5 Must Have Sewing Apps: No. 1

This is the first of five posts covering five must-have sewing apps to make more of what you love.

Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in the apps, nor do I know the developers. I am not being paid to review them. All apps are iOS. All opinions and biases are my own:)

Today, I’ll cover Cora – Sew Your Fabric Stash, by Algona Studios LLC, Version 1.7.

Cora is for you if you:

  • have to go look at your fabric stash to remember what’s there
  • can’t remember the fabric content of a piece you have in your hand
  • don’t remember if the fabric is pre-washed so you wash it again
  • think you might have bought this or something similar before
  • would like to buy more but can’t remember where you got it, or the designer or what it’s called
  • need to make a budget and don’t know how money you need for fabric

Features

Cora helps you track basics, like where the fabric is in your studio/home/sewing spot and whether it is pre-washed (and therefore pre-shrunk) as well as fabric features like material type and composition, appearance, size, where you bought it, and the company and designer who made it. Here’s my entry filled out in Cora for a fabric I just bought:

Fabric Information Fields

Once you enter this information for a few fabrics, then you can view your stash as a list or a grid of photos and suddenly see that you like patterns, or solids, or primary colors. You can also search for just the right type of fabric for your next project by using filters. I love these two: “prewashed” and “current length is at least……”

List and grid view of fabric stash (left side)
Filter selection (right side)

Then you can sort the results to provide greater granularity. These are my wovens sorted red to black:

Woven Filter, Sort Red to Black

Business Model: Freemium

Cora is for the first 5 fabrics, $6.99 one-time fee for unlimited. (as of this writing.)

Pros and Cons

Below are the pros and cons I found by using Cora for my own fabric and by comparing the app to Nielsen’s 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design.

Pros

  • Cora allows a PDF or CSV export of your fabric inventory.
  • Enables you to calculate the value of your fabric stash (or just how bad your fabric habit is:).
  • Comprehensive list of fabric information fields of several apps with this functionality
  • Defaults include metric or imperial measurement systems
  • Suggests answers that the user can select or type rather than recall when filling out fabric information. For example, Category allows you to select Knit, Woven or Other. Type suggests Voile, Suiting, etc to get you thinking in the right direction.

Cons

  • iPad and iPhone versions of Cora do not sync with each other.
  • There’s no error prevention. For example, the novice to intermediate user will likely not know all the possible fabric Types. A multi-select feature would help.
  • There are no definitions that help standardize terms. For example, what does “Suiting” mean? A pop-up glossary would help.
  • If you have a lot of fabric it can be overwhelming to think about entering all of this info. Find a way to make it more bite-sized by entering only new fabric, or only fabric that you want to use this month. Over time, you’ll build a more complete picture of who you are as expressed by your fabric stash.

Totally Worth It!

This app does a great job of helping you keep track of what fabrics you have, how much you have of them and much, much more. The app is totally worth $6.99 because it will save you that much in 1 trip to the fabric store.

What’s Next

For many people, buying fabric is not the end of the process. It’s just the beginning or a necessary part of the overall. Next, I’ll cover an app that makes keeping track of different people’s measurements a breeze.

Feedback, comments, questions welcome.

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