I love me some sewing gadgets so when Amanda from SA Curve Ruler contacted me a few weeks ago asking me if I’d like to review one of her rulers I was quite excited.
I will admit first up I was hesitant. Despite being a bit jealous when I see other bloggers getting to do reviews on products I didn’t want to seem like a sell-out. However after a bit of online investigation I could see just how useful one of these rulers would be for me on Team: Trace All The Patterns. I also decided that if I didn’t like it I would send it back.*
Amanda sent me a 5/8ths SA Curve Mini and a 5/8ths Pattern Drafter, they were very well packaged and survived the trip all the way down here to NZ.
I really enjoyed peeling of the protective backing tape from the underside of each ruler!
Does anyone else love doing that? You know when you get a new gadget and it has a protective film on the screen or other shiny bit? Peeling that off is the best feeling!
Amanda has some great videos on her blog on how to use the rulers but I had my own ideas and just played with them:
You guys know by now that I am firmly in Team: Trace All The Patterns and you have even seen how I do it. Basically I use rulers for my straight lines and then I free hand the curves.
Well now I don’ t have to. Being in design, I’ve used French curves before, and the SA Curve Ruler is very similar. You line up the curve and trace it off, swinging and sliding the ruler to maintain a nice even line.
The larger ruler (pattern drafter) is great for arm scythes and neck lines and the long straight edge means I do not have to swap out of my long straight ruler. The smaller ruler (mini) is great for tighter curves and details.
Tracing patterns AND adding Seam Allowance:
BurdaStyle patterns are a great example where you can trace the inside ruler edge for the stitching line and then the outer edge to add on your 5/8″ seam allowance.
These rulers also come in 3/8″ and I think metric ones are in development. I don’t mind using a non-metric ruler. At work I think only millimetres but with sewing I can switch between both metric and non-metric with ease.
Adding Seam Allowance to my Fabric:
If a sewing pattern does not include a seam allowance that’s fine with me. I actually prefer to cut my paper pattern without seam allowance. This way I can see the actual finished size, measure it or pin and check on my dress form if I want.
Instead I add my seam allowance directly to my fabric before I cut. I normally use my sewing gauge and painstaking make little nicks all around my pattern piece.
Using the SA Curve Rulers I can add the seam allowance much more quickly by lining up the ruler with my paper pattern piece and tracing the outer edge with my chaco liner, easy peasy.
Taking off the Seam Allowance:
If occurs to me that you could also use this ruler in reverse.
If you want to remove the seam allowance from a pattern piece you can use the ruler to do that as well, line the ruler up with the outside edge of the pattern piece and trace the inside edge to mark the stitching line.
Just be sure to check how much seam allowance has been included in your pattern so you take off the right amount.
Make the 5/8″ ruler work for 3/8″:
Amanda gave me a choice between 3/8″ and 5/8″. I chose the 5/8″ option because I learnt to sew using Burda patterns so it’s pretty much ingrained in my head to use 5/8″ if given a choice. However a lot of patterns I’ve sewn lately have had a 3/8″ seam allowance instead.
Even though my ruler is 5/8″ wide, it is divided up in 1/8″ intervals so overlapping two of those lines gives you 3/8″ instead, or any other combination should you need it.
Septembers Monthly Stitch Challenge is going to be vintage patterns and I am considering finally making up one of my vintage Lutterloh or Enid Gilchrist patterns. This will mean a little bit of pattern drafting. I have a Lutterloh tape measure but not the drafting ruler and it just occurred to me that the SA Curve ruler will come in handy for this and any other patten drafting I might do as well.
I really like these rulers, they are super handy for me in more ways than I initially thought and I really appreciate Amanda offering me the chance to review them for you.
If you think you’d like a set of these rulers too, one or both, 3/8″ or 5/8″: they are available through Amanda’s Etsy Shop SA Curve and she is offering my readers a 20% discount, just use the following coupon code:
* I was given the set of SA Curve rulers you see me using above to review as compensation for this post, but all opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I freely chose to review this product because I enjoyed using it, will continue to use it in the future, and I think that my readers will also love it too.