To use a sewing gauge, the user lines up the gauge with the fabric, then marks the width of the seam or hem. Most gauges come with red or blue plastic "cursors" to ensure the depth of the hem is consistent along several yards of fabric.
In addition to hems, a sewing gauge can also be used to measure the proper placement for buttons, zippers, appliques and other embellishments on fabric. Since it is only 6 inches long, it is easy for a single user to manipulate.
Step 1: Prepare fabric
To use a sewing gauge properly, the fabric should be spread out on a flat surface. The edge of the fabric should line up horizontally or vertically, depending on the direction of the seam. A cutting mat with grid lines helps ensure straight marks.
Step 2: Position the gauge
The sewing gauge is placed flush against the edge of the fabric, then the user slides the ruler portion of the gauge until the correct seam allowance is reached. The cursor is moved up flush with the edge of the fabric.
Step 3: Mark seams
The user marks the edge of the seam with sewing pins or dots made by a washable marker. Adding marks or pins every few inches will help keep the fabric straight in the sewing machine.