Versatile marking tool

Published On: July 1, 2010Categories: How-To Articles, In the Shop

Draw even, neat and accurate seam allowances and cut lines.0710_tr_1


Drawing even seam allowances and sew lines on curved or odd-shaped pieces can be difficult and inaccurate.


Make a simple marking tool that has fixed pencil positions for predetermined seam allowances and cut line widths.

This tool can be used with a straight-edge or for free-hand drawing when transferring patterns to finished materials. It will quickly and easily achieve precise seam allowances, resulting in neater and more accurate seams.

The tool is versatile and can be adapted or modified to many different seam widths or pencil types.


  • Start with scrap pieces of plastic curtain track in various sizes
  • Cut into approximately 3-inch long pieces.
  • Tighten ends with pliers to create a snug fit for a marking pencil.
  • Tape pieces together with packing tape or duct tape.
  • Insert pencils.
  • Experiment with different sizes and configurations of track for different width seam allowances.

Keith Purves is owner of Riverside Covers in Ft. Myers, Fla.