Creative articles about sewing

Sewing Tools Part 1: Measuring

Here is a round-up of some useful sewing measuring tools. Up your sewing game with these useful sewing measuring gadgets and never miss the mark again!

Great results can definitely be achieved in sewing with only basic equipment and accessories. You don’t need to spend a fortune in the early days or before even getting started.

But if you’ve been at it for a while and, like me, are obsessed with all things sewing, then it can be fun, satisfying and downright revelatory to have tools at your disposal that you never knew you always needed.

I have been accumulating quite a few new sewing measuring tools lately so I thought I’d do a round up. This is not intended as a definitive list, but hopefully it l will provide insight into what you could add to your kit, if you are willing to invest a bit into your practice in order to up your sewing game. 

In this particular segment I’ll be focusing on measuring tools (I’ll assume you already have a measuring tape so won’t talk about it here). 

Sewing Gauge

This is my oldest and trustiest sewing measuring tool, always within reach.

It is a little metal ruler which helps me measure all matter of things: seam allowances, button holes, hem depths and more. The red sliding arrow is useful to demarcate the current measurement you are working with. This makes switching between measurements (for example if your pattern involves varying seam allowances) a breeze.

This one displays both metric and imperial: for me, being able to cross reference and having a visual reminder of these conversions is priceless! 

I use this all the time and I would recommend this to beginners as one of the very first little gizmos you might consider adding to your sewing repertoire. 

Measuring Gauge

This is more or less the same measuring tool as the previously mentioned sewing gauge; it’s essentially a little ruler which helps to quickly establish commonly used measurements in sewing.

This one happens to be only metric, making it less versatile than the other one.  However, the measurements are shown here in shapes, which is better for those who don’t like to strain their eyes. There is no need to read the little numbers; a quick glance is enough to discern the particular measurement.

I probably didn’t need to buy this in addition to the other one but here we are! I like to have one near the machine and the other near the ironing board so I never have to waste time searching!

Besides, these little gizmos fall at the more affordable end of the scale, so be sure to pick one up if you don’t yet have one. I bought mine here

Button Spacer (Expanding Sewing Gauge)

Ok I’ll admit I haven’t actually properly used this particular sewing measuring tool yet other than to test out the concept. You simply open up this metal concertina to the desired size and hey-presto! You know exactly how to evenly space buttons and buttonholes with utter precision.

I already know this gadget will be life changing. On par with the automatic buttonhole setting on my BERNINA sewing machine.

I am astounded that I could have ever possibly lived without this. 

Set of Measuring Rulers 

From left to right, here are some rulers I use in my sewing studio:

Universal 50cm Straight Ruler: With a 5mm grid pattern this one is perfect for drawing parallel lines, right angles and seam allowances on paper sewing patterns.

50cm L-Curve Ruler: Ideal for shallow curves such as waist and hip seams. Also includes a right angle.

D-Curve (French Curve) Ruler: This one is suited to deeper curves such as the neck line and arm scye. Each ruler is ergonomically and perfectly adapted to human curves, enabling quick and precise work whether drafting your own sewing patterns or working with indie/commercial paper sewing patterns. I bought this trio set from SPUR.

Omnigrid Patchwork Quilting Ruler: comes in different sizes depending on your needs and preference, great for cutting out square or rectangular shapes and trimming fabric edges. It is thick and sturdy making it suitable to use alongside your rotary cutter.  (Albeit, a metal ruler would perhaps be better, the only down side there is that it is not transparent. This plastic version is a good compromise if you simultaneously need to measure whilst cutting).

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts I have lined up which will cover sewing, pressing and pattern drafting gadgets too!

Happy sewing, Leanne xx

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