clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hints from Heloise: Readers share great ideas for storing patterns

Also, bags good for slipping onto wet umbrellas

Dear Readers: Greetings! We printed a hint a while back from a reader about how to put pattern pieces back into the packaging. Well, my wonderful readers have sent in many replies, so of course it's only "fitting" to share them:

Deborah L. Sutton of Fishersville, Va., says: "I have found that when I finish with a pattern, if you iron the pieces, they will fold flat and smoothly. If it's just impossible to fit all the pieces back in the original envelope, I put the original envelope and the folded pieces into a gallon-size, plastic, zipper-top bag."

Carol Brooks, via e-mail, says: "I make changes to the patterns, including tracing the pattern with my changes, so that I end up with even more tissue paper than the original pattern had. I have created a system whereby I use 9-by-12 envelopes. I cut the original envelope front and tape it on the front of the 9-by-12 envelope. Then I store the envelopes in a regular paper file box. This gives me tremendous flexibility. I even have colored hanging file folders separating the envelopes according to size, style and subject."

K. Dye of San Antonio says: "Store them in plastic bags. You can see through the plastic to the pattern envelope. Fold the pattern pieces easily to fit in the bag, and you can even add a swatch of material to remind you what material you used to make that pattern."

Catherine Sansing of San Antonio says: "Store in a manila file folder. You can cut the pattern envelope apart and spray-mount or decoupage it to the front and back of the folder. Then staple or tape over the ends of the folder to create a pouch. The folder is usually twice as big as the pattern envelope and can be stored in a standard file drawer or banker's box."

Judy Spencer of Buffalo, N.Y., says: "After putting the patterns in plastic bags, an empty, cleaned detergent box or a shoe box makes a great file to keep them in. You could cover the boxes with pretty paper if you like."

Thanks to all the readers who took the time to drop us a note. We appreciate your help. —Heloise

Dear Heloise:Another use for newspaper sleeves: I commute via bus and subway to and from work daily. I carry a folding umbrella. When it rains, I put the wet umbrella in a plastic newspaper sleeve after I'm sheltered. That way, I don't get everything or anybody wet from the rain that stays on the umbrella. —Joanne Graham, Germantown, Md.

Dear Heloise: Do you know just how far you can drive your car into the garage before bumping or hitting something?

A tennis ball suspended from the ceiling to tap the windshield when it reaches the stopping place desired is a good guide. —William F. Kuch, Columbus, Ohio

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.