Sewing and Technology: News About Our Pattern Barcodes

Hey, everyone! Today’s post is a quick announcement about the barcodes on the back of our pattern envelopes.

Did you know we have a little QR code on the back of our patterns? I talked about it in this 2011 post here, and followed up with another post here.

barcode on the back of the pattern envelope

What happens if you scan that code? You get to view an online gallery of images, showing the finished garment. Here’s a demo on how it works, with our Lonsdale pattern!

Why? Because when I started Sewaholic Patterns, I wanted to feature line drawings instead of garments on the covers. Have you ever looked at a sewing pattern envelope and passed on it because of the fabric choice? It’s easy to do if it doesn’t suit your tastes or personal style. I wanted the focus to be on the design and its style lines, not the garment photos.

At the time, resources were very limited. I was starting a business on a tiny budget, where hiring a model and a photographer were way out of reach! I dreamed of one day being able to have beautiful images, and when I did, I could update the galleries with better photography.

harwood photo gallery

It was a cool way to use new technology (at the time, in 2010) and make our patterns interactive and useful. Each gallery is located on the Sewaholic blog, so if a new customer is browsing patterns, they’ll find useful sewing tips too!

Our first tag on the Pendrell Blouse was rainbow – CMYK colours – and then we realized we could match the colours to the envelope colours! More aesthetically pleasing that way.

qr code barcode on back of patterns

What’s happening now?

The Microsoft Tag app is no longer supported as of August 19th, 2015. The app services are taken over by a new app called ScanLife, which is meant to step in where the Microsoft Tag left off.

The problem? It only works with the unaltered, ‘rainbow’ tags! So basically, only the Pendrell Blouse pattern’s tag will work in the future.

We’re changing the design for future pattern envelopes but all of our current stock has old QR tags.

I wanted to let you know in case you came across the tag and found it not very useful, or wondered what the purpose was. It was useful at one point!

The thing about technology is that it’s constantly changing. So if you commit to something new and cool in 2010, it may not be around in 2015. Something to think about if you’re making decisions for the long term!

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10 Responses to Sewing and Technology: News About Our Pattern Barcodes

  1. Kerry August 7, 2015 at 7:49 am #

    Interesting – it’s so hard to keep up with technology and second guess what will stick around and be popular. And you’re also the whim of what companies decide too!

    • Tasia August 7, 2015 at 9:16 am #

      I know right? At least it wasn’t something integral to the patterns. Imagine if it was how we linked to the instructions, or something like that!
      It’s really interesting how much has changed in five years. Both Pinterest and Instagram have appeared on the scene, hashtags are now a thing, social media went from a nice to have, to a must have for a lot of companies. PDF patterns weren’t as popular and now it’s the way many new designers start out. I wonder what the next five years of changes will bring!

  2. Laura August 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    I love that you just show the outline of the dress- I can’t be swayed favorably or unfavorably by the fabric chosen in a photo and can better see what the pattern is. I would find it helpful to suggest fabric choices (linen, rayon, cotton, etc). Thanks for your hard work.

    • Tasia August 10, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

      I’m glad you like it that way! I also find that fabric choice affects my instant evaluation of a pattern. I may look more closely at the design lines, but I’m instantly attracted to patterns where the samples are sewn in fabrics I like. So I didn’t want to create the opposite effect, where people didn’t want to look closer if they didn’t like our fabric choice. :) We do have suggested fabrics on the envelope back! Often we’ll go into more detail on the blog, too.

  3. Geri August 8, 2015 at 5:48 am #

    I remember when the code scanning apps came out and how cool they were, but I don’t think they’re necessary now. Look at the pattern envelope, you have a Web address below the code so people can get the app. I say forget the codes and apps, just put a shortened link to a website or pinterest page :)

    • Tasia August 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      It’s true, the novelty has worn off and it’s just as easy to find the web address of a product you like. You don’t need a code to find the website. But hey, you never know, it could have turned into the most popular way for people to access the internet! Then we would have been ahead of the trend.

  4. Annette August 10, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    Five years doesn’t seem like such a long time, but in terms of technology, it sure is! Even 5 months can be a long time! Anyway, very cool about what is happening and why, and what your codes could and should mean! Or something like that! Annette

    • Tasia August 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

      I know! Technology changes so quickly. And we hear about the changes because information travels quickly, too. Hard to believe it’s been five years since we first created our pattern envelopes!

  5. irishsaver August 15, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    Good to know just found your site and look forward to learning some cool information and teaching my daughter some nice tips too as well as myself Thanks !!!

  6. Katrin August 29, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    It always sad when good technologies aren’t supported anymore.

    You could use the good old QR-Code instead. There are great ways to design them too. But the link you’re creating have to be permanent, so you should build the structure of your websites accordingly.