Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Sewing, Tools | Comments Off on Optional Tools: The Hip Curve

I realized as I get further into tutorials, we might stumble upon tools that I didn’t mention in my original post about sewing necessities. Some of them are tools that I don’t have a ton of uses for, like the seam gauge. Others are tools that I only recently discovered how awesome they are, but didn’t want to impose the extra costs of advanced tools when you were just starting out.

The Hip Curve is one of those tools.

I first learned about the hip curve about a year ago when I was researching how to draft my own patterns rather than altering the ones I already had.

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There was a lot of that.

Pretty much every patterning book that I read suggested the hip curve as a way to draft out waistlines and curved hemlines. I had to go look up what the heck one was.

That image links you to the one I bought, but more about that later.

As you can see, a hip curve is a type of ruler that curves ever so slightly. Like I said, it’s used for waistlines, hemlines as well as lapels.

As seen here in the red portions of a skirt sloper.

As seen here in the red portions of a skirt sloper.

So, I set out on my quest to locate a hip curve. I found many different options ranging from $17 to more than $50. What struck me is that 90% of what I was finding was the same item with a different price. I didn’t find very good prices in town either.

That brought me to Amazon, the bane of all other businesses. The image link above will take you to hip curve that costs 17.50 USD. When I found it, it was on sale for just under $12.

So, I thought, let’s find the same curve on Amazon.ca. That should be a comparable price, right? WRONG!!! The same hip curve on Amazon.ca cost over $50. Of course, it promised to be at my door in 3 days and have free shipping and all that, but it was 400% more expensive!

I went back and checked on the US hip curve and it did, in fact, ship to Canada. For free nonetheless! It would take 2 weeks instead of three days, but I was totally willing to wait.

It arrived in perfect shape with no tariffs or C.O.D. charges, and I used it for the first time to make a skirt pattern. A light came from heaven and the angels sang. This was so much better! Now, it’s hanging with all my other drafting tools, and I use it whenever I can.

I guess the question you’re asking is, if it’s so great, why is it listed as an optional tool? Well, I survived sewing for over 20 years without ever hearing of one. I’ve been drafting patterns (in some way) for about 10 years and I just made a curve by eye. Does this make my life better? Yes! Do you need one? Well that’s up to you. If you find yourself drafting patterns more and more, you’ll probably want one. If you don’t have $20 to hand to Amazon, you don’t, and I totally get that. I just found this downloadable version of a hip curve that should get you through some tight spots. This site does require you to create a free account, but the hip curve is a great free tool. They look like they have a lot of other free stuff too.

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