Sew Savvy

IPAD - PDF Doll Clothes Patterns

Why I love my IPAD 2!   I have to travel a good distance to visit my Grandchildren. I go so often to CO. that I have left a wardrobe there so I can travel light.   I have a spare sewing machine stored there too, so I can enjoy visiting my Grandson and not miss sewing. Neat thing about the IPAD is that I can take all my PDF patterns for AG size doll clothes with me.  When I want to sew all I have to do is print the pattern, with the IPAD I don't have to pick and choose which pattern(s) to take.  I can bring all 120 plus of them.

Keeping the printed out PDF patterns organized
With my current interest in sewing clothes for American Girl dolls, I've seen my collection of patterns grow by leaps and bounds. In order to reign in the chaos of over 120 plus PDF patterns I have resorted to using 2 inch binders filled with clear plastic sheets . Each binder holds 18 - 20 patterns. With so many patterns it was necessary for me to sort them by categories: Tops, bottoms, dresses etc. Each plastic sleeve is home to the printed out PDF Pattern instructions and the the cut out pattern pieces which I printed on card stock and laminated.  I use a fabric pen to trace the pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric.  Before cutting out I secure the traced outline with a few pins.

A tip from the Bears

If you've ever shopped at may have noticed that the majority of their clothes have
hanging ties on the skirts and pants.   They come in handy and make it easier to keep outfits together on one hanger.    I've seen  hangers with clips on them online and I really like the wooden ones but I have far too many outfits to do that.   So I picked up some 1/16 nylon cord in the drapery section of JoAnns and made my hanging ties.    I cut the cord 7.5 inches long and tied a slip knot after folding the cord in half and sewed a tie at  both side seams.


  1. I have to tell you, I saw your pattern keeping system, and I did the same thing for all my own pattern designs and pieces. I also have pages for collars, yokes, and sleeve that mix and match with select bodices numbered to match. ie, collars marked A will fit bodices marked A and so on. I also love to organize, I think it is part of designing! Problem is I sometimes spend more time on redesigning my systems that actually using them!

  2. Very nice!! I hadn't seen your system and I LOVE it! I do keep my patterns in binders but yours are organized so beautifully! Love the Ipad tips too!
    Renee (Dollhouse Designs)

  3. Thanks for sharing. I love the idea of having pages for collars, yokes etc to mix and match. I have not tried that but with all the patterns I have I will have to play with my cut outs and see what might work with what for a new what.

  4. That's a very good idea. I'm just now starting to collect AG patterns and my 2 inch binder is starting to get full. I will probably have to do what you are doing soon.

  5. Mom has been hooked on dolls for a while now. She has over 200 and various kinds. I had kept my Saucy Walker from '51 and she no longer has her original dress on but I still have it.We found that there are some smaller size so now she has several of those and we found some the same size as my original so she has several sisters, then we found a 36" on and she just had to have her too. Those off ebay. We started making clothes for AG dolls to give as Christmas gifts to little girls at church. Well not having a doll to fit she ordered her one and one for me. Then I wanted Ivy with chopped dark hair and her friend, Julie. Then Mom thought she would buy one (Rebecca) for her G G Granddaughter. She turned 5 in Nov. We didn't give it to her before AG came out with their new Doll of the year...Isabelle. Yep her Granddaughter's name...Isabella (close enough) so we have 6 and waiting for Isabelle to go on sale or Nov. which ever comes first.
    How did you get them on your Ipad 2? I would like to have my patterns on mine so if I am out shopping I can look how much material I need. Thanks

    1. Hi, Sounds like your doll collections is expanding quite nicely. :>) The patterns that I have on my IPAD came as a PDF "download" so it was no problem having them on my computer and/or IPAD. I do not have any of my older paper patterns from the major pattern companies on my IPAD. However, I am starting to see a trend with the major pattern companies as they have started offering some of their patterns as a download in PDF form.

      I also have on my IPAD a program called Sewing Kit HD. The program makes it easy for me to have an inventory of all my paper patterns and download patterns, (not the pattern pieces) but pictures of the front and back of the pattern envelope and all the fabric info and notions info are on the back of the envelope. This programs helps me to not buy duplicate patterns and purchase fabric etc. The Sewing Kit HD app will solve your dilemma regarding being out could quickly see what you have and need.

      Hope that helps....Suzi

  6. Hi,
    I have my pattern covers copied & in color on both sides in clear pockets. They are in a 3 ring binder that I grab & take with me. I also has tiny scrap of what fabric that I have with aprox of how much I have on hand. I can match up sale things. I give all of my clothes & dolls away so I try to use every scrap & buy on the very best sale I can get.

  7. I have stored my patterns in file folders; thiat hasn't worked out very well. I've been thinking about using binders, so your suggestion is perfect and timely. I hadn't decided on what size to use. I love the plastic sheets idea. This may sound silly, but I sometimes forget what I have in my pattern inventory.