How to Use a Sewing Gauge

Written by margaret mills
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How to Use a Sewing Gauge
A sewing gauge can be used for accurate measurements in small areas. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tools recommended for a basic sewing tool kit include scissors, tape measure, seam ripper and a sewing gauge. Usually made of metal, a sewing gauge is 6 inches long, marked in inches along one edge and centimetres on the opposite. A slot down the centre holds a double-tipped slider that will hold its position at the desired mark. Sewing gauges are used to measure small areas, such as hems, seams or buttonholes where the accuracy and consistency of a series of measurements is needed.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Seam gauge
  • Straight pins
  • Tailor's chalk

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  1. 1

    Determine the first measurement using the seam guide or a measuring tape. A skirt hem might be marked against the wearer at the knee while the depth of a curtain hem might be simply measured in inches. Buttonholes might be measured for width against the button. Mark the position and length of the first measurement with straight pins or tailor's chalk.

  2. 2

    Place the sewing gauge top even with the skirt or curtain hem mark and slide the slider up to the raw edge of the material. For a buttonhole, place the top of the gauge at one side of the buttonhole mark and slide the slider up to the opposite side.

  3. 3

    Position the gauge for the next mark. Move the gauge over a few inches without moving the slider, and place the slider even with the raw hem edge. Place a pin or chalk mark at the top of the gauge. Continue to mark this way at intervals of a few inches all around the skirt or curtain hem. Mark the width of remaining buttonholes by keeping the slider in place and marking each buttonhole position.

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