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.
- 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
- 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?