A Tip for Tuesday – The Ideal Seam Gauge

September 8, 2015

Hi everyone!

First, let me say congratulations to Connie C. for commenting on my blog last Wednesday and being the randomly selected winner of a 1/2 yard bundle of fabric from Fabri-Quilt!

It’s Tuesday, and I’ve got another quick tip for you today that will make your life so much easier. If you have a link of your own to share this week, scroll down to the bottom and share your knowledge!

Changing my seam allowances from project to project drives me nuts.  I frequently switch back and forth between 1/4″, a scant 1/4″ and 3/8″ for attaching my binding to the face of my quilt.

It’s so important to be perfectly accurate with these seam allowances; and for awhile, I found that I was failing on that front.  Enter the Ideal Seam Guide! By the way, this is not a paid endorsement or an affiliate link… I just want to share a tool that I love with you.

The ideal seam guide is a small plastic ruler, with tiny holes in it for each possible seam size you might need (all the way from 1/8″ to  1 1/2″).

Ideal Seam Gauge image

You choose the hole you need that corresponds with the marked seam allowance of your choice, and lower the needle of your machine into the hole, and attach the seam guide of your choice.

Here’s a quick video to show you how it’s used:


(Sidenote: I’ve tried everything for a guide– 1/4″ foot, moleskin, sticky notes, frog tape, sticky cork, and now my heart and seams are happy with my adjustable screw-in guide on my Janome 1600P).

You can buy the Ideal Seam Guide in several places.  I bought mine directly from SewVerySmooth.com.  I’ve seen it on Ebay, and on Fat Quarter Shop in the past too.  I’ve also seen cheaper versions by Dritz and Connor on Amazon, but they don’t seem to have a scant 1/4″ option, which is a must for me!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Helen September 8, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Ah now I fall at the first hurdle here , my needle position doesn’t move . That’s why I need a new machine

    • Stephanie Palmer
      Reply Stephanie Palmer September 8, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Good news, Helen! You don’t need to have a machine that has a needle that shifts position for this product to work. You move your own guide of your choice so that it butts up to the ideal seam gauge, and then you remove it.

  • Reply Patti McGarry September 8, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Wow! Great product! This is going on my Christmas wish list!

  • Reply RuthB September 8, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I was just watching Laura Nownes show how to use something like this on crafsty – so handy to have!

  • Reply Evie Lucas September 8, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Sew Glad you did that tutorial, Iam going to order it ! I’ve you a recipe card to “see” what a 1/4 is LOLO

    • Stephanie Palmer
      Reply Stephanie Palmer September 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      The recipe card totally works too. I just love this product for it’s ability to allow me to quickly adjusts for all different sizes of seam allowances, including the scant 1/4″, my personal favorite.

  • Reply Evie Lucas September 8, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Hi again, Looked for item at Fat Quarter Shop and they do not have… Also on Ebay they show what you did in the tutorial as a “vintage” .Who has what was demoed in the video? I don’t care for the “Guide”Please let me know ASAP…Thank you Evie

  • Reply Jayne September 8, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Wouldn’t that make my life easier! Thank you for sharing…I need one!

  • Reply Brenda Ackerman September 8, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Thank you for sharing the information and video on this tool. Will have to find one for each of my machines! Have a wonderful creative day!

  • Reply Brenda Ackerman September 8, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Thank you for sharing this information and video!

  • Reply mumbird3 September 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I have a guide like this – very handy to use. I also have tried moving my needle position to the far right and using a clear foot so I can see exactly where the edge of the fabric is in relation to the needle position! and it moves the edge away from the feed dog (which seems to like to chew up my edges!- maybe that’s why they call it a feed dog! LOL)

    • Stephanie Palmer
      Reply Stephanie Palmer September 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      I have tried moving my needle on my Viking too. The biggest problem with this for me, is that when I have to pause sewing, and I turn off my machine, my needle position reverts back to the default and I ALWAYS forget to reposition it when I start sewing the next session!

  • Reply Diana @ Red Delicious Life September 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Okay, that’s awesome! I had to run upstairs to my sewing room to see if I had one of those guides that you used to screw directly into your machine. I found one in my little caddy of tools that came with my machine but mine doesn’t have a nice long straight edge. It’s only about a 1/2″ in length for the fabric to slide against. I wonder if other ones (like yours) would work with my Baby Lock. What kind of machine do you use?

  • Reply Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts September 8, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I saw this demo at a quilt show and didn’t pick one up and I’ve regretted it. Seam allowances kick my butt every day! Thanks for reminding me this product is available.

  • Reply Terri Ann September 9, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Very neat – I have a guide that does just a 1/4″ SA but my 1/4″ piecing foot is spot on with it so it’s kind-of a waste for me. This would be great for the times I’m moving away from the 1/4″ but that screw in guide seems to be the key I’m missing these days, ugh look how long that guide is!!!

  • Reply daisyaschehoug September 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    SO COOL! Thanks for sharing!

  • Leave Me a Note