I will be the first to raise my hand and admit… I’m an iPhone addict. After seeming like the last person on earth to have one (I know that’s not true, but you know how that feels sometimes) my hubby and I finally saved up and picked up some smartphones to see what all the fuss was about.
I’ve been hopeless ever since. I’ve used it for everything from planning a wedding, to navigating a foreign country, to of course, running a business. Yup, this little phone has a whole folder devoted to all things Urban Threads, and it’s also a great place for all my crafting resources. If you know where to look, there are a whole host of great apps that make your handmade life easier.
So, here’s a list of 10 crafty apps I’ve found that might just be your next favorite thing:
Apps For Inspiration:
Craftgawker is the place to go to get your fix of all things crafty. It’s a collective resource of inspirational images and projects to inspire your crafting, and best of all it’s free! The app lets you scroll through hundreds of thumbnail images to get inspired, and you can just click on any to read more about it or visit the original posting. If you sign up for a craftgawker account, you can even save your favorites on the app for later looking. I’ve tried this one myself, and I love it.
Etsy Addict is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a place to get your Etsy fix on the go. The first and arguably still the best Etsy app, it works very like browsing the site, with the ability to search with multiple options, add favorites, browse by category etc. Plus, if you’re an Etsy seller, you can keep tabs on your feedback and sales count.
So, if you’re the kind of person who’s afraid someone is going to snap up that to-die-for handmade purse while you’re away from your computer, Etsy Addict is your answer. Or therapy. Mind you, the app is probably a lot cheaper.
If you follow blogs, the simple fact is you need a mobile reader. Blogs are a key source of inspiration and a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the craft world. The truth is, the reader you pick may depend on the way you keep track of your feeds online. I use Google reader online, so my favorite free reader for my phone is MobileRSS. It’s simple to use and keeps me up to date with the latest posts from my favorite blogs.
Bottom line… the best source of craft inspiration comes from blogs, and so your phone needs a feed reader.
Apps For Crafting:
If you’re one of those obsessive fabric hoarders (you know who you are) there’s a better way to navigate your stash than shoved guiltily in the back of a closet. Unless you’re one of those seemingly endless bloggers who have their whole fabric stash annoyingly organized in neat little color coordinated stacks in a highly photogenic room (or I should say, have the ability to KEEP it that way for more than 2 days), then this app is for you.
Fabric Stash lets you to keep a record of your fabric, with up to two photos per swatch, and allows you to tag and catalogue each piece so you can search later by color, fabric type, etc. Though it will take some serious time and effort to catalogue your whole stash on the phone, once you do, you have a permanent record of all that fabric you have, so next time you’re at the store and wondering if you really need another skull pattered fabric, a quick glance at your phone might tell you that the 5 you already have might be sufficient.
I haven’t yet tried this one out, but I’m hearing good things. I will say the graphics leave a little to be desired, but as long as the functionality works, I’m all for it.
A handy little calculator that estimates the yardage needed when the width of the selected fabric is not listed on the pattern. Much simpler than a calculator, and a lot more specific. I have heard complaints that due to the spinner setup, there are odd limitations on how large a piece you can convert. Still, if you buy fabric enough, the roughly three dollars spent might be worth saving the headache of doing the math yourself.
Planet Embroidery is one of the few apps out there I’ve found that’s directly for machine embroiderers. The app produces text-only embroidery designs for embroidery machines in several file formats that you can e-mail to yourself once you’ve set up the file the way you like it. The app comes with several fonts to choose from, and covers most basic embroidery file types. The really nice thing about this app is that it’s free, so you might as well download it just to see if they have some fonts you may not have on your machine.
Judith Baker Montano’s Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Guide — Free Version
This app is essentially a teaser for the paid app, but it still puts a lot of nice resources at your fingertips. The free app gets you started with two videos and 10 different stitches, with nicely illustrated step by step versions of each. For someone just starting off in hand embroidery, these first few are a welcome resource. If you wish to expand your stitches, you can add additions for $3.99. While that seems a little steep to me, they do include up to 60 basic stitches in some, and if you stitch a lot, it can be an invaluable resource at your fingertips.
Price: FREE (+$3.99 per addition)
Easy Stitch is a very popular app that covers crochet, embroidery and knitting with step-by-step instructions and full color illustrations. The detail that goes into each tutorial is impressive and easy to follow, which makes the app price a little easier to handle. Generally viewed as one of the best apps out there if you’re looking to get started with an easy how-to guide.
Calling all knitters! This one is for you. This free app turns your phone into a digital counter that can keep track of rows completed, pattern rows, increase rows, and repeats. Plus updates have been make to make sure the app doesn’t go to sleep, and saves your place in case you get interrupted by a phone call or something. Pah. Imagine that. A phone call on your iPhone. What do people think we use this thing for anyway?
Easy, functional, and free! What more can you ask for?
Apps For Crafty Businesses:
Weave is a promising little beta app that was specifically made with crafty businesses in mind. You have to contact the developers to get ahold of the beta, but it’s very simple to download and very worth testing. It’s basically a very powerful to-do list that’s meant to organize a small biz owner’s crazy life.
As well as combining everyday tasks with projects, it also helps you track expenses and income so you can see how your business is doing. I’ve yet to really run it through its paces, but I like the interface so far. Plus, as it’s in beta form, now’s your chance to have a crack at it and see what kind of features it could use!
Armed with these crafty apps, you’ll never be far from inspiration or resources for all your handmade hobbies. Do you have any favorite craft apps I didn’t list here? How about Android users, what apps do you covet? Share in the comments, and happy crafting to all you smartphone addicts!