It is very important to always take accurate measurements before any cutting is done in order to avoid ruining the fabric. Proper measuring tools are essential to help take these measurements of the body and of the pattern to ensure a proper fit of the garment. Here is a list of a few inexpensive tools to help you do the job right the first time.
1) Tape measure
A flexible sewing tape measure usually measures about 60 inches long and 5/8 inches wide. It is generally reversible with inches on one side and centimeters on the other to help take a more accurate measurement. The flexible material will not stretch, and can easily be rolled up when not in use.
Because of its flexibility, it is a must-have tool for taking accurate body measurements. It can also be used to measure circles on the fabric by standing it up on its edge.
A yardstick has both inches and centimeters and comes in handy to measure the grainline of the fabric when laying out the pattern.
Rulers usually come in 12″ or 18″ lengths and are used for general markings such as straight lines.
4) See-through ruler
A see-through ruler usually measures about 12″ or 18″ and allows you to see your previous markings. It is great for marking straight edges and parallel lines, buttonholes, tucks and pleats. It can also be used to check the grainline of the fabric. An absolute must-have!
5) Seam gauge
A seam gauge is a small ruler about 6″ long with a sliding marker. It has inches on one edge and centimeters on the other edge. It is a great tool to help make accurate measurements for seam allowances, hems, pleats, buttonholes, and for various alterations.
6) See-through T-Square
A See-through T-square is great for locating cross grains, altering patterns and squaring off straight edges.
The above measuring tools are all you need to get started with in sewing. As your sewing skills become more advanced you may want to invest in more advanced tools to help make your job easier and more efficient.
There are many measuring tools with different shapes, measurements, sizes and neat gadgets to choose from. Visit your local sewing center, or shop online to find the tools you need.