Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sewing Kit HD

This app is a great concept with seriously flawed execution. This should have been released as a beta or even alpha version -- for free. It's simply not worth $9. To add insult to injury, I purchased this app weeks ago and there hasn't been a single update.

I love the idea of a sewing app that tracks patterns, notions and fabric. Bonus because this is not just for your collection, but you can also tie things to a specific project. Brilliant! Just what we all wanted.

The aggravation comes with the app's clunky navigation. It's neither intuitive nor streamlined. There are times when the fabric types load automatically, but the notions never do. When you add them manually, you get generic choices like "zipper." Really? Why not give me the option of selecting the type and size? If you want that level of detail, I guess that's why there are Notes. Backup to Dropbox is manual.

This app is very buggy; I don't expect this with a $9 app. The big appeal is the barcode scanner. However, the databases are incomplete! I scanned about nine recent McCall patterns. Some loaded fine. Others loaded without an image. Some are nowhere to be found in the database. Scanning thread spools proved to be just as frustrating. I'd started with the simple task of black and white thread in different sizes from Mettler and Gutermann. They don't all come up in the app's database.

Sometimes when you scan a pattern, the fabric types populate. When they don't, it's because all of the fabric types aren't in the database. How hard was that data to obtain before the launch of the app if you're working in partnership with the pattern company??

Even the language and symbols used in the app are irksome. The text is overly formal in some places and not quite right in others. "Threads" and "Inspirations" (plural instead of singular) annoy me. The red circle with a slash through it means both stop and go back. Who does that in web/app design??

I was hoping that this app could replace the combination of apps and sites I use to track my tiny sewing world. My fabric stash is on a secret Pinterest board. I snap a picture and type in the specifics for each piece. Pattern Review tracks my patterns; I enter all of the relevant envelope info. I track projects on Evernote. Each note contains a pattern pic and any alteration and construction notes. Evernote has desktop and mobile apps and is cloud based. You can get to your notes from anywhere. I use Grocery King for Android as my shopping list. Because I've been using it for years, I've built a pretty extensive database. I love that I can do price comparisons. There is an Apple version on the way. I use Google Drive to track purchased thread and tapes.

However, all is not lost in the world of ready-made sewing apps. I am thoroughly enjoying the Craftsy app (wish they would get a move on with the Android version) and the Schmetz Needle app. The Schmetz app is very utilitarian/no frills in its design, but it gets the job done. There isn't an Android version yet. I really enjoy reading Threads Magazine on Apple devices.

When you think about it, it kind of makes sense that sewing would be slow going for apps. I'm glad it's starting to get some tech attention! I'm sure our patience will be rewarded one day.

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