization you have done. You have such helpful ideas and wonderful sewing advice. Thank you, Celie.

  6. The cabinet is quite a find! You mentioned having a decal made, and I’m sure that could be done. I’d like to offer a a suggestion I read in “The Tightwad Gazette” many years ago, and that’s have it repainted at an auto body shop. A tough as nails, hard, glossy finish, in whatever color you want, then add your decal once you get it back home. In fact you could probably research old Simplicity labels and use any of them that you like anywhere that does signage or vinyl decals for auto/store signs. Some places will even send someone to the item to put the decal on.

  7. Oh, your sewing room is so juicy. I want to cut it out of your house and plop it into my basement. I just organized my space and I am dying for cabinetry and what.

  8. That cabinet is quite a find! I have serious cabinet envy. I would leave it alone, but it’s not in my house, so I shouldn’t have an opinion. But you know how that goes……. Your sewing room looks so well organized and “ready”. I am envious of that as well. Mine is a wreck.

  9. Great cabinet. I had that thought mentioned above. Cover with a cool fabric. By the way are you liking that iron? I also got one recently and have very mixed feelings about it. The two cords drive me nuts and the amount of heat it emanates just sitting there is too much for my summer sewing. Also not sure it gives any better results than my old Rowenta. Would love to hear your thoughts

    • I forgot how much I hated the two cords myself. And, I still need the teflon shoe for certain fabrics. If I could have the exact same Rowenta again, I would buy it (good steam, nice and hot, didn’t turn off). But, it is long discontinued. I think gravity feeds are on the same level of my old Rowenta. Luckily, my ceiling fan is above the iron and the new-to-me A/C vent above my sewing machine! I do remember when I was sewing my winter coat a few years ago with the gravity feed I was sweating and had a fan blowing on me the whole time.

      On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  10. Your gotten some grreat acquisitions! I envy the pattern cabinet. 🙂 Colleen P mentioned it first and I’m seconding the recommendation–if you decide to paint, get it done an an autobody shop. I’ve heard some wonderful stories about metal kitchen cabinets being re-painted with spectacular results.

    Also, what size baggies are you using for the Jalie and Hotpatterns envelopes? I’m trying to figure out a better storage system than I currently have (handling the original packaging very gently 🙂 ). All advice appreciated.

  11. There are commercial concerns that will repaint your file cabinet. You can probably find them through your workplace. I’m not sure they would compare in $$ to the auto painting place…

  12. I have a standard filing cabinet for my patterns, but I would kill to have an actual pattern cabinet! My mother used to have one, but I don’t know where it went or if she’d even consider letting me have it anyway…not to mention it was full as I recall. Your sewing room is looking pretty awesome, I have a bit of jealousy over your setup right now. Also, what is the brand of your gravity feed iron? I’ve been looking into one, but haven’t had the confidence to pull the trigger.

  13. I just love seeing sewing rooms. Especially those that are well used. Great cabinet for patterns.

  14. Love the organized pattern cabinet! 20 years ago I had 2 like that but could not take them with me after the divorce…could really use them now! If you ever buy embroidery thread spools that are too tall for the dowels on the thread racks, you can slide drinking straws over them to extend them enough so the spools don’t droop or wobble.

  15. Love the cabinet it looks like it found a good home . I was looking at the pic of your iron and you gave me an idea of how to hang the cord i was struggling with that . Thanks again

  16. Between you and Miss Lladybird Lauren, just wow! I have serious sewing room envy (one-fine-day, no?).

  17. Oh I always love a post on organization and a great find! I see you are using plastic sleeves —- I re-did my pattern organizational scheme a couple of years ago and as a result abandoned a rather large stash of plastic pattern sleeves from Nancy’s Notions. I don’t think she makes them anymore, but they have a small sleeve in the front for the envelope, and a deeper compartment for “the guts.” They’ve been cluttering up my sewing room ever since, looking for a good home. Reply to me off line with your address and they’re yours as a thanks for all of your entertaining posts.

Comments are closed.