Measurement tool

I note there was a request for a measurement tool several years ago

I would like to reiterate this request. It would be really useful to be able to have a tool that could pull measurements off my patterns on an ad-hoc basis. The previous thread suggested that we simply add lines which I have done. The problem with this is that my patterns are now littered with measurement lines which also prevent the deletion of points which might happen to be used as measurements. The sensitivity of Seamly also means that hovering the mouse over a line to take a measurement can feel clunky. Could the idea of a measurement tool be re-evaluated?

Many thanks in advance.

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Hello & welcome to the forum, @Byeek

Wow! this is an old request - from 2017. I have found it in Github here.

@Douglas will be the person to re-evaluate how it will fit into the programming currently happening.

Are you just looking to (temporarily) measure or know the distance between 2 points? That would be doable, but if you’re looking to then use that measurement in a formula, we’re basically talking adding a line and using it’s length.

If you just need to know the distance - draw a line between 2 points, jot down the length, then press cancel.

Put those “measurement” lines in a group and hide them. That’s what the groups are basically for - to declutter the drafting board.

You could try zooming in to be less sensitive. You could also look in the variables table to look up the line lengths

That being said… what would be the point of temporarily measuring the distance between 2 points, when the whole idea behind the app is that the pattern is meant to change with the ME measurements? To me it’s perfectly acceptable to add lines, give them a specific color / linetype, put them in a named group, and hide them when neccessary.

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I played around with the measure tool in Inkscape… as well as Seamly. You can kinda use the point at distance and angle between 2 points (without clicking the 2nd point) and look at the status bar to see what the length and angle are - sort of - as you’re just hovering over the second point, so there is some error.

That being said, I could see duplicating the geometry part of the point at distance and angle tool, but just not create and save the point. To go a step further I would add the option to do a Shift - click to add the length & angle to a temp list in a dock - as a scratch pad. Once the pattern is closed the list is cleared. I should note the tape tool in Inkscape only measures one item at a time, and is not saved at all. So if you have a lot of measurements to take, unless you have a good memory, you’re going to be writing the figures down.

It would be nice to have it work like the tape in Inkscape - where it measures the distance between every line / curve the “tape axis” crosses, but it would be way more involved.


“Are you just looking to (temporarily) measure or know the distance between 2 points?”

Yes - temporary measurement. For example, I use formulas to work out the waist darts for my garments but there is also a negative ease to factor in. The only way to check that I have got the waist measurement correctly darted is to measure each of the sections which can only be done by adding lines between the various points on the waistline. It is all rather faffy.

I was thinking of something along the line of:

  • select tool
  • select first point
  • select second point Popup or dialog or properties box shows the distance

You could also extend the tool to measure through multiple points like you can on Google Maps and perhaps also incorporate curves to check measurements of armseye vs. sleeve curve.

All of this is doable with what is currently there, but it is a faff and requires multiple clicks and generally, the use of a third party calculator.

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There’s a built in calculator I put in… Utilities->calculator. :slight_smile:

Yes… like Inkscape also does- where it finds all intersetion points between the start and end point. Thing is, figuring out how to parse the geometry for all the tools that the measurement line might cross.

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Love the calculator. A conversion mechanism between cm and inches or even better, the ability to switch measurements on any pattern would also be brilliant. I prefer to work in cm but all my US customers work in inches so I end up writing on bits of paper to convert them.

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Something of an after thought… don’t know if this would be applicable in your case, but conditional statements can be used in formulas.

While I’m generally stuck using inches, there are times when I want to know the decimal conversion of fractions - thus that table in the utilities. I also find at times when I need to scale a sketch to a pattern - that’s where mm / cm comes in handy - it’s just easier dealing in base 10. Just wish they made tape measures like an engineers scale - inches divided in 10ths. :slight_smile:

At some point I’d like to update the calculator so it can insert a result into a formula.


Just an FYI… I create a separate like calculating the lengths of various curves so that I can see at a glance whether I’m happy wiith the difference and adjust the pattern accordingly if I’m not, and these lengths update automatically:


This way, I don’t need to keep checking all the lengths & it saves my sanity.

Thank you very much for this, @Douglas. I knew it was on here somewhere, but I just couldn’t find it :sweat_smile:

Enter your measurements as [inch measurement]*2.54 & you won’t have to do the math manually. & I haven’t experimented much with it personally, but I understand that if your Measurements file is tagged as in inches, but your block is in cm, Seamly will automatically adjust them.



Yup… me too. It’s just a digital way of walking an armhole and sleeve to make sure a sleeve will fit with some cap fullness.

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Let me give you an example of where I could use a measurement tool right now.

I have just received a garment back that needs adjusting. I had made some assumptions about the measurements but now have the correct measurements so have redrafted the sleave.


Black external lines are the original and blue internal lines are the correct measurement. Now, I need to adjust the garment by undoing the seam, cutting away some material and then putting back together. There is no way to roughly work out the horizontal distance between B26 and the adjacent black curve.

Sure, I could draw a line and measure it, but that is a lot of mouse clicks for a number. Similarly, all of the work-arounds people have suggested are compromises that could be made quicker and much more effective.

Thanks for the comments on inches. Again, the suggest solutions feel like clunky work arounds that could easily go wrong if incorrectly applied. Could there not be a radio button that allows measurements to be switched between cm and inches in a second? Some of my clients work in inches and some in cm.

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Since creating a measurement file in the measurement system which your client gives their measurements in is not very clunky, I assume the clunkiness is because the measurement file has already been started in cm, but since these clients send their additional measurements in inches you’d have to either manually convert the new measurements, or re-enter all the old measurements to take advantage of Seamly2D automatically converting them for the block?


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To be honest this just seems to be an example for a measuremt tool to fix an improperly drafted (sleeve) pattern.

That’s not to say there’s not a need for a measurement tool.

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Hmmm… I wonder if I could come up with an event filter to automatically convert ME measurents from one unit to another? For example - assuming a measurement file is in cm, and you need to add / change a few measurements that are in inches… Given it’s easy to get the current units - I could see IF the event filter checks for say the Ctrl modifier, that when you enter 1 (inch) and press Ctrl + ENTER, it converts to 2.54 (cm) ELSE pressing ENTER, TAB, or clicking elsewhere, 1cm is entered OR vice versa cm to inches.