Friday, April 29, 2011

The Right Stuff

Wasn't that a lovely wedding? The bride was radiant, the groom was blushing, everyone looked happy (except for that one bridesmaid) and now we're all off to search for a pattern for Pippa's dress. Having got up at 4am this morning, I can't be trusted to do anything more complex than load patterns on my website. I may have loaded several thousand vintage patterns in the last few years, and I think that there might be two kinds of Pattern People: the Stuffers and the Folders.
The Stuffers take their used pattern pieces and without regard to envelope size or shape, wad them up into a vague rectangular blob and jam them into the poor envelope, shoving the instructions in along side the wad of pattern. Witness the photo above.
Whereas those of the Folding School of Pattern Care gently fold their ironed pattern pieces, softly and reverently slide them inside the instruction sheets and close the envelope. The Stuffers sometimes can't close their envelopes, so they frequently resort to staples! (Oh the horror!) Those of the Stuffing persuasion may be closely related to those sadly misguided souls who cut out their patterns with Pinking Shears. My Junior High School sewing teacher felt that this behavior was just one step on the road to perdition, and I can't help but feel that she may have been right. How can one line up the pieces accurately if they're cut with pinked edges? I do not approve.
Of course I feel that my way is the only correct way: when the garment is sewn and the pattern is no longer needed, gently fold the pieces, making sure that all of them are together with the instructions and place them back in the original envelope.
I am always shocked to hear of people who cut up their envelopes, tape them to manila folders, and shove the pieces into ziplock bags. Or they tell me that the have all of their patterns sorted by number. (This is OCD madness, and I hear that there is medication that can help.)
I have mine sorted by pattern company, and then by type of pattern, because when I want to make a skirt, I am not going to remember the number. I just keep all the skirts together.
But there are people with complex systems who scan the patterns and have whole galleries on Flickr. I suppose I could do that, but I like to look though them.
I never cut up the envelopes and I never mangle the patterns. (What would Mrs. Funk say?)
What say you - are you a Folder, or a Stuffer?


Tanit-Isis said...

I am a folder, although not the most precise. I am also a tracer, though, so I often end up with more paper than can fit back in the envelope. So I pull out the manilla ones. I don't cut up my old envelopes, though---they go inside the big envelope and then I print out a picture and glue it on the front (although if I'm lazy or disorganized, I just write the name/number on.)

I would like to have my patterns sorted by type, but for now if I cam get them all in the same drawer I'm doing well. By number is madness, unless you're a die-hard indexer with so many patterns you'd rather look through your index than sort through the actual patterns.

Beangirl. said...

Girl. Seriously. I just left a HUMONGOUSLY long comment and then Blogger ate it up. Did it? I can't tell. That is So. Sucky.


Now I can't be bothered to rewrite it.

However, I will reitterate my COMPLETE SHOCK AND HORROR at the concept of cutting out patterns with PINKING SHEARS. I just never.... I mean... but it's just...




KID, MD said...

I'm a folder/tracer as well. cut and mangle a pattern? Never! And pinking shears??? I'm with Beangirl. Totally reprehensible.

badmomgoodmom said...

I am a folder.

I am not sure how to sort my growing pattern collection.

It sure would be nice to have a database system.

Unfortunately, Pattern Review will not be that platform. You have to enter in each pattern individually. I asked for a way to load a spreadsheet or csv file, but Deepika says she has no plans to add that feature.

Bento sounds really nice, but who will do the data entry? I'd rather be sewing.

badmomgoodmom said...

I am a folder. Sometimes I trace. Sometimes I cut for my size. I never cut into vintage patterns or designer patterns that I suspect will become collectibles.

I am struggling to figure out a way to sort my growing volume of patterns. They are on a spreadsheet for now, but without pictures.

I would love to have a visual database that includes project notes.

Unfortunately, Pattern Review will not be that that platform. I wrote Deepika and she has absolutely no plans to add features a la She is strictly a one woman shop. It's too bad, because someone with the PR user base and a great interface would become the category killer a la Ravelry and Goodreads. said...

Nooo!!! It's the curse of Beangirl! Blogger just did the same thing to me!!!

(And I was funny, too!) Drat.

hilde said...

I don't have any patterns in envelopes (only a few vintage ones that I haven't really touched), but I would definitely be a folder. I have made a database for all my pattern magazines, so I would add any separate patterns to that as well. I love looking through the actual patterns/magazines, but I also love looking through my database and it's a great tool for me. It has also really helped to give me a good sense of what patterns I have, as I have saved the drawings and added them all separately, so I automatically have seen everything a few times.
I am a bit of a Stuffer when it comes to my fabric closet, I'm ashamed to say. Working on that.

gwensews said...

Definitely a folder. And, I trace my patterns, so as my weight ups and downs, I can continue using the same patterns. I have tons. Tons. They are sorted by type.

Karen said...

I want to be a folder, but in my impatience to get to the next project, I have been known to be a wadder. (And yet when I buy a vintage pattern that's all wadded in the poor, torn envelope, I'm horrified. I get it, I'm a hypocrite).

Thankfully, I married a man who suffers from the ability to re-fold pattern paper into its original factory folds, and get it all back in the nice flat envelope. Because he thinks that's how you HAVE TO DO IT.

Who am I to disillusion him?