Having the tools to sew is half the battle, and the next step is knowing the power of what they can do. This post is all about measuring tools and their uses, so you can get straight to designing or sewing with more confidence and less confusion.
Common Measuring Tools
A tape measure is a permanent part of a dressmaker’s uniform, just as a stethoscope is often found on a doctor or nurse. This useful sewing tool is used for taking body measurements to determine pattern size. Other uses include measuring fabric, drafting patterns, and measuring hem size. The flexible nature of this tape is perfect for contouring to the body and all of its curves.
If you’re drafting a pattern or making adjustments at the hip line, then the hip curve is the tool you need to lean on. It’s also useful for making adjustments anywhere a slight curve is formed or side seam adjustments.
The hem gauge is used for pressing the seam allowances of waistbands and facings under.
The seam/sewing gauge is used for measuring short spaces. Use it for a variety of reasons like hemming, measuring buttonhole size, stop and start points for sewing, making bias binding, and even measuring pleats.
The diagonal ruler is used for quilting to create half squares, triangle sets, or squaring up corners with ease and accuracy.
The Quilt & Sew Ruler:
Probably one of the most used rulers for quilting and pattern making is the handy quilt and sew ruler. Because of its transparency, this ruler also allows for accurate marking for drafting, pattern making, and measuring.
The tailoring ruler comes in many different materials and is used to measure long and straight lines. The clear tailoring ruler is especially good for precision measuring, marking, and pattern alterations.
The L-Square is a pattern-making ruler that helps to tailor and create perfect 90-degree angles and straight edges by measuring and squaring simultaneously.
The T-Square is created for measuring both ways, making it easy to use for pattern drafting or adjustments, whether you’re left or right-handed.
All measuring tools have a unique purpose, but I would have to say my top 3 picks would be the measuring tape, a clear ruler, and a french curve. I want to know your top 3 below!
How do you know what party of the French curve to use for which pattern area? For example, when doing a slightly curved seam you could position the French curve in many ways that would make the curve too deep or too curved.I might not be explaining it will. Hope do you know which part of the curve gets used for what pieces?
Hi! The hip curve gets used for pants, shirt side seams, hems, and anywhere else where the curve isn’t slight. The french curve is used for the armscyes, necklines, decorative details, or anything else that you want a tight curve for. If you have any existing patterns, get them out and compare the curves to those on your rulers! You’ll eventually instinctively know what kind of curve goes where. 🙂