Finding the best French curve ruler set won’t be a priority for many people. If you’re just using a sewing machine for mending or for creating simple, straight patterns, then you won’t need a French curve at all.
We encounter the need to add this type of set to our sewing tools when we venture out to be more creative.
We should use a French curve when we want to make t-shirts with beautiful necklines or shirts that hug our waist or a dress with a nice silhouette for the hips or other creations like that.
If you’re interested, check out my reviews for the best sewing chair, too.
Best French Curve Ruler Set: Top 6 Picks
Luckily for us, we can find a bunch of options for the best French curve ruler set.
You can find very good French curve ruler sets for as little as $10 and they offer a bit of variety for our patterns.
There are some that can cost $20-$30 but if you want to keep the price under $10 for an entire set, you can certainly do that.
I will also introduce you to more expensive options. However, those are for people who are already versed in using these creative tools and they appreciate something of high quality. They’re more geared towards professionals.
The whole idea of needing a French curve for sewing patterns is that our bodies aren’t made up of only straight lines. You can use a straight ruler for a very big part of your drawings but you’ll need a tool to draw curves with, too.
However, the reality is that if you want to make a whole range of different clothes, you’ll need to buy a few French curve rulers, especially if you’re planning to create complex patterns. You won’t find absolutely everything you need in a single set. It depends on what your projects require.
1. Fairgate Designer Vary Form Curve: Versatile French Curve Ruler
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a set from Fairgate and you don’t actually need the whole set then you can buy this vary form curve from them.
It’s the same 12-inch modified vary form curve that they include in both sets that I review in this article, just a bit below.
The very big difference is that when you buy this tool alone, it will cost you under $20.
If you have money for just one French curve ruler, then this Fairgate Designer Vary Form Curve would be my first option.
It’s made from aluminum and it has inches marked on the side.
It includes ⅛ inches calibrations on one edge and two sides.
This tool is absolutely perfect for a whole range of projects.
It can be used to make clothes for the upper body. Or to modify those that don’t fit around the neck or armholes.
It’s especially easy to design necklines with the Fairgate Designer Vary Form Curve.
More than that, you can use it to make the entire dress pattern.
It’s versatile, durable, of high quality, and overall, not that expensive.
I would say that this single tool can be the best French curve ruler that you were looking for.
2. Dritz Styling Design Ruler: 4-in-1
Once again, instead of reviewing a whole set, I’m going to recommend just a single tool as the pick for the best French curve ruler set.
Unlike the one from Fairgate, this one from Dritz is made of transparent plastic.
The manufacturer describes the Styling Design Ruler as having 4 rulers in 1. We can pretend that we’re getting a full set by buying just a single Dritz Styling Design Ruler.
It can be used as a:
- French curve
- hip curve
- straight ruler
- cut-out slots
All those things are possible because it combines several curves, a straight edge, and a ruler all in one.
That’s certainly more than enough to convince me that this is an awesome piece.
It is awesome for sewing, quilting or crafting projects. And the price is just around $20.
3. Mr. Pen French Curve and Template Ruler Set: Cheap & Durable
This set is made up of 6 pieces and it’s sold for a very cheap price.
It can be used for sewing but it’s also the kind of set that targets a wide range of users: drawing, drafting, art projects, etc.
The 6 pieces are: 4 French curve rulers, all purpose template and large and small circle template.
The curve rulers are of different shapes, sizes, and offer a variety of curvatures. They’re made from heavy weight transparent plastic with smooth inking edges.
The limitations are that these French curves are pretty tiny. They’re more useful for creating upper body clothes but I don’t see them as useful for making dresses and skirts. You need a different type of curve ruler for lower body clothes.
What I mostly like about this set is that it’s of very good quality. The plastic is durable and thick. I also like the variation of the tools included.
Plus, it’s one of the cheapest, best French curve ruler sets.
Just keep in mind that it’s a set that will work better for upper body projects. Or maybe you can use it to make dresses or skirts, too, and I just don’t see it.
4. Huanai French Curve Ruler Set: The Most Complete Set
This set could be absolutely perfect. And it comes so very close to being perfect because it has such a wide variety of pieces that it includes.
However, there are 2 things that stop it from being perfect: it costs a bit above $50, which can be too expensive for some. And the rulers are made of plastic.
For those who prefer aluminum, check out the tools from Fairgate.
Huanai describes the plastic as being thin, soft, strong and durable. The tools also include built-in scales.
The Huanai French Curve Ruler Set comes with the following pieces:
- multifunctional grading rulers
- sleeve cage curve ruler
- sleeve cage ruler
- button ruler
- large curve ruler
- sleeve curve ruler
- multifunctional clothing ruler
- sleeve arm ruler
- multifunctional comma curve ruler
- multifunctional cutting ruler
- multi-purpose curve ruler
- triangle scale drawing ruler
- multifunctional curved board cloud ruler
- 19.68in soft ruler
- 59.05in measuring tape
- crimping wheel
It’s certainly one of the most complete sets, whether you’re a seriously advanced amateur or just a beginner in making patterns of all kinds.
They work for drawing hips, trousers seams, bends of the arms, hip lines on pants and skirts, arm curves, necklines, etc.
It’s great for designers, patternmakers and tailors.
5. Fairgate Fashion Designers Ruler Kit
This is probably one of the most expensive options when it comes to buying the best French curve ruler set. Just the name alone will give that impression.
The tools included in this set are:
- 24-inch curve stick (used to develop lapel, elbow, skirt, slack, trouser or any other special contours)
- 12-inch modified vary form curve (for all kinds of pattern making)
- 14 x 24 inches designer’s L-square transparent graph rule
There are only 3 tools. Even so, with these 3 fashion design and pattern making tools you can make all types of clothes.
All the pieces are made of lightweight aluminum and are expertly crafted.
I also love the fact that it comes with an instruction book. It’s certainly designed for professionals or for experienced amateurs but it still has the good idea to include an instruction book.
6. Fairgate Fashion Designer’s Ruler Kit with Case: Best French Curve Ruler Set
Another absolutely excellent ruler set is this one. It’s another set from Fairgate but it includes a lot more tools than the above one, which only included three.
This set some with:
- 24-inch curve stick
- 12-inch modified vary form curve
- 12 x 2 inches cuff width rule
- 14 x 24 inches designer’s L-square transparent graph rule
- half-size L-square
- English-metric tape measure
- awl (for puncturing holes or enlarging existing holes)
- pencil compass
There’s also a 27 x 20 inches case to protect and transport your rulers and supplies.
A guide to pattern making is the last piece of the set. It can be a helpful guide for amateurs who are just venturing into creating more complex patterns.
What is a French curve ruler used for?
The name can give you a clue about what these tools are used for: the ruler helps you draw smooth curves on the drawing material.
Before we can sew, we have to draw. That’s where a French curve ruler comes in.
A French curve ruler set is ideal for drawing, drafting, art projects, etc.
When it comes to fashion projects, patternmakers and tailoring, the French curve is used for making curves for:
- shoulder curves
- contour dart ( mainly curves for the waist)
- hip curves
- making side seam adjustments
We’re definitely interested in them for our sewing and for our fashion projects but architects will be just as interested in them.
These tools are the easiest way to draw perfect curves. If you have one of these among your sewing tools, you can be reassured that your curves will contain lines that don’t waver and the angles will be correct.
How to use a French curve ruler
The whole point of using a tool like this one for our fashion projects or other creative things is that they should make things effortless.
The whole thing about drawing curves with a French curve ruler is that it must lay down flat. Once that is taken care of, with a pencil you just follow the pattern of the curve ruler without lifting up the pencil until you’re done.
If you’re used to using a straight ruler then you shouldn’t have any problems adjusting to a French curve.
Nevertheless, I also found this video on how to use it. That video is pretty basic but it offers a very good introduction on French curve rulers for beginners.
An even more useful video is this one. It goes into details a lot more. I recommend checking them out if you want to gain a good basis on how to use a French curve ruler.
This article also has some useful tips on how these tools are used.
Best French Curve Ruler Set Buying Guide
There aren’t really many things you must take into account when shopping for French curve rulers. Let’s cover a few of the most important ones.
One of the materials used for making these sewing/architectural/creative tools is plastic. However, the plastic must be durable and flexible. You don’t want the ruler to break into pieces after a few uses.
Some will be made of white transparent plastic, while others will come in transparent plastic of other colors. For example, the Mr. Pen Set has green transparent rulers.
The plastic must be thick and heavy enough that it lays down flat and doesn’t bow. That’s the only way we can draw perfect curves with correct angles and lines that don’t waver.
Moreover, another important thing for these kinds of tools made of plastic is that the edges must be smooth. If they’re a bit rough around the edges, there’s a simple fix: you can fix them with some sandpaper quite quickly and easily.
The other material used for making French curve rules is aluminum.
Fairgate is one of the most popular brands for curve rulers and their tools are all made from durable, lightweight aluminum.
I prefer aluminum over plastic but those made from aluminum will be more expensive.
Tools included in the set
Besides a few different French curve rulers that allow you to draw curves of different sizes and curvatures, a set might also include a few other tools for creating different patterns and shapes for your projects.
Some will include all purpose templates that contain circles, squares, triangles and other shapes like that. Another tool you might come across when looking for the best French curve ruler set is a large and small circle template.
Usually, these kinds of sets target both sewers and those who create other types of projects. They’re a bit more universal.
Others, like those from Fairgate, will include tools like curve stick, vary form curve, cuff width rule, L-square transparent graph rule, half-size L-square, English-metric tape measure, awl (for puncturing holes or enlarging existing holes), pencil compass.
You can tell that these are only for people who want to create beautiful, complex patterns for their clothes. They target professionals and amateurs who want to put their creativity on paper and then under the sewing machine.
As I’ve mentioned, if you want to keep the price under or around $10-$15, you can certainly do that.
It’s wonderful to see that we can get very helpful sewing tools for low prices and still be able to use high-quality products for our fashion and creative projects.
The same thing applies when we’re searching for perfect seam rippers, although a seam ripper and a French curve are totally different sewing tools. I’m sure that more people have heard of seam rippers than they have heard of French curve rulers.
If you want more complex sets, the price can exceed $100, like it’s the case with the Fairgate Fashion Designer’s Ruler Kit with Case.
Getting back to our subject, if you don’t want to spend too much money, I recommend checking out the Dritz Styling Design Ruler or the Fairgate Designer Vary Form Curve or Mr. Pen French Curve and Template Ruler Set as your options for the best French curve ruler set.