Every now and then I pick up a gizmo at the fabric store, thinking it will change my life. Usually, it just ends up in a drawer.
But for once, I can actually say that something I bought exceeded my expectations: the Five-in-One Sewing Gauge from Nancy’s Notions. I picked one up the other day and haven’t been able to put it down. It’s so useful that I wanted to share my commercial-free endorsement. (I’m not an affiliate and don’t get any $$ benefit from rambling on about a product I like!)
The overall length is about 7″ long with a 2.5-inch wide T-shaped head at the top, and a 6-inch long slotted ruler. The width of the handle is 5/8-inch — handy for marking seams. Maybe it’s the mushrooms talking, but I actually think the tool looks like a little person, with a flat head and green outstretched arms. Hello, my little sewing buddy!
Anyway…to use it as a hem gauge, you push on the tab in the center and then move the green cursor up and down. The cursor locks in position when you release the tab, so you don’t have to worry about it shimmying out of place.
I love the fact that the cursor and the top of the gauge are wide and clearly marked. Compared to the old-style metal gauges, this tool is colorful, easy to read, and easy to slide.
A couple of other cool features: There’s a 1/4-inch mark at the top of the gauge, and a compass pivot point at the bottom which assists you in drawing circles. (Sort of works like a compass, but the directions on the package are a bit hard to grasp. Check out the demo video to see how it works:
Today is the first chance I had to put the gauge to use, and it was a huge help. I used it to mark a hem, lengthen a waistline, mark new cutting lines on my pattern, and tape a stitching guide for the 2.75-inch hem on the t-shirt I was making. I also used it to double-check the dimensions of a Tanabata orinuno quilt block wall hanging I’m making for the Tanabata festival in a couple of days.
Whew, I’m so glad this thing is yellow instead of a boring industrial metal color. It shows up so clearly amongst the clutter on my sewing table!
I bought my gauge at my local JoAnn Fabric store, but you can get it online from a number of resources. it retails for $14.99, but I used my trusty 40% off coupon to get it for about $8.00. Money well spent!