Pattern Envelope Template

pattern envelope template a4

When you operate as a highly frugal seamstress, you naturally begin to develop a variety of tricks and penny-pinching measures for saving money and cutting corners when sewing.

As part of a new series on my blog called Spartan Sewing, I’d like to share some of these tips with you!

Having a lust for 1950’s fashion means that it’s often difficult to stay on-budget. With select vintage sewing patterns reaching $200 in price (value is debatable…), what’s a Spartan Seamstress to do? One way that I cut corners in this area are buying incomplete patterns (missing inane little things like facings or rectangle pattern pieces for skirts that I can easily draft myself, or whatever), patterns with obliterated envelopes, or even patterns with missing envelopes (like most vintage mail-order patterns come nowadays)! But then I have this little misshapen plastic bag in my drawer with random pattern pieces inside and is a complete nuisance to organize.

It hit me like a bazooka: I’m an anal-retentive graphic designer, I really shouldn’t be having these kind of issues!!

I decided to try my hand at creating my own pattern housings from A4 pieces of paper, but I was frustrated and disappointed with the amount of envelope templates from A4 sheets available on the web, which is why I decided to create my own and make them available to you today as a free PSD (Photoshop) download! This is what it looks like:


But wait, there’s more! (I feel like a dodgy salesperson)

I have also included fully scalable vector logos within the file of some of the most popular sewing pattern brands, free for you to resize and position on the pattern however you’d like (whether you want it at the top or running down the side, or on the back too, but smaller, etc etc). The brands are:

  • Simplicity
  • Butterick
  • McCall’s
  • Vogue
  • Advance
  • Marian Martin
  • Anne Adams

All the text is editable, so you can just substitute the numbers to match your pattern, delete and re-position wherever you want. The font I’ve used is Century Gothic which happens to be the best font in the world and if you don’t have it, you ought to get it.

Steps to making your own pattern envelope:

  1. Source high-quality images of your pattern online. Go and Google that shit. Here is the Etsy listing for one I recently used, Advance 7027. Etsy has the ability to save large, high-quality images from sellers so sourcing them from there is a good idea if you can. Just click on the “zoom” link under the bottom right of the images and check how large they are. Smaller than the one I linked? Look elsewhere.
  2. Bring the image of the front cover into Photoshop and cut out the illustrations on the front using the polygon select tool (don’t even think about using the Magic Wand..). To soften the edges to be less angular, go to Select -> Modify -> Feather… (SHIFT+F6) and pick a low number, like 1 or 0.5. Now CTRL+X and CTRL+V onto the front section of your template. You can adjust the curves (CTRL+M) and colours if you need to.
  3. For the pattern details at the back of the envelope, roughly select around just the text area and paste it into the back section your template. Scale to fit (try not to scale up too much or it’ll be blurry). You will want to desaturate this image (since it will undoubtedly be an aged yellow colour) and adjust the curves until the background is pure white. (Tip: On the curves graph, see how there’s a diagonal line? Grab the end at the top right and move it left until the background disappears. If the text is too light, click in the centre of the line and drag down a bit until it’s readable).
  4. This is a bit of a no-brainer, but change the text on the front section to reflect the details of your own pattern.
  5. Print. Absolutely no auto-scaling allowed. The only thing that should be getting cut off by your printer is parts of the cutting guidelines, but it doesn’t take a genius to draw them back on if you really require them.

To download, click on the link below:


Thinking of sharing my file somewhere? Showing off your new covers on your site? Feel free to do so, but please credit! If you’ve found my file useful, please share using the social media icons below, and if you’re so inclined, I’d much appreciate a “Like” on Carbon Chic’s Facebook Page :)

Don’t have Photoshop? Have a pattern with a different logo? Just feel lazy and you don’t want to go to the effort? If high-quality images of the pattern exist out there somewhere (from your own scans or on the web), I will make a neat little envelope for you (that you can print yourself) for $5 (USD), just ask.

Mirinesse Update!

I received my sample much quicker than I thought I would, and it’s a real beauty! A very nice colour, easy application, and a very generous size. I’m pretty happy with what I got, and my lips are all beautiful and subtly sparkly now! :o)

Hope you’ve gotten yours too!

Oh, those Jerks

Well! Launching my scavenger hunt inside my mother’s makeup drawer (like, it’s actually a whole drawer, she was a beauty therapist so there’s a lot of stuff in there just rotting away without a care in the world), I found myself a 6-year-old bottle of mascara to use for the Clinique free-mascara-promotion before stocks ran out. I couldn’t actually open the bottle because of the dried mascara which had turned the edge of the bottle a sickly shade of rust, goop caked around the edges, but.. Good enough! (Ladies, we put this stuff on our eyelashes.. I am concerned for all y’all’s health..)

Imagine my surprise when the Clinique lady at Brisbane’s David Jones in the Myer Centre tells me that the shipments of mascara (did you hear that? “Shipments”. Must be a lot of stock coming “in the mail”, then) had been delayed and they were changing the date from February to… April. April! The outrage; I wanted goop on my eyelashes nnnnnnnow!

At the very least, I’m happy that this will give me more time to find some old bottles of mascara.

Mirinesse Cosmetics Freebie Offer

Bah-bah-dadada! I know it’s been a long time since I posted, but I’ve been a spoiled girl and tried not to take any photos of my impromptu outfit selections because I suffer from a lack of photographer at the moment and I was waiting until the previous photoshoot was at least on the next page so you couldn’t see the stark contrast between my photography skills and Sophie’s..

Anyways, I digress! Today’s post is about the superfantasticdeal that I’ve come across. Thanks to Mirinesse Cosmetics, you and a friend can get a free tube of lipgloss worth $29.95! FOR FREE!! EXCLAMATION MARK!!!!!!!


Okay, I think that thoroughly conveys my excitement on the issue.All you need to do is to “like” their page, sign up to the offer, and give a special URL generated from signing up to a friend of yours, so that they can sign up from your referral. Hey presto, you both get free lipgloss! Does that make sense? The page will probably do a better job at explaining than I do, so click away, my pretties! This promotion will expire after 1000 entries, so what are you waiting for?!

It is a marketing ploy by Mirinesse to get more likes to their page, but I mean come on, all you’re sacrificing is five minutes of your time and your social security number.

No, I’m just joking about that last part.

Free mascara?

Just to prove that I’m serious about spending (or… not spending, as it were), I present to you this super deal I’ve picked up.

From February 12 – 26th, Clinique is giving you the chance to swap your current mascara for a 6-week supply of one of their top three lash lengtheners: High Impact mascara, High Lengths mascara or Lash Power mascara. It’s their treat – there’s no purchase necessary!

So, my penny-pinching pupils, fly on over to the following counters with your old, crusty, dried-up bottles of old mascara and get some Clinique into your makeup box! Fly!

David Jones – Elizabeth Street, Bourke Street, Rundle Mall, Queens Plaza, Hay Street.

Myer – Myer Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Chadstone, Doncaster, Highpoint, Carindale, Karrinyup, Maroochydore, Chermside, Chatswood, Penrith, Indoorpilly, Carousel.

And while you’re there, you’ll be a pal and pick me up some too, right? Right? Hello?