Are you looking for the best ruler for your sewing projects? From curved to flexible or clear, there are many types of ruler when it comes to sewing DIY clothing.
Rulers are a must have sewing tool to take body measurements for clothing. Without proper sizing, it is nearly impossible to accomplish an accurate design.
Whether you are measuring body or looking to find out how much fabric to buy for pattern, using a ruler for each assignment is crucial. Depending on the sewing task, you will need specific type of rulers to either create straight lines or measure curved seams to achieve a professional result.
In addition, every beginner sewer needs to have at least one sewing tape measure to measure body and any curved seam to match the pattern pieces. Let’s dive in what types of rulers there are and what you really need for your everyday sewing project.
This article covers frequently asked questions about sewing rulers, as well as details the specifics that you should take into consideration. Covered below are all the reasons you will need a ruler while sewing, and which one is best to add to your sewing kit.
What is a ruler used for in sewing?
When sewing, various kinds of tools are required and implemented at different phases of the process. Starting from automatic to semi-automatic sewing machines to secure the seams, other precision devices are key to make the end product as perfect as possible.
No matter what instruments are used, the basics of cutting and basting the fabric is the most important before sewing process.
Improper cutting can result in an end product that does not fit properly and create irregular seams when worn. For this reason, various kinds of sewing ruler are used.
In terms of sewing, a ruler is a long, flat piece of wood, metal, or plastic with straight edges marked in inches or centimeters. From drawing straight lines to being used as a guide to sew straight lines, sewing rulers are useful in many aspect of sewing fabric with ease.
Type of Sewing Rulers
When drafting sewing patterns, marking on fabric and cutting, the right tools make it easy to get work done quickly. There are many types of sewing rulers that offer different characteristic that you need to know to find the best sewing ruler.
- Tape Measure: Though there are a lot of different modern sewing rulers, the tape measure is an old yet must-have for every tailor to have in their kit. When it comes down to handiness and portability, this is by far the best one. The common use of a tape measure is to take body measurements. Due to flexible but firm nature, it can stand on edge and measure neckline or leg openings with ease.
- Transparent Ruler: Made of clear fiberglass or plastic, it is preferred for its precise measurements and hassle-free usage. It is perfect to modify the pattern and see the seam line through the ruler to get correct adjustment. It is used to add seam allowance through the grid lines with clear visibility.
- Yard Stick: The yard stick is typically made of wood and has both inches and centimeters. It comes in handy to measure the grain line of the fabric when laying out the pattern. Also, this tool helps to measure the amount of fabric you need as well.
- Curved ruler: The flexible curved ruler is made of bendy plastic. It looks like a regular 12” ruler but has a noticeably curved edge at one end. This ruler helps to create smooth hips, curved hem, or sleeve cap sewing lines.
- Ring Ruler: This is a unique sewing ruler used to cut or score round or semi-circular lines. This is used in detailed pattern making.
- L Ruler: The L ruler resembles exactly as the name with a perfect 90 degrees angle which is useful to create sharp corners of hem for a skirt and pants.
- French Curve: The french curve looks like elongated comma and has curves all around with no straight edges. It is made of materials like metal, wood or plastic, and used is to widen armhole or adjusting crotch.
There are tons of cool and unique ways to use each of these rulers. Whether you are adjusting pattern or cutting accurate measurement on the fabric, use these tools to smooth out pointy edges and also add seam allowances on garment along the straight and curved lines.
Transparent Sewing Ruler vs. Metal Sewing Ruler vs. Wooden Sewing Ruler:
If you are debating on what type of material works for your sewing project, you need to understand the three main types of rulers: transparent, metal, and wood. These material have clear visual distinctions, but also provide unique characteristics.
Transparent rulers assist by allowing tailors to view the seams or markings of the fabric underneath the ruler. They prevent mistakes of drawing a crooked line or cutting in a bent way.
Wooden rulers are more durable than clear ones. The wooden rulers are also easily biodegradable and do not pose a threat to the environment.
Wood are sturdier and lasts longer. The clear rulers are generally made of plastic and can crack, bend or break after long periods of usage.
When there is a question of durability and precision of the device, metal rulers certainly take the lead. Clear rulers are often made with clear plastic or fiberglass which poise a risk of cracking or breaking and the edges sometimes become rough after extended usage.