How to Measure Curved Paths in Illustrator

Have you ever tried to perfectly fit a sleeve into a sleeve cap? Or a Peter Pan collar onto a neckline? Or just to measure around a curved opening on a garment to figure out how much binding to cut?

I’ve tried various methods – trial and error (ick!!), using a piece of yarn and then measuring and flexible rulers – but none has been accurate enough for my satisfaction.

Enter Adobe Illustrator. When designing sewing patterns, you can easily measure curved paths to make sure your pieces will fit together precisely without printing and cutting (and printing and cutting and printing and cutting, repeat, repeat).


  • Aafke

    Great post, love it! But isn’t your timetable a bit off? This was scheduled for jan 3 and for dec 26 was setting up preferences.

    • Lauren Dahl

      YES!! I switched two of the tutorials accidentally. I didn’t even realize it until you mentioned it. Hopefully no one else will notice. Fingers crossed. :)

      • Aafke

        I have a reminder in my schedule so I wouldn’t miss a post, that’s how much I love it :-)
        The time-difference is a pain, because you post on the 26th, but by that time it’s the 27th over here, I checked like 10 times that day!

  • Elisa Clark

    Thanks for sharing this Lauren! SO helpful!

    • Lauren Dahl

      No problem!

  • vstraylor

    I just watched some of your video so I could see what you looked like in real life talking! hahaha! :)

    • Lauren Dahl

      That is hilarious!! I love it!

  • Abby Smith

    I finally found a minute to sit down and watch this, Lauren, and all I have to say is THANK YOU!!! This will make life sooo much easier for me! I’ve tried to figure out how to measure curves in AI forever but could only find solutions using expensive plugins. You are the best!

    • Lauren Dahl

      It took a lot of head scratching, but isn’t it awesome? It was a total accidental find. :)

  • Elli

    Thanks SO MUCH, Lauren! Now I wish I could just get the time back that I’ve wasted measuring curves manually :)

    • Lauren Dahl

      I wish I could give that back to you…I can’t…but at least I can save you some time in the future! :)

  • Heidi Kettner

    Just used this method today thanks to you, Lauren. It’s brilliant and much appreciated! :)

    • Lauren Dahl

      Wonderful, Heidi! :)

  • Anneliese

    Such a cool tip! Yeah! Thank you so much.

    • Lauren Dahl

      My pleasure. :)

  • Tilly

    Brilliant! I’ve been wondering how to do that. Thanks so much for sharing! x

    • Lauren Dahl

      I’m so glad to help!!! I stopped doing these tutorials on my blog, but there are like, a million of them in my Pattern Workshop course. :)

  • Brooke Floyd

    OMG I want to hug you right now!!Thank you do much for this..I just wish I would have read this before I designed my peplum pattern. I taught Illustrator for 7 years on and off and never knew about this. I did trial and error with cut out for days. This might have changed my life! Im so glad Allie Olson told me to check out your site.

    • Lauren Dahl

      You are quite welcome!! xoxo

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