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Grid Rulers and Measuring Tools for Pattern Design

Pattern drafting tools and dressmakers rulers are essential for making patterns. I rely on a grid ruler and hip curve, but there are others that are just as important.  Precise measuring is critical, so don't skimp on measuring tools!!

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Before you draft anything, you need an accurate set of body measurements

A tape measure is, of course, essential to taking body measurements, whether they are your own or someone else's.


Measuring yourself can be cumbersome, so this adhesive tape measure acts as an extra set of hands, holding the tape in place so you can make notes or write the measurement.  

I also love a tape like this on my sewing machine, for quick measurements while I stitch.  I don't have to fumble around looking for a ruler!









I couldn't make a pattern without an 18 or 24 inch clear grid ruler (often sold for quilting).

The 1/8” grid squares are useful for measuring precisely and can help you line up perpendicular or bias lines.  INVALUABLE!


A hip curve  will help you make smooth curves at the hip, neckline, and armholes, and you can measure curves, too.

A really basic hip curve really only works for the hip or very gentle curves.  I prefer one with a tighter curve at one end for armholes, necklines, and other smaller curves.  The ruler can be plastic or metal; I like this one from  Fairgate.




For a real bargain (less than $35), you can purchase a set of assorted measuring tools and curves from PGM.

This set has 2 grid rulers, 2 hip curves, and a smaller, "comma-shaped" curve that's perfect for armholes.

I LOVE the little comma-shaped curve!

What Else Will You Need?

The "needs":

The "nice to have" tools:



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