Pattern Stash Organising? Now there’s an app for that! | App review

How big is your pattern stash?

Wait, is this a rude question?

Well, I don’t mind showing you mine, but I genuinely have no idea how big it is. Or what I really have in it. I am a glutton for sugar, fabric and patterns, not necessarily in that order. So I binge, on fabric (like my upcoming trip to Abakhan in Bolton with my friend Simona from Sewing Adventures in the Attic – quivering with anticipation!), on Burda Magazines, PDF patterns, paper patterns, on cake, you name it. Problem is that I end up with a ginormous fabric stash, a massive patterns collection and a few inches on my thighs.

And although I have no answer to the latter problem, I recently found a solution for my pattern collection management.

It is, of course, an app, what else? Please allow me to elaborate…

A few weeks ago, I saw a random post on a Facebook in a group about a new pattern organising app. It’s called quite intuitively, Sewing Patterns. It’s been developed by a lovely Danish gentleman, Claus Pedersen who can coincidentally code, to help out his sewing-loving wife, Lise.  And they made it available for the rest of the sewing world on the App store for £3.50.  READ THEIR STORY

Before we go any further, just so you don’t have any nagging doubts, I have purchased the app myself and have absolutely no affiliation with Claus and Lise whatsoever. I just think what they did is awesome and I want the sewing world to know this as well.  

How it works:

It’s a very simple concept: build a database of your patterns, with pictures, to help you keep track of what you have. There are many fields with info you can fill in for each pattern, like yardage, notions, etc, but most importantly, you can categorise each pattern in various user-defined categories. You can also add notes with additional information, like style, various design elements, etc, that will help find the right pattern for a particular fabric for example, or identify a design you might already own instead of buying a new one. It’s super simple, intuitive and easy to use.

What I love about it:

Once you add the patterns, it’s a piece of cake to categorise it, filter by keywords and in general retrieve any sort of info you might want, all at your fingertips and readily available.

The downside:

You have to enter every pattern manually. ONE BY ONE. Yup, all of them. I have to say it gets a bit addictive, especially the Burda Magazine ones. I get into some sort of a groove until I’ve done them all. And it made me realise just how darn big my pattern stash is!

Anyhow, moving on…

The details:

There are two ‘views’ of the app: a Category view, where individual patterns will be grouped into folders and a Pattern view, where all individual patterns are listed in user-defined order.

Sewing Pattern App - Sections

Categories:

You can add as many categories as you want, but you also have to upload your own picture to identify it. I opted for black icons, as I like a consistent look. If you don’t add a pic, a default icon will show.

Sewing Patterns App - Categories.jpg

I have opted for several types of categories:

  • Types of garments (Coats, Jackets, Dresses, Jumpsuits, Trousers, etc)
  • Types of patterns (Burda Magazine, PDF patterns, paper patterns)
  • Types of designers (Big 4, Indie, Burda Magazine)
  • Status (Made, Unmade)
  • Collections (All my Burda Magazine issues and my Threads Magazine issues)

Sewing Pattern App - Categories 4

You can edit the Categories (see the Edit button at the top of the screen). Here you can delete any Category already added.

If you click on Sort, you can choose from sorting Alphabetically, by Most Recent (the Category that had items added most recently) and User Defined (in order of creation, but you can drag & drop in whihcever order works for you as well).

Sewing Patterns App - Sort.jpg

If you click the + sign, you can add a new Category. That’s where you add your picture and Category Name.

And this is what a Category looks like with Patterns already added to it.

Sewign Pattern App - Category with Patterns.jpg

Patterns:

This is the best part! You can put so much info here, but if you have loads of patterns to add, you might want to keep it a bit simpler and only fill in the essentials.

Below are all the Fields available.

NB: all these categories can be filtered by to choose the pattern you are looking for in a multitude of options. So it’s up to you what you think will be most helpful.

Sewing Pattern App - Edit Pattern.jpg

Sewing Patterns App - Add Pattern 2Sewing Patterns App - Add pattern 3

One of the cool things about the app is the filtering system, in addition to the category. You can filter in the Patterns view by any of the Pattern fields you just entered. In the example below, I filtered by the Comments field, using the word ‘drawstring’.

Sewing Patterns App - Filter.jpg

So how did the app come about?

I’ll let Lise tell you more about that as I interviewed her by email for you guys.

Creating the app has been a common task for us because I needed an overview of my patterns as well as inspirations really badly!
I have sewn a lot before we got children. After 10 years’ break, I started again a couple of years ago. Nearly monthly I buy Burda Style Magazine because I like a lot of the patterns and the inspiration. I have also joined a lot of Facebook groups and get a lot of inspirations here. Often I screen print the great creations shown there but have not found a useful way to store them.
Some years ago we needed a system to simulate a dance competition. We participate in ballroom dance competitions and when we practised for the upcoming competitions, we needed to simulate the situation with the unpredictable situation of not knowing which song will be played and how long it was. We always know the order of dances. So Claus, who is a self-taught app developer, started to create an app for us where we can simulate the situation we need for our practice. This app is now available for iPhones and Android and is used all over the world with over 10K downloads.
A couple of months ago, I confronted my husband with my request for an app to take with me as my inspiration and help when I want to start a new sewing project and go fabric shopping. I would like to bring all my patterns with me so I have a lot to choose from when I find a great piece of fabric, but this is of course not possible, so the process of the app started. The inspiration could also be for the fabric already bought and hidden away in the closet. 
I had a lot of wishes for the contents of the app and at the same time, I thought it could be useful to get feedback from other dressmakers, amateurs as professionals, so I posted our ideas on some of the Danish Sewing facebook groups. We got a lot of very positive and useful feedback! Until the launch, I have been testing the app by adding my patterns to it, giving Claus feedback and he has made changes, resulting in a very useful app.
I have of course already went shopping for fabrics and it was very useful!
Right, this is turning into a big ol’ post. So I will have to come back to you with tips on what you can use it for, how to add patterns quicker and easier and in general, how to make the best use of it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS APP? WOULD YOU USE IT? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @SEWRENDIPITY.
PIN THIS FOR LATER
Sewing Patterns App review on Sewrendipity.com.png

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20 comments

      1. Probably best to speak to Claus, on their FB page. I didn’t experience crashing. Btw, there is an option to upload smaller pics, maybe it’s a storage issue?

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    1. GeoP told me about the Burda Navigator, and I checked it out, but it doesn’t actually do what I need it to. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t have the same search facilities as this one. It might take me a while, but I’m chipping at it slowly. But so far, it’s awesome, so easy to search by anything I can think of. How many Burdas have you got?

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      1. Yeah the search isn’t great I’ll admit! I have all the Burdas back to late 2009 so I’ve got quite a backlog to enter into any other system. I keep thinking this is a task that a computer should be able to do but I don’t have time to learn enough about the available software to write it myself…

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      2. Weird! I’m sorry it’s not working for you, it’s a useful little application. Fow what it’s worth, I get started by clicking the red, yellow, and black icon at top left, set the language to English, then click on the green funnel icon to go to the search. I’ll admit it took me ages to find the language settings…

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    1. My pleasure! I really love this app, but it will be a while before I make any dents in organising all my patterns. But it’s been super helpful so far to help narrow down my next coat pattern.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Can wait for both of us to get ourselves into Abakhan! I am sure we will find some good stash building fabrics. LOL

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  2. Damn. I just finished part 1 of cataloging my paper patterns on tap forms. If I had only known this was coming, I would have waited. BTW my paper pattern stash is 343, I haven’t done my PDFs or magazine patterns (which I hadn’t even thought of, damn you 8-D) yet. God help me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, that is an awesome collection! What’s tap forms? I will make a suggestion to Claus to see if there is any way to import from other systems, maybe like Excel?
      For me, the mags, well, Burda, were the main incentive. I wanted an easy way to see if I could find if I have a similar pattern before I buy a new one. Paper patterns are easy, you can just photograph front & back with the phone camera. But I really like the app!

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