Monday, September 13, 2010

Slimflex Expanding Sewing Gauge

I sewed a shirt for my sister, using a Liberty fabric called Philippa ( I call it 'Bicycles' though). Unlike me, she is such a shirt wearer. I hope she will like it and get much use of it.

By the way, because she is so much petit-ter than the average and I know it is difficult to get pretty shirts that fit her rightly at stores, I occasionally sew her blouses or shirts in her personal size when I feel like pretending to be kind. She always seems pretty happy with my handmade gifts but never starts to ask me to sew for her. In other words, she accepts everything and demands nothing regarding my selfish sewing. Lucky me.

This is a very ordinary cotton shirt in a personal size and I have nothing spectacular to tell about it. Instead of telling you a boring poem today I'm going to tell you about a tool I met.


I recently happened to find it at Vogue Fabrics, and impulsively placed an international order for it.
I imagine some of you don't understand why I was so very interested in this tool (actually I don't know exactly why either) because there is only one simple calculation between one front edge and certain number of buttonholes. It's very capable for anyone to place buttonholes without this specific tool, but I am glad to have it in the end. I am usually very reluctant to get new 'useful' tools, especially for sewing, because I'd feel so uncomfortable when I am surrounded by those 'useful' tools which are never used except occupying my drawers. So, most of the time, If I can do without, I'd definitely choose without. That's my rule.

However this time, I bought it and found that it was so easy and stress-free to mark for buttonholes with this gauge. I'm about withdrawing my possess-as-less-as-I-can policy for it. If you are loving shirts or having a sweet sister who loves clothes with many buttons, the tool is likely to be useful without making you think it is occupying your precious space in the sewing room. Let me remind you that cardigans have many buttonholes too.

I learned that it was good to be more open-minded at last.
I'm probably not talking about a tool. I guess I'm mumbling about an attitude to myself.

Let's enjoy sewing!



  1. I've had one of these for as long as I can remember. I never use the guide pieces that comes with pattern. I start by always putting a mark at the fullest part of my bust as it relates to the buttonholes. From there I use the Simflex to guide me as to where the rest of the holes should be. I can't imagine sewing without it!

  2. I've never seen one of these before. Very useful.

  3. "Pretending to be kind", Yoshimi you are just fabulous!!
    This is a beautiful shirt and your sister is so lucky. This fabric is very pretty indeed, I'm certain she will be thrilled with it.
    The measuring tool looks very interesting...

  4. I like this shirt you made.The fabric is so sweet and pretty.I am envious of your sister, she is sooo lucky ! :)

  5. Oooooh, I need one of them! I really find it hard to place buttonholes correctly...
    And I love the fabric in your sister's blouse, it's so cute!

  6. I love that tool! I just made 3 flower girl dresses, all different sizes and used that tool for placing the buttonholes. I got mine from

  7. The shirt is great! I have been struggling to come up with a good, basic shirt pattern, but then I realized, I rarely wear button-down shirts (too much ironing involved).
    I've had one of those buttonhole tool things for years, and I love it. It's fun just to play with, even if you aren't doing buttonholes!

  8. Great shirt and what a neat tool!

  9. You are very kind to your sister! I suppose it is a simple shirt in terms of classic lines, but no blouse is that simple with all its moving parts. The collar is so crisp!

  10. I also have the SimFlex measuring tool and I love it. Your sister is a lucky girl to have you to sew for her. Pretty blouse.

  11. Beautiful shirt, lucky lucky sister! I have that guage, unfortunately I stretched it out long (just like the instructions explicitly tell you not to do) and may have wrecked it a bit! It has been useful not just for buttonholes but also good for just working out equidistant marks. Definitely a good buy I think :o)


Thank you for your comments!!