Easy DIY Seam Guide Made with Household Items

April 7th, 2012 at 3:49 pm . Posted in Sewing Machine Talk .

G = Guide

You guys, I just discovered something AMAZING to help me sew straight seams. But let’s start from the beginning…

When I found out about a handy product for sewing — a magnetic seam guide — it prompted a rollercoaster of emotions. Many magnetic guides are available on the market, but I was sent a link to one from Nancy’s Notions. “Easily make sure your stitching line stays straight all the way,” the tagline says.

Emotional reaction: Excited. YAY, this sounds great!

But then the product overview warned not to use it with a computerized sewing machine, which is precisely the kind I have.

Emotional reaction: Crestfallen and confused. But… why not? I want to sew straight seams, too.

So I naturally went into research mode and did some Googling. I found a thread on a quilting message board that explained magnetic accessories can mess up the magnetic part of the machine’s hard drive.

I continued reading up on the topic on message boards, reviews and the Brother website. Brother actually offers a seam guide (happy!), but it’s not compatible with my model (sad).

I had a lightbulb moment when I realized seam guides don’t have to be magnetic — they can also be adhesive!

Emotional reaction: Hopeful and determined. Must find adhesive seam guide I can use…

I did find a couple different options, but I also found something even better: A suggestion for a non-magnetic, household-item “seam guide,” also known as a pad of Post-it notes. It sounds like the idea came from Treadle On.

Emotional reaction: Optimistic but skeptical. It’s at least worth a shot…

So I tested it. I found the notepad didn’t stick to the machine with its own adhesive as well as I would have liked, so I secured it down with a piece of masking tape. Lo and behold, it worked! I was able to sew a long straight seam by keeping the fabric right against the edge of the Post-its.



Emotional reaction: Super excited again.


18 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Katherine
    Apr 07, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    When Kelsey suggested the magnetic guide to me and in turn me to you, I was super excited as well, but I’m SO GLAD YOU POSTED THIS. My machine, though not a Brother, is also computerized, and I have a feeling that magnetic seam guide would have caused me the same woes.

    Post it notes? Let’s just call you the MacGyver of the sewing world. Brilliant! I will have to do this ASAP.


    • Kelly
      Apr 07, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

      Glad to help :)


  2. Debbie
    Apr 08, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    What a great, resourceful idea. Don’t you just love thos “lightbulb” moments?


    • Kelly
      Apr 08, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

      Yes, they’re great!


  3. M
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    I have a computerized machine also…a Bernina- what brand is yours? My sister, sews perfectly straight seams all on her own…I am so jealous of her…I need a guide!
    Happy A-Z April!


  4. Lucy Adams
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    I’m catching up on my A to Z visits.

    My grandmother was a fabulous seamstress. She could sew anything. I’ve tried many times to improve my skills. The only thing I’m really good at making, though, is a pillow case. But, I suppose, that’s something.



    • Kelly
      Apr 09, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Lucy! A pillow case is nothing to scoff at!


  5. Sue
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    I have to admit that I am not a seamstress – I’m visiting from the A to Z challenge. But, I looked around at your blog and I’ve subscribed just for decorating ideas. I love the pics of your living room (I’m going to pin it in pinterest) and I’m sure you will have others. So, although I may not be making my own pillows, I can still get ideas…and my sister sews like crazy, so I can always forward projects to her that I REALLY want made. And who knows? Maybe you will inspire me to try sewing for myself! :)


    • Kelly
      Apr 09, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

      Hi Sue! Thank you so much for checking out my blog and subscribing I hope you keep finding my posts inspiring, whether for decorating or sewing ideas — or both!


  6. Tammy
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    I love this!
    I’m a quilter so I do alot of sort seams when I piece, but really dislike when I have to sew long rows together or sew on borders
    because it really is hard to keep those seams straight!
    I plan on trying this method!


    • Kelly
      Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:27 am

      I hope it helps!


  7. Michelle L.
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    Hi, Kelly – a friend sent me to your blog – what a great post! I am learning to sew and can’t wait to try this! Thanks for a fun tutorial – you are a really good writer.


    • Kelly
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! I hope this helps with your sewing :)


  8. Nancy
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 7:49 am

    Thank you for thw informtion on sewing a straight seam using post its. Im on it ASAP. im excited you have made my day! I have both items already in the house. Wow what an exceellent idea. Thanks again!


  9. Michele A.
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 8:12 pm



  10. neeruam
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 3:18 am

    To maybe make this idea even better, Post-It now makes a Super Sticky version as well as a version that has adhesive over the entire back of the note. I don’t know if one works better than the other though, but I’m planning to test both very soon. One or the other may eliminate the need for the masking tape…


    • Kelly
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 4:27 pm



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