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Tips & Techniques > Using a Compass as a Seam Tracer

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Posted by: mlt
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About mlt starstar
Member since: 5/25/04
Reviews: 51 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 6/23/05 4:09 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 6 people   
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When Candyo posted her useful review of a seam tracer a few days ago, I had one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moments.

I also realized that you could use a good compass to do the same thing (plus more) in one product. You can set the distance between the two points at 5/8” or 1/4” or whatever works. Last night, while I was working on a muslin, I wanted to give myself 1” seam allowances instead of 5/8”. I set my compass to 3/8” and traced along the original cutting line to make a seam allowance of 1”.

A center wheel compass is important for keeping the separation right. My compass also allows me to replace the point with a second piece of lead, which is nice. The compass I have is similar to the one in the link.

All in all, I’ve found it easy to use and I didn’t have to go buy something new.

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inkyannie said... (7/30/05 10:28 PM) Reply
Another thing to add to my list. Thanks for the tip.
candyo said... (6/24/05 5:39 PM) Reply
How resourceful!! I've seen compasses at Office Depot, near architechtural supplies. You can also check art supply stores.
Lorna C. Newman said... (6/24/05 11:09 AM) Reply
I like this idea as well and am trying to figure out a way to attach a wheel to the compass vice a point or lead. Once I move int ot he big city next month I am going to search out a hobby store to find a model airplane wheel small enough to glue onto a compass point.
mlt said... (6/24/05 10:24 AM) Reply
MaryT- I'm not sure where I got it, but it was one of those office supply stores. I just did a quick search on and they had quite a few center-wheel compasses.
SouthernStitch said... (6/24/05 9:24 AM) Reply
Where did you get one like this? I've been using a double serrated wheel to add seams for my Burda WOF patterns. I set it at 5/8", and impress the seam allowance lines over felt, and then go over the impression with a pen. This seems like a much easier method.
Astrostitcher said... (6/24/05 4:48 AM) Reply
Now I have one of those wheeled ones in my sewing utility box for patchwork but only circles. Now that I'm getting back into clothes sewing again I'm happy to have this very helpful suggestion. And like you I love to be able to use things I already have - sign me so-so-Scotch here!
Lilibet said... (6/23/05 6:38 PM) Reply
What a great idea.
KarenP said... (6/23/05 6:17 PM) Reply
I'll have to give this a try! Thanks for the idea.
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