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Tips & Techniques > Metal tape measure for marking hems

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Posted by: Karla Kizer
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About Karla Kizer starstarstar
Member since: 4/8/02
Reviews written: 68
Sewing skills:Advanced
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tips added: 18
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Posted on: 4/24/07 11:58 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 26 people   
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Yes - another reason to go to Home Depot. The yardstick was MIA the other day when I wanted to mark the hem on a dress, and out of desperation, I reached for the retractable metal household tape measure - the kind that comes in different lengths - 6 feet, 12 feet, 16 feet or my DH's favorite, From Here to Eternity. They wind up into a squarish metal case and (here's the good part) they can be locked into a particular length with the flip of a plastic switch on the case. I discovered that with the dress on the dress form (or a real person), I could establish the distance above the floor that I wanted to mark the hem, lock that position into the tape measure's primitive "memory", and that little beauty would sit squarely on the floor holding that length of metal tape perfectly upright. I had two hands free to use for smoothing, pinning and rearranging. No balancing the yardstick with one hand, trying to insert pins with my lips, and having to go back and correct dips caused when the yardstick isn't held perfectly straight. The yardstick is still missing, but I no longer care. Wish I'd discovered this forty---uh---a long time ago.

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ready2learn said...
I would like to know it this the correct way to hemming long evening wear?
3/24/09 0:31 AM
squirrellypoo said...
I just wanted to say that I tried this tonight on a dress hem and it worked perfectly!! thanks!
5/13/07 2:48 PM
angeline said...
Great visual Picture!! Thank you!
5/6/07 1:32 PM
brrmm said...
Necessity the Mother of Invention. Great tip!
4/29/07 8:56 PM
frame said...
Great tip!
4/29/07 6:22 PM
cindyann said...
Well isn't that the perfect tip! From Here to Eternity is my favorite length too. ;) I will be using this method on my next garment. Thanks
4/26/07 9:16 AM
solosmocker said...
Great hint and another reason for raiding DH's toolbox.
4/25/07 10:39 PM
OP Gal said...
Very clever. Turns out that little tool is a real "multi tasker," as TV chef Alton Brown would say. Kind of renders my gizmo that puffs chalk on the garment unnecessary.
4/25/07 9:26 AM
Mary Stiefer said...
Karla - you always have great ideas. I don't have a dress form but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a great tip. Love it.
4/25/07 9:12 AM
Peggy L said...
Great idea!
4/25/07 5:50 AM
Barbara R said...
Clever! I will definitely use this tip in the future.
4/25/07 0:35 AM
martinanne said...
How clever! Great tip!
4/25/07 0:02 AM
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