Saturday, July 10, 2010

gadgets & gizmos...

I'm a huge Alton Brown fanatic - I'm a little bit of a food science geek :] My degree is in Family and Consumer Science Ed [that is the new name for Home Ec - the curriculum really has changed alot from the '50s, so a name change is somewhat warranted]. In college I loved learning why things cooked, froze, turned into ice cream, caught on fire, etc., etc. Anywho, Alton has a motto when it comes to buying gadgets and gizmos for your kitchen: no one trick ponies. i.e. no avocado slicers or corn butterers, you know those 'must have' kitchen tools that only perform one task. I kinda forget his valuable advice when it comes to crafting tools - and I'm kinda regretting it with this next tool... Anyhow here's a review:

Problem: Making piping that has a perfect quilter's 1/4" seam allowance. I noticed that I was cutting off the points of some of my pillow tops because my piping seam allowance was too large. So I thought, 'Gee, if I could only make a ruler that would have an indent for the piping bump - then I could trim the piping down...'

Gizmo: Simplicity Studio Simpli-EZ Piping Wizard

How it works: Cut a wide strip from your piping fabric [I cut mine 1.5" for 1/4" piping]. Fold the fabric strip over your purchased cording. Using a zipper or cording foot, machine baste the piping. [see the first photo above].

Find the measurement on the ruler that coordinates to the size piping you have. Place the ruler over your piping, cut with your rotary cutter. Slide the ruler as you go.

Bottom line: Great idea, poor design. The piping doesn't fit tightly into the grooves. I ended up with a varied seam allowance anyways because it moved back and forth while I was cutting.

The bigger problem is that because the ruler is so thick, my rotary cutter can't be flush against the side of the plexi-glass. This resulted in several cuts into the ruler - you know those annoying nicks that dull your blade and make the ruler inaccurate.

I wouldn't recommend this product - at this point I am just glad I had a 50% off coupon when I bought it! Have you used this? Do you have a swell 'perfect cording' trick? Do tell...


  1. I can't tell you how impressed I am that you make piping. I'm thinking that one of the twenty sewing machine feet I have is probably for piping sewing/making. You know ... one of those odd ones that never leave my storage spot.

    I have so much to learn and I appreciate getting the input from more experienced sewers before I forge ahead. I feel like making piping now ....

  2. You should try the Darr Piping Magic Ruler. Here is a review on patternreview.com

    Here is another review:

    You can buy it at:

    I am going to get one someday.