Friday, November 11, 2011

Crafty Gear 411: Styling Design Ruler Rocks!!

It's time for November's Crafty Gear 411 and today I'm sharing a tool I wouldn't be without: a Styling Design Ruler.  If you sew or quilt this is a great item to have.  This crazy looking clear ruler has a curly-cue top (called a French curve), curved and straight sides and is simple, yet extremely versatile.

Here's why:

  • It makes altering and designing clothing a breeze - you can easily scale up or scale down tricky curves which are found in hems, sides, sleeves and necklines. Because it has varying degrees of "curve" you can take in and let out clothing like a pro.

I had this maternity shirt that I really wanted to be able to wear again, but it was like a tent (I wish I had a before pic to show but let's just say that even when 8 months pregnant there was still plenty of room - as in small kids could use it to camp in).  I used my design ruler to help slim down the sides and add a more, curved in, tailored shape.  In minutes the giant A-shaped shirt fit my x-small frame and without that "I just eyeballed it and you can totally tell" look homemade alterations can have.

  • It's got ruler measurements so you can figure out exactly how big a curve is:

Which is especially handy when you need to figure out things like exactly how much trim you need around a curve, like I did for the lace on the neckline, sleeves and hem of my daughter's recent princess costume.  Measuring straight across or with the wiggly tape measure is never as accurate and frequently led me to the "one inch too short" problem when it came time to sew the trim on.  

  • These rulers are clear to make it simple to see and mark your fabric and there's a straight edge so linear lines are easy to make and measure as well. It also has cut out slots so make marking simple and precise.  And since it's not super thick it's easy to use a rotary cutter around too.

You can find these rulers at most sewing stores.  Mine actually belonged to my grandma - it's got to be at least 30+ years old and I use it constantly.  I rely on it so much now, I don't know how I survived without.  Now there's a handy notion!  


  1. Thanks for sharing this, not sure I've seen one before but if I had I would probably have dismissed it not having a glue what it is! Definitely a handy tool!

  2. I'm glad I found that in the basement. Who knew?

  3. Agree with Amanda. Have not seen this before but now that I know how it can be useful, I'll definitely be on the lookout. Your daughter and her costume are really adorable.

    1. Thanks so much - that time of year is coming up again fast so it looks like I'll be using my design ruler again soon! I'd seen them years ago, but never really understood what they were for - now it's become one of my favorite notions.


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