Organizing Sewing Patterns


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Organizing Sewing Patterns

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març 14, 2007, 6:22 pm

I'm currently looking for a job as my employer is closing the office in the city where I live. So I have lots of free time on my hands. I'm using it to organize my books, projects, and my life in general.

I use databases to sort my DVDs, CDs and books. I want to catalog all of my sewing patterns, too. I know I could use Excel or Access, but I would love to put in the the bar code in some sort of database program and presto! chango! the information regarding my pattern would be listed such as pattern company, number, price, size, recommended fabrics and yardages. And I could add details like when I did the project, who was it for, what fabric was used etc.

Maybe I do have too much time on my hands, but when you have a couple of hundred patterns, it would be super to not buy the same one or similar patterns especially when on a budget! :)

Has anyone heard of something like that??

març 18, 2007, 11:28 pm

There is software out there for crafters to catalog their fabrics yarns and patterns but according to those that have used it, it falls short of the mark of being really useful. I'll try to remember the name of it, but according to the people who have used it, it's not what they had in mind. I also have a lot of patterns that I'd love to catalog. But what I've ended up doing is cataloging them on a spreadsheet starting from the most expensive ones and working my way through them. I figure I'd rather not buy a second copy of a $10 pattern but it makes little difference if I buy a second copy when they go on for 99 cents or 1.99 at the fabric store. So I've got a list of all my Kwik Sew patterns because they no longer have a local outlet where they go on sale. I also have a lot of Jalie patterns and quite a collection of Burda's as well. The big 3 patternmakers Simplicity, Butterick, McCalls are ones I seldom use and even if I bought two copies by mistake it's not much loss because I only buy them on sale. Eventually I'll get them all listed. Of course, that assumes I'll stop buying!!

març 21, 2007, 1:37 pm

You know my pain!! I wonder how much trouble it would be to try to create something on my own. I hear there is bar code software out there and there is plenty of database crap. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to continue to use Excel. Good tip about entering the most expensive first. That's going to be my approach in beginning to enter this stuff. Good luck getting your patterns cataloged!

març 25, 2007, 11:53 am

I've just become aware of those little bar code scanners and I don't know how the coding system works. Do you have to have a lookup database where the information is crossreferenced or is the information actually coded in the bar code. Does anyone know the answer to that question? My guess is that a certain pattern of bars references a corresponding pattern of bars in a database that gives you the details of the item. That database would be available only to retailers. I can't imagine that the bar codes themselves can encode that much information but perhaps they could. Believe it or not, this used to be my field when I was still working (computer programming/database design/systems analysis) but I never worked on anything that used bar codes so I don't know how the bar code info is stored. Wouldn't it be ideal if the code contained all the info we needed to at least have the pattern number and company appear. I'd jump at buying a bar code scanner if that were true. Even entering those details would be a time saver and you could then at leisure fill in any additional information yourself from the online pattern catalogs. I have tried (in vain) to come upwith a way to use the online catalogs as a link to my database so by clicking on a link in the database it would take you to the appropriate place in the catalog but that didn't work well either. I should have another go at it really because that seems to be the ideal solution. There *must* be a way to put the HTML into your database and do the lookup on a site that holds all the major pattern companies like It has everything there that I might own, so it's as complete as I could get in one site. I must think on that one a bit more and do a bit of testing. Give another try to HTML code embedded in the database.

ag. 17, 2008, 9:50 pm

I've heard of wishing the same system for the same reason but not a data base that will do it. Let me know if you figure it out. I have way more than 200 patterns and then there are books on sewing and quilting and crafts. I'm with you on trying nor to buy repeats.

ag. 27, 2008, 1:47 pm

I currently use a software called "Readerware" to organize my books, music and videos. It came with a little bar code reader that makes entering new items into the database so easy that it's ridiculous.

I'm currently trying to talk the creator of this software into creating a variant of the software to allow me to organize my sewing patterns just as easily, I'll let you know if I hear anything back.

feb. 10, 2011, 12:55 pm

I'm using a software called PatternFile ( I have over a hundred patterns and it's a little slow once I got that many patterns in my system but so far I'm loving it. The program has auto-fill feature that fills in the pattern info for you and friend sharing. I get to look at what patterns my friends have and either ask them if they like the pattern or if I can just borrow it. What's really awesome is being over a friends house and talking projects who also has the program and getting to jump on her computer and showing her what I have. The website says that they plan to come out with a mobile app. So can't wait to see how that goes. As for buying multiple copies of patterns, if it's a good pattern, I'll buy several copies just in case I lose a piece or a piece gets too warn out. I also end up getting them in several sizes because my friends span a wide range of sizes.