How the Pattern Barcode Works

If you have a Crescent Skirt or a Pendrell Blouse pattern in your stash, you’ve probably noticed the colourful, pointy-looking barcode at the back of the pattern. Does anyone know what it’s there for?

I wanted to put illustrations instead of photos on the envelope cover, so that it was easy to picture the pattern in a variety of fabrics and colours. How often are you swayed by the fabric choices and garments on the cover of a pattern? Or worse, turned off because of the fabric that’s used? Fabric and colour are such personal choices, and I didn’t want my own favourite colour and fabric choices to affect your imagination.

On the other hand, I know how important it is to see what patterns will look like, all made up! So I wanted to have both options available, both the photographs and flat illustrations.

If you click this barcode, it will link to a Photo Gallery of finished garments using this pattern. Isn’t that cool? Let me show you how it works!

Here’s how it works:

You’ll need the free mobile app (get it here at and a mobile phone with internet access.

First, open the app on your phone. Then, centre the barcode in the middle of the screen.

Right away, a browser window will open to the Photo Gallery, showing photos of the finished dress.

Isn’t that cool? Technology is amazing! If you’re browsing in a fabric store and wonder what the pattern looks like, whip out your mobile phone and click the barcode to see! I can update the photos in the photo gallery, continue to add new images, and keep them looking fresh.

Have you seen these type of barcodes before? Now you know how they work!

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9 Responses to How the Pattern Barcode Works

  1. Amanda July 13, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    I saw this when I first got my iPhone, but didn’t get it since the reviews weren’t so great. But I figured I’d try again today and it works! I saw the Pendrell and Crescent photos instantly, nifty :)

  2. daiyami July 13, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    It seems to me like you could do more with that. Just linking to the photo gallery is nice, but if people considering the pattern in a store ALSO knew that you had blog posts on saving fabric, sewing the pattern up, etc, that could easily tip them into a purchase.

    The pattern envelope sends them online for metric conversions, but why not say “Sewing tips for this pattern and metric conversions available at”? Which would reach people who don’t have smartphones (and I think probably more than half of smartphone users still won’t have this type of app installed).

    Similarly, why not link the sewalong resources from the pattern’s page in your Pattern Store?

    Admittedly, perhaps you don’t want everyone to think of you as their personal tutor just because they bought an $18 pattern. That could easily become problematic (maybe close comments/add a disclaimer to the sewalong posts after a certain time?). But it’s something unique that you offer, so why not make it a selling point?

  3. Dei July 13, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Ah, very smart. QR codes are SO convenient.

  4. Alessa July 13, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Huh, smart stuff! Too bad I don’t have a smartphone yet… I like daiyami’s idea of linking resources and tutorials or mentioning them on the pattern/in the instructions.

  5. Funnygrrl July 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I love that you have illustrations on your envelopes. And with the added feature of seeing photos too!
    Women who sewed decades ago must be amazed at how the sewing community uses technology today.
    Great feature, Tasia!

  6. Tanit-Isis July 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    So that’s what that’s for! Nifty :). It worked like a charm. I’ve seen various square barcodes on nearly everything nowadays (adds on the train, for one). I figured they were for use with phones but was never sure quite how…

  7. Tors July 14, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    That is AMAZING! Technology’s so clever nowadays, I think back sometimes to the changes technology’s made just in my own short life time and am constantly gob smacked. This is such a clever idea, I’m going to be looking for those barcodes everywhere now!

  8. Kath July 14, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    They are popping up everywhere – I was watching a cookery programme where they flashed up a barcode. Cue desperate scrabbling for the ipod touch! It took you straight to the recipe and a shopping list, which is sheer genius. No more scribbling down vague notes on ingredients.

    Can’t wait to get my patterns and try it out!


  1. Sewing School: Patterns 101… envelope art, technical drawings and descriptions | The Snug Bug - July 14, 2011

    […] {Side note! Tasia just posted yesterday about how you can quickly see pictures of her patterns by using a super-cool app! Check out her¬†post} […]