StuffStash proposal

fabric stash

For my 1ʹ 2ʹ 10ʹ project, I’d like to create a craft-supply shopping and inventory website, provisionally titled stuffstash.com.

There are lots of great craft sites—such as Ravelry.com, for knitting and crocheting, and PatternReview.com, Vintage Sewing Pattern Wiki, and BurdaStyle.com, for sewing—that allow registered users to catalog their material or pattern stashes—stash being the most common term for the sprawling collection of supplies that crafters tend to accumulate over time. None of these sites seems to have a dedicated mobile version, however, and none of them allows one to record all the little bits that a project requires—pattern, fabric or yarn, notions, needles. This is unfortunate, as it would be really useful to be able to look up, while one are in a store, what one has and what one needs.

The website would have uses at all three interaction distances.

The mobile application should have a clean, simple interface that’s optimized for (a) looking stuff up when you’re in the fabric or yarn store and (b) forcing other people to look at a slide show of your finished or in-progress projects. The shopping lookup would have two paths—pattern first or material first. That is, you’re either holding a pattern in your hand and trying to remember what fabrics or yarns you have at home, and how much, or you’re fondling some yarn or fabric and trying to think of what you could make out of it and how much you’d need to buy to do so.

Other handy features to have while craft-supply shopping would be a unit converter, a reference chart of yarn sizes (there are several systems for indicating yarn weight—names such as “worsted” and “fingering,” recommended stitches per inch + needle size, wraps per inch, supposedly industry-standard numbered categories, etc.), needle inventory, and notions inventory (e.g., 1 × 7˝ black zipper, 24 × 3/4˝ rhinestone buttons). For each pattern in your collection, you’d want to be able to include

  • photos or illustrations of each view;1
  • the notions needed (thread, buttons, seam tape, beads, etc.);
  • the quantity of material or yarn needed;2
  • the kinds of material or yarn recommended by the publisher or pattern author; and
  • the URL where the complete pattern can be found, if applicable.

All the gnarly data entry would happen in a regular browser, of course, because typing on a phone or iPod Touch completely sucks. It would be great to be able import data from Ravelry and PatternReview, but only Ravelry seems to have an API. CSV import might also come in handy. And one should be able to print a shopping list for a given pattern, to carry to the store, for those [me] whose phones are not qualified to do anything other than make calls.

10ʹ

The project slide show function would be appropriate for TV viewing, so that one could delight one’s loved ones with a slide show of all the stuff one has been making.

  1. A sewing pattern envelope typically shows photos or stylized drawings of several options, named with letters or numbers—View A, View 1. It also includes line drawings of the front and back of the finished garment.
  2. Yardage for sewing patterns is traditionally shown as a matrix of all the options for each garment size, fabric width, fabric direction (“with nap,” i.e., monodirectional print or texture, vs. “without nap,” i.e., a fabric in which there is no difference between up and down), and view (see note 1).

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