Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Best Way To Draw On Your Fabric

There are lots of tools out there for marking fabric and I’ve tried most of them: chalk, special clickable pens with disappearing ink, Crayola  washable markers.  For a long time, I thought I could just pin at the marks on a pattern and call it a day.  But, when serging knits, pins become tricky business, especially if you put the pedal to the metal as I’m inclined to do.  They make clips that you can use instead of pins, but particularly on cuffs or neckbands, they are more of a hassle than necessary.

Enter my new favorite way to mark fabric.  That’s right!  Raid your child’s playroom and get all of the washable markers and claim them as yours.  They are bright, rich colors and I have never had them not wash off a fabric.  Instantly. Without even needing soap!  I no longer hesitate to make all kinds of marks, lines, dots and even and R or L on a piece if I know I’m going to confuse them.  These are the regular fat markers but the thin ones would be just as nice.  This set is called ultra clean washable, so maybe that’s why they disappear so quickly.  I love marking fabric now!  Maybe I wouldn’t use these on precious bridal gown fabric just in case, but I’ve used them without hesitation on all of my me makes and I
Haven’t had any trouble yet.

But what to do if the fabric is dark, heavy and just won’t let the colors show?

Chalk pencils
Enter the previously suggested method of using chalk.  You can use chalk for a chalkboard (if you can even find that anymore) or the tailors chalk you can find at sewing supply stores or you can get these chalk pencils which I really like.  They sharpen like a pencil- I use a handheld eyeliner pencil sharpener so I don’t ruin my electric one.  Because they are wooden, with chalk on the inside,  you don’t end up with chalky hands.  Best of all, It’s like they were meant for denim, darks, and heavy weights.  They show up so well! And like the markers, the chalk will wash off.  Or you can just brush it off.

I found that the disappearing ink pens disappear too quickly for me.  Because they are designed to either evaporate on their own after 48 hours or with water, when ironing, they vanish.  The washable markers mentioned above don’t disappear unless I am using a ton of steam or spray water directly on them. 

As every home ec teacher just have bellowed from the rafters (I have no idea because I never have home ec) you really need to mark your fabric for the best precision and there are a ton of options out there.  Washable markers have been a game changer for me.  And I’ll leave you with a hard learned lesson:

Marked underwear pattern
When you’re being really smart and you mark fabric for underwear, choose something other than a red marker  🤯.  And don’t use brown, either.  And always wash them before wearing just to make sure there is no color left at the crotch markings.  And refrain from red thread on your underwear unless your fabric or elastic  is red.  No one needs that trauma.  

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