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Tips & Techniques > Measuring seam lines

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Posted by: Debbie Lancaster
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About Debbie Lancaster star
CA United States
Member since: 9/18/02
Reviews written: 70
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 12 people
tips added: 26
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Posted on: 12/6/11 8:12 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
I've always been frustrated at measuring seam lines using the usual technique, holding the measuring tape on its edge. Measuring tapes are floppy and don't really work well unless you're very, very meticulous, and then the measuring takes forever.

Yesterday I was working on an altered princess seam and just by holding up the front and side front together, I could see that I had made a mistake somehow, since one piece was about two inches longer than the other. Grr. I needed to measure those two seam lines!

Fortunately a light bulb went off. I have one of those flexible plastic C-Line rulers, 12 x 1 inches. I held it on its edge, curved it beautifully around the princess curves, tipped it up on its end, flipped it over to the other edge, and continued down to the end of the seam. Voila! 12 inches plus 1 inch for the end, then 12 inches and so on to the end of the seam line! And I was right. There was 1-3/4 inches differences in the two seam lines. Back to the drawing board!

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abcameo said...
You can also buy flexible rulers in many sizes up to about 40". I just purchased one that's 36" to be able to draw a large arc pattern for the bottom of a shawl.
12/7/11 10:17 AM
monijo said...
This is an excellent and thoughtful approach. I use string and flexible rulers (I gave up on using a tape measure long ago), but think this would be a more accurate method. The C-ruler is flexible, but not too flexible. This resistance would seem to aid accuracy. I'll try it in the morning.
12/7/11 10:02 PM
MNBarb said...
Good idea. I need to add "flexible ruler" to my needed notions list.
12/12/11 1:26 PM
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