Who would have thought that a computer program and I would become best friends. But alas I have found one that truly understands me. Some time ago I embarked on a project of organising my sewing patterns … I have approximately 400 so this was never going to be an easy task. How would I do it? What would be the best method of sorting, by style, by brand, by date, by number … and then no matter which way I grouped them together in drawers I would still have to rummage through them when I am having one of those ‘what shall I make‘ days.
So I had the brilliant idea of taking photos of all my patterns and creating a photo catalogue. That way when I wanted to paw through the patterns I could do so with my lap top from the comfort of a lounge chair. Ok so my brilliant idea did have some flaws. I would have to manually enter the information for all the patterns into the data base, just adding the numbers alone was a drag … and I wanted more! I wanted yardage, fabric type, sizing and notions at my fingertips … where would I find the time to enter all this information? And so I introduce you to my newest gal pal PATTERNFILE, and what a doozy she is!
This amazing new friend of mine downloads easily from the internet (for a small fee) and not unlike other great software such as that music thingy that automatically downloads the album information, cover art and the like, this does the same but with your sewing patterns! Yes you heard it right people all I have to do is enter the pattern number and brand and hey presto the pattern pictures and back envelope information are automatically loaded into your own private database of patterns. This nifty little friend of mine has saved me months worth of data entry! You can also edit the pattern details to add your own styling notes, search tags. sizing and more. The real clincher for me however was when I read that the PatternFile people are in the process of adding vintage patterns to their auto fill database. Considering my pattern collection comprises of about 70% vintage patterns this was definitely the deal maker.
So this is what she looks like…
The funniest thing of all about this project is that it took me several nights on the lounge room floor numerically ordering my 400+ patterns into drawers much to the amusement or perhaps bemusement of my housemate (trust me she doesn’t use my name and the word ‘organised’ in the same sentence very often). Whilst reading the company background online I was more than charmed to find out that the story to how PatternFile came about went a little like this … “The PatternFile project started when my roommate, Liz, was sitting in our living room organizing her collection of over a hundred patterns into pattern file boxes and listing each pattern on the outside of the box with a permanent marker. She turned to me in frustration and said, “Can’t you just write me a program to search my patterns so I know what I own?” … now that’s what I call friendship!