Make This! More mobile apps to rev your creative engines
by Deirdre Long
dlong@annistonstar.com
Mar 31, 2013 | 3914 views |  0 comments | 278 278 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’m fairly new to the app scene — I’ve had an iPhone for a year and got an iPad about a month ago — but I’ve completely embraced it. If it’s a free app, I’ll download it in a heartbeat. I’m a little more wary of spending money on apps, especially ones more than about $3. But I’ve still managed to accumulated quite the collection of crafting, sewing, gardening and DIY apps. Here are a few of my favorites.

Sewing Kit HD

This app, for iPad and iPhone, could be great because it can organize your fabric, patterns, notions, equipment, books, sizes and projects. It “could be” great because in actuality, it’s not that great. But its potential is awesome: You scan the UPC of a commercial pattern, it uploads it to your database, and then you link the fabric to any notions you have (that you can also upload by photographing or scanning a UPC) so you know exactly what you have and what you need to complete a project.

But the UPC scanner doesn’t seem to have much in its database — of all the things with UPCs that I scanned (about a dozen patterns, and several different notions and thread), only two patterns were recognized. The process of photographing, uploading and linking all the components to a project is a bit clunky, as well. It seems there are a lot more buttons to push than necessary.

But the basic idea of the databases that link together seems solid. You can sort your fabrics by material, color, whether it’s been washed or ironed, and whether you own it or it’s on your wish list.

If you don’t mind entering all the data for all your books, notions, threads and patterns by hand, then it still is a good app. But if the UPC databases were expanded, it could be great.

Other reviewers of the app said they have had problems with crashing, but that hasn’t been an issue for me. This app does not yet support syncing across iOS devices, but the developer says that fix is coming. $8.99 by Vesta Software.

Stashanize

This app is the no-frills, less expensive version of Sewing Kit. Stashanize is simply a fabric organizer — you upload a photo, fill out a form (material, yardage, cost, designer, etc.) and you get a list and thumbnail photos of your fabric collection.

But that’s where the app ends. The biggest downside to this app is that you can’t sort the fabric, so if you want to know what blue fabrics you have, you have to look through your entire stash to find them. My current fabric organization (mostly by color, in drawers and shelves in a closet) is better than that. $2.99 by Koma Kode.

Fabric U

This app is an encyclopedia, a comprehensive A-Z (OK, actually A-Y, since the last entry is “Yarn Scramble Double Knit”) guide to about 50 different fabrics. You can sort the entries by clothing style, so if you want to make a skirt, you can see a list of all the fabrics suitable for skirts — challis, leather, linen, silk dupioni and about 40 other types. $1.99 by Sutro Media.

MagicPlan

This app really lives up to its name — the way it works is like magic. MagicPlan helps you make a floor plan of your house, which is great for remodeling or rearranging furniture. You stand in the center of a room, turn on the camera and slowly spin in a circle, using a button on the screen to mark corners — it works even through furniture.

When you reach the corner you started from, you push another button and the magic happens: The app makes a floor plan of the room. The dimensions aren’t perfect, but they can be manually tweaked. I’m planning an addition on my house — a second bathroom is a must as we begin potty training a second toddler — so this app has been very useful in planning that.
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Make This! More mobile apps to rev your creative engines by Deirdre Long
dlong@annistonstar.com

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