5 Uses For A Sewing Gauge

Until I got the sewing gauges from Merchant & Mills I had never used one before...

I made do with a square piece of card from an old cereal box with some lines drawn on in pen to help me with hemming, but no more! No no no, now I have this little beauty I don't think I could live without it.

It's a fantastic little tool and does so much more than just help you get an accurately straight hem line. There are a few different types out there, some have extra fancy bits that help you sew buttons onto your fabric so that they are not too tight, some have a pointed end for turning corners out and some have a hole in it to help you draw a perfect circle.

I'm going to give you my top five ways to use a sewing gauge based on this one from Merchant & Mills - my new favourite gadget!

First up is hemming. Set the slider on your gauge to the amount you want to take your hem up by, in this case I set it to 1 inch. Mark on the wrong side of your fabric all along the hem and then use that line as a guide to press along. You can finish your hem first with an overlocker or zig zag stitch or you can then tuck the raw edge inside the hem and press again to create a 0.5 inch double fold hem.

Marking button hole placement. Use the sewing gauge to determine how big your buttonholes need to be and to help you accurately measure the distance between each one. Especially useful if you don't have a one-step buttonhole function on your machine. Make sure you either mark on the reverse of the button band or use and air- or water-erasable marking tool or chalk.

Knowing where to stop and start sewing. Use your gauge to mark places where you need to start and stop sewing but it can be tricky to accurately measure your seam allowance on your sewing machine. For example when sewing in-seam pockets, measure the distance in from the edge of the seam line and up from the edge of the pocket so you can easily see where to stop and start.

Making bias binding. Use your sewing gauge to accurately measure that little quarter of an inch fold. This can also help you to make sure that fold is in the right place when sewing the bias binding to your project.

Measuring pleats. Slide the marker on your sewing gauge along to measure the distance between the fold line and placement line of your pleats or tucks. Use different coloured markers to differentiate between the fold line and placement line or, as I have done here different markings.

Do you have any other awesome uses for this nifty little tool? Share the knowledge and add them to the comments below.

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