Not Just Any Old Seam Gauge

 Not Just Any Old Seam Gauge

AKA  Seam Gauge, Point Turner & Button Spacer

Sewing Gauge, Point Turner & Button Gauge

It’s here; ordered this Seam Gauge through Amazon, shipped from UK, on June 19th and it arrived on June 27th.  After Amazon said it would arrive, earliest, July 15th.  Praise be!

Now why would I order a simple sewing tool from across the Pond?  Because I couldn’t find it here in the US.  See previous blog, Hemline, Sewing, Knitting and Seam Gauge.

The Seam Gauge has been a staple in my sewing kit since a patent was granted in 1967.  There are several at various locations in my sewing room:

    • cutting mat
    • ironing board
    • sewing machine
    • sewing caddy next to sewing machine
    • knitting bag
    • stash of new ones in supply drawer

And, they all look like this.

Seam Gauge

My Stash; the ones I could find.

Similar but no Button Spacer!

 

It’s All About the Button Spacer

It’s called a Button Gauge on the package, but Button Spacer is more descriptive, therefore, I shall call it that from now on.

So why did I need to send to UK for another Seam Gauge?  And pay almost three times what it would cost in a sewing store?  It’s all about the Button Spacer–that U-shaped appendage at one end.  There are two that swivel plus the ruler itself.

You see, buttons need  a thread shank, yes, even buttons with built-on shanks; more necessary for thick, bulky fabrics.  The thread shank acts as a support for the button lifting it slightly off the garment,  allowing space for the overlapping fabric to fit between the button and the garment.  Ever seen garments that bunch up around the button?  Not enough room under the button!

Typically sewers have used toothpicks on top of the button and sewn over it (or under if button has a shank); then the toothpick is removed revealing extra thread length–shank.  The button is pulled to the top of the shank and the attachment thread is wrapped around the thread (under the button) lifting the button off the fabric, providing space for the overlap fabric to fit under the button.

Button Gauge

Thread Shank on a button that already has a shank.

A toothpick is not the most user friendly; it’s short, and sharp.  Now the Button Spacer is at the end of a 6″ ruler that is rigid and provides more support while wrestling a button into submission.

 

Button Spacer Grade = A-

 Sewing Gauge

The two swivel spacers are swung to the side and only the spacer on the end is being used

Now that I’ve tried out the Button Spacer, I’m giving this tool a A-, because:

  • better than a toothpick but a bit unwieldy holding it in place when hand sewing,
  • and don’t think even using all three spacers will provide enough shank for really thick fabrics.
  • And, it obviously cannot be used with a button that already has a shank; still need to resort to the toothpick, knitting needle…

However, when using for machine sewing, it is perfect; slide  under the button, lower the presser foot and it stays in place until done sewing.

Position button and button spacer under presser foot.

Position button and button spacer under presser foot.

Related

33 Steps to Sewing on a Button

 

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