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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sketch of a tape measure

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.

sketch of a grid ruler used for sewing and quilting

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!

sketch of a curved ruler used for drawing a hip curve on a sewing pattern

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.

grid ruler, hip curve and French curve for making sewing patterns

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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