Friday, June 11, 2010

Please Welcome my First iPhone App: ✄ Fabric U ✄

Yeah, this was the big secret project I was hinting about for a month.  While  I was talking it up amongst friends, I kept it on the down low online. It felt weird in that respect because I'm on Facebook nearly nonstop (thanks, iPhone). I just didn't want to jinx the project...which has been incubating in my head for a while.

I had no idea how challenging it would be to write an iPhone app. Really and truly, the hardest part is getting all those photos and I have nearly near 800 of 'em on my app. Most of those I took, the rest are from the Creative Commons section of Flickr.  My task was much easier thanks to my partner, Sutro Media, which has an incredibly easy online interface for uploading images and text. It could not be simpler, really.

For all the years that I've been sewing and manhandling fabric (isn't that what you're doing when you're punching a hole repeatedly into fabric with a sewing machine?), I've learned so much more about fabrics, some of which I take for granted since I see them nearly weekly at Vogue Fabrics. Take Juliette Double knit. Who knew that Jean-Paul Gaultier uses this knit for pull-on pants? Since I'm an exercise nut, I'd like to try that. Or that mosquito netting is so versatile? Or that even cheese cloth, which can be bought by the bolt at Vogue, has a multitude of uses? I didn't and now I do.

What's so neat about doing this app is that there are so many more fabrics to list. Eventually I'd like to have 300 on there. By the time I'm done with that, there will be even more fabrics to add with all the new technology cranking out new textiles daily. It's a terrific gig for me because I never get tired of petting fabric. Never! I'm always thinking about new stuff to make, even if I haven't touched the sewing machine in a while. Yes, I'm thinking about sewing while I'm knitting. Crazy!

And the app world is full of possibilities. It's like a candy store, half  full. I look up potential apps in the iTunes store...only to find that what I have in mind doesn't exist...yet. Yet is the operative word.  These are exciting times, friends. Exciting!

I should add my app isn't strictly a list. You can sort by types. For example, you can sort by Eco-friendly to find everything in that category. Ditto designer. I think my favorite feature to date is the comment section...that'd be handy for say something like "______ is great for Butterick ____!" or "Emmaonesock has a great selection of _____ right now!" So keeping it as real-time as possible will make   ✄ Fabric U ✄  useful for you.

Finally, I should note what my app is not. It's not a stash organizer or a sewing machine.  It's not a talk-show host or a seam ripper. It's not even a pair of scissors, contrary to the dingbats ✄ you see in the name. My apologies. For those of you who have iPhones or iTouches, it's an on-the-go tool. Those of you who are using Loseit! or other apps know what I'm talking about. Others, well, you can listen in and learn.

Anyhow, if you've got one of the abovementioned devices, and you're dying to write a review, let me know and I can send a promo code so you can download  ✄ Fabric U ✄ for free. I've got a limited number of freebies, so act fast.  And pretty please with turbinado sugar on top let me know how I can improve ✄ Fabric U ✄.  Last but not least, you're most welcome to join my ✄ Fabric U ✄ Facebook group (there's a link on the blog sidebar; that's the left side of the page). That's all, happy sewing, friends!


Marie said...

I would love to try this app out for you and send you a review!! Let me know. marie

Nancy W. said...

Sounds interesting. I would love to give it a try. Also, I'll be checking out the facebook page. THanks!

Melissa Fehr Trade said...

oh cool. I'm game! I've got some money in my iTunes account so this puppy's coming with me now. :D I figure it'll sit nicely alongside FabricStash and PatternPal...

Kristin said...

Congratulations on your first app! It looks really useful, especially as a fabric store companion.

Anna said...

So exciting! Congratulations.

Nezumi said...

Congratulations on your first app!
It looks interesting.