A tape measure is one of the most basic and important pieces of equipment you need when making your own clothes.

Firstly for measuring yourself to make sure you are making the right size garments. Measure around your body making sure the tape measure is going straight across not at an angle – its easiest to have someone to help you with this.

The tape measure don’t lie – Be honest when you measure yourself – you might have the urge to knock off a few centimetres to make you feel better/thinner but DON’T! Make sure you can comfortably fit 2 fingers under the tape measure so you know you haven’t pulled it too tight.

You need to keep your tape measure with you when you start sewing too.

When laying out your pattern pieces onto your fabric before cutting use your tape measure to make sure they are straight to the grain of the fabric – Remember – Measure twice cut once.

Its good to keep measuring what you’re sewing to make sure it is staying to the pattern measurements – necklines and armholes can easily stretch because they’re cut on a curve. Make sure you keep checking as you go along so you can make adjustments if needed.

Your tape measure is a quick and easy way to convert to and from cm to inches.

Tape measures can stretch over time so be aware if you have an old one that it might not be completely accurate.

Be careful with scissors around your tape measure, it’s easy to accidentally cut a tape measure in two!