I had the final instalment of my Pattern Magic course at Morley College over the weekend (more on that later this week!), and since the majority of the class is in pattern drafting, it became apparent to me that I’ve got three pattern drafting gadgets in my arsenal that aren’t widely known, but that I consider to be essential!
On the left is the Seam Allowance Guide, little magnets which snap onto the side of your scissors to help you cut an even distance away from your line. I usually use this when cutting my fabric when using patterns that don’t have seam allowances at all, my on my course it was very helpful when cutting out the final pattern when I didn’t want to draw the seam allowances in. I got mine for review a while back but you can buy yours here.
On the bottom – I don’t know the technical name for this, but I call it my “pizza wheel measurer”. It’s a little wheel marked in centimetres which allows you to measure curves really easily. I use it most often when matching up seam lengths between sleeve caps and armscyes, but there are a number of occasions in the Pattern Magic books where you need to ensure two curved seam lines are the same length.Claire posted instructions on how to buy these from Japan a while back.
On the right – The newest member of my pattern drafting team is the SA Curve ruler – a narrow ruler with one straight edge and one curved edge. It comes in two widths – 5/8” (1.5cm) or 3/8” (1cm) and the idea is that you place the ruler along your seam line and then just trace the other side of it, et voilà! Your seam allowance is added on.
Even on straight lines this saves time over the “measure a few times and connect the dots” method, but it really saves time on curves, holy crap! It took me about two seconds to add the seam allowance onto this armscye:
I’ve now got quite the arsenal in my pattern drafting lineup, and it was apparent during the course that these gadgets really do work, as everyone was coming over to borrow mine!
I received mine for review, but I’m super happy to recommend it after using it, and I’m pleased to be able to offer a 20% discount for the next few days (until 31 July). Just go to the SA Curve etsy shop and enter code “20FIREWORKS“ at the checkout!
Funny that I’m all for pattern drafting timesavers, but I hardly use my supposed “time saving” sewing machine feet at all! Are there any other pattern drafting tools you consider essential?