1. Chalk Pen -- This is my favorite for quick markings like where seams need to meet up, spots that need to be gathered, button placement, or center points. The holder keeps the chalk from getting on your fingers while you're working. You can choose which color chalk will show up on your fabric best. This is not a great option for children.
2. Clover Chalko Pen -- Clover Chaco Liner Pen Style Chalk Marker. Pen Style Chaco Liners fine point permits the accurate drawing of both straight lines and freehand curves. The fine point makes lines and marks more visible and is easy to use with a straight edge ruler. Easy replacement refill available. Chalk washes or brushes away. This is what I grab when things have to be precise. This is also what I use with children in my classes.
3. Washable marking pen -- There are many colors available and they are fairly inexpensive, which makes them a good option if you're just starting out. I don't like to use them in most cases because they tend to drag while marking and you have to wash the marking out. Most, even the ones that say disappearing, don't fully disappear until washed.
4. Tracing wheel and dressmaker's carbon -- Tracing wheels are available in smooth or spiked versions and are great for transferring paper patterns onto fabric. The dressmaker's carbon paper is available in many colors so you can choose the color that will show up on your fabric best. Tracing wheels are great when marking pattern outlines and darts.
5. Tailor's chalk -- Tailor's chalk is more compressed than regular chalk so it doesn't crumble as easily and makes a sharper line on the fabric. Rubs off when you are finished.
How to Mark the Fabric With A Tracing Wheel
Always test to be sure that wheel will not damage the fabric.
- Work on a protected hard surface.
- Mark on the wrong side of fabric only, following instructions on Tracing Paper package.
- Apply even pressure.
- To keep the fabric from bunching up, roll the blade forward, then slightly backward motion as you trace along the line. Hold fabric taut in front of the tracing wheel.
Use a See-Thru Dressmaker's Ruler as a guide for tracing straight lines.
Before you remove the entire pattern, check to make sure the lines have transferred completely and visibly onto the fabric.
HAVE YOU TRIED ALL OF THESE TOOLS OR MORE? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?
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