New Project: Sewing Pattern Organzation Theme

My mom started collecting sewing patterns back in the eighties, we have a lovely selection of billowy nightgown and robe patterns, and I started collecting them about 5 years ago. Between the two of us we’ve managed to amass a rather, ahem, modest collection of patterns (cut and uncut) and the way we’ve always organized them leaves a lot to be desired.

Pattern Review is the go-to site for sewing pattern reviews, but if you want more than 20 patterns in your pattern stash, you need to pay. I don’t like paying for things that I know I can do myself, something about it being a waste of money and me being a tightwad. How hard can it be to design a pattern organization template?

So far I’ve come up with a few things that will be required. They include: pattern sizing (both which one you have and what sizes are available.) Yardage information, line drawings and links to Pattern Review… none of which will be automatic. If I were still working with Textpattern I know exactly what I’d do:

I’d set up a new section for the patterns and point it towards a custom template. The custom template would call custom forms, within those custom forms pattern information is entered by hand. The post is set to the new section and bam! Everything works. With WordPress I’m a little more lost, but I’m sure it can’t be that much harder to do with WordPress. In fact, there’s probably a plugin or two that will help… I hope.

I’m still pondering whether or not to release this to the general public. Is there a call for it? I think so, the two pattern organizers that are out there both require money to use. But whether or not people still want something that doesn’t do everything automatically for them, I don’t know.



Here’s a quick mockup I did, hopefully it better illustrates what I hope to accomplish with this theme.

mockuppattorg 150x150 New Project: Sewing Pattern Organzation Theme

My Favourite WordPress Plugins

When I last used WordPress I was a total plugin junkie. Anyone remember before it redirected you to the official plugin directory? I remember when I first found it after switching from Cutenews of all things. Most of my time was spent on there gazing in wonder at the options the plugins provided.

Fast forward nearly a decade later and I haven’t really changed that much. Once I’d put together a basic theme for myself to build upon I went plugin hunting and wound up with a bunch of great plugins. Enough chitchat, though, let’s get on with it.

Administration Plugins

First and foremost you need to install Fluency Admin because it is quite possibly the most delicious admin panel I’ve seen in a while.

fluencyadmin My Favourite Wordpress Plugins



I truly adore the idea of arranging my posts, not only by category and tag, but also by series! It’s called Organize Series and I don’t think I could live without it.

WordPress Syntax Highlighting

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series WordPress Tutorials

I’ve tried a lot of different plugins and I finally settled on SyntaxHighlighter Evolved by Viper007Bond. (His now defunct plugin Viper’s Plugins Used used to be one of my favourites.)

I did run into a snag, though. When I first installed it I couldn’t get it to work. Everything was set up properly, including one of the most important bits: [code light="true" lang="xml"]<?php wp_footer(); ?>[/code]. The code was being displayed properly with all the styles, except that it was all in unescaped HTML! Nothing would display properly. After some frustrating Googling I finally decided to just disable every plugin except SyntaxHighlighter and it started working. The rest of the plugins were enabled again and everything is working just fine.

Out With the Old

minicss Out With the Old

That’s Notepad++ with a theme called Monokai Dark. The theme was converted using Textmate theme to Notepad++ styler.

Tomorrow on the 17th I’ll have owned my domain for five years and for most of that time I’ve used Textpattern. Before that I used Expression Engine Core, WordPress and Cutenews. Why am I mentioning this?

Even with a redesign last summer, things can get stale very quickly. That’s why decided to throw caution to the wind and switch Content Management Systems from Textpattern to WordPress.

It’s been a long time since I last really used WordPress. I’ve dabbled in it from time-to-time since, but I’ve never delved deep into the templates or options. The last version that I really used was 2.5 and that was a stretch for me. In a short matter of time WordPress went from being a minimal blogging engine with a lot of lovely plugins to being a huge bloated blogging engine trying to be a CMS. Continue reading