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Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide

Reported by Susie Ziegler

Last summer I got my daughter a new adorable sewing machine and hoped she would develop a new love of sewing. To go with her machine, I thought it would be important to get a basket of nice tools since using good tools helps ward off frustrations. I saw this Magnetic Seam Guide by Dritz in the notions department of my local sewing store. If you haven’t noticed, Dritz dominates the notions department with tools like snaps, fasteners, pins, grommets, elastics, virtually anything you might think you need for sewing. Even though I am satisfied that I know how to keep an accurate seam and don’t think I need this tool, I thought it would help out my young daughter to maintain her seam allowances.

Dritz recommends that you use the Magnetic Seam Guide to stitch even seams, tucks, and pleats without marking. It turns out you are not supposed to use this magnetic tool with computerized sewing machines. This seemed goofy to me, since I have other magnetic things like a magnetic pincushion near my machine with no difficulties. I tried it:


The Magnetic Seam Guide won’t stay put! I think the little needle plate on my fancy-pants machine is too small for the magnet to take hold because the seam guide goes right for the sewing foot. Daughter has a standard, non-computerized machine with a much larger needle plate, so I tried it there:


Much sturdier! I can put it way up high along the sewing foot, or right here ahead of it. I think way down in front in anticipation of the needle is better. You might feel differently.

Never fear small needle plate, drop-in bobbin, sewing machine owners. There is a solution for you! Find some post-its and stick a short stack of them where you need it to get the perfect seam allowance you desire:


Okay, but we are testing out the Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide. My daughter got frustrated with the post-its when I did this with her. She reports that the Magnetic Seam Guide really helps her to keep her fabric lined up. The needle plate on her machine has a lot of lines and grooves and it is very confusing for her. I noticed that at first, the Magnetic Seam Guide slid around under her clumsy fingers (she was only 8 when we first used this tool). Now that her fingers know better what to do, it works much better for her.


You do not need to be 8 years old to find accurate seams to be intimidating! The Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide really does help. You can also use this handy tool for making pleats. I’ll consider that on some other project.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use and understand
  • Mady of sturdy, durable metal
  • Will fit into the little tool basket that came with your sewing machine, or you can store it right on your needleplate

Cons:

  • Does not fit all sewing machine needle plates
  • Magnet does slide around a bit. I imagine this problem gets worse with age.
  • The price seems worth it, but costs add up when you are stocking up on beginning sewing supplies.

I found The Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide for about $5.00 at my sewing store. We’d love to know if you’ve had any luck with this seam guide. What other beginning tools have you found essential?

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15 Responses to Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide

  1. Dana (*danavee*) August 28, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    I use mine with my swanky Bernina Activa 210 with no trouble. And I LOVE it!

  2. Meg August 28, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    cannot wait to get my hands on one. i struggle with keeping my seams straight so much it turns me off of sewing anything. i will be looking for one of these this weekend.

  3. Amanda August 28, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    I’m nowhere near 8 and I still find a good straight seam hard to manage. I know I have one of these little things around here somewhere, I need to find it.

  4. IamSusie August 28, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    I found this one way down on the bottom rack near the seam rippers. It is hard to spot on the Dritz dominated racks!

  5. sheabella August 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    I have had one for years. I still use it if I am sewing something important. I am curious about your magnet moving. Mine does not move at all. Perhaps I have an older model? I also have a computerized machine and have never had a problem. ;-)

  6. Francie Horton August 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    1. I can’t wait to point this out to my sister who’s a beginning sewist. (sewer hehe)

    2. I have the plastic plate over my drop in bobbin, too, so the post it tip is an excellent trick when I teach my daughter on my machine.

    Excellent article, Susie! Thanks a bunch!

  7. IamSusie August 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    About the sliding around… I think this is an issue with the magnet. Magnets that don’t get knocked around and dropped hold their strength for a long time and will magnetize steel things around them. Perhaps some of the ones on the store shelf have had rough handling and don’t hold as well. I find the same issue with packages of craft magnets. Sometimes they are bad and sometimes the same type work fine.

  8. twinklescrapbooks August 29, 2009 at 4:04 am #

    Wow! I had never heard of this. I am so going to pick one up next time I am out. :) thanks for the tips!
    tina

  9. mlessirard August 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    My trick for over 35 years figure out the seam width, get blue painters tape and use the edge of the tape as the guide. It works just fine and doesn’t move *smile*

  10. IamSusie August 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    mlessirard- That is a great. thrifty tip! I do that sometimes too! The thing is that my daughter didn’t understand the painters tape, or the post-its stack being the outer boundary for the fabric edge, but she understood the seam guide.. go figure.

  11. Nadia@FunWithMama August 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    great post!! i was looking for reviews on this a few weeks ago and couldn’t really find one :) you answered a lot of questions in my mind

  12. Sarah Moore August 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    I actually own on of these and never knew why! I thought it was just to hold loose pins or something! lol!

  13. Kathy Lindstrom September 5, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I tried this and eventually just tossed it in the garbage can. Mine moved … a lot. Had better luck with other products, including just getting a quarter inch foot and the angler and sewing slower. Angler review here: http://www.quiltersreview.com/article.asp?article=/review/product/020325_a.asp

  14. IamSusie September 5, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Kathy- That angler looks like serious business for quilters! I use a 1/4 inch foot for quilt piecing too.

  15. XUE September 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    oh dear! … I use Post-its too & sometimes a cardboard piece with Blu-Tack stuck behind.