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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Marker, Chalk or What??? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Marker, Chalk or What???
Help! I'm so confused on what marking tools can be used on what fabrics...or which is actually best!
Butterfli Bleu
Butterfli Bleu
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Florida USA
Member since 3/31/06
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Date: 4/6/06 2:13 AM

So, I'm taking my first sewing class and the list says to get the "Chaco Liner" marking tool (the one with talc). I just saw it and it looks so akward and bulky. I was reading the back of some of the other marking pens/pencils/tools and saw that there were warnings about testing the fabric prior to using...

So, my question is: Who likes what? I was leaning towards soapstone for darks...but what about for lights? Also, do the marks REALLY rub off?

Help!!!
(Thanks!)
-- Edited on 4/6/06 2:13 AM --

beanbun
beanbun
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Date: 4/6/06 2:37 AM

Well, I can't really help, but I'm interested in this too.

Edit: Although I'm under the impression that the markers are a lot like invisible ink, once they dry they leave a very slight line that fades over time.
-- Edited on 4/6/06 2:39 AM --

SewVeryTall
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SewVeryTall
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Date: 4/6/06 6:15 AM

I like to have several different things to mark with, because different fabrics need different things.

The class probably recommended the chalkoliner because it does actually mark easily and will work on many types of fabrics. But then, white talc isn't going to show on white fabric. "Sewing chalk" or "sewing chalk pencils" are almost worthless...they are so darn hard, it just doesn't mark. Personally, I like regular old school chalk for non-white fabrics.

Sometimes I mark with pins, or with a needle and thread [tailor's tacks]. Cutting a notch outward is another favorite [for edge of pattern markings].

Some people like to use Crayola washable markers that come in several colors [on washable fabric, of course].

I do have an air soluble marker...supposed to last 48 to 72 hours before disappearing. Ha! Don't count on it...sometimes these marks are lucky to last 3 or 4 hours.



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Ardis

the lefthanded daughter of a lefthanded mother

Elaray
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Elaray
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Date: 4/6/06 7:05 AM

There are chalk & wheel markers that are ergonomically designed. For example, the current Nancy's Notions catalog is showing a Chaco Liner, available in blue or white, that is shaped like a pen. After ruining a blouse with the wrong marker, I'm always on the lookout for marking tools that are truly removable. So far the chalk and wheel markers have worked well for me on most projects.

ETA: I've also seen ergonomic chalk & wheel markers in the quilting department of JoAnn's
-- Edited on 4/6/06 7:07 AM --

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Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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Date: 4/6/06 8:32 AM

I use plain old tailor's chalk for most fabrics. I use blue or white, depending on the fabric color. Make sure you get the chalk holder/sharpener. It needs frequent sharpening.

However, I just got a chako liner, and I'm really impressed with it. The line is finer and more precise. It looks bulky in the package, but it actually works really well. I think your teacher knows what she is talking about.

I use washable marking pens for fabrics that don't take chalk well, such as sweater knits. But I'm very careful about these, because I once had a problem with the mark not disappearing with water, as promised. (Although it did wash out with laundering.)

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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Date: 4/6/06 8:56 AM

I love the chacoliner for marking on dark fabrics. Like Betty mentioned, the fine line is great and I can mark very precisely. I always use this to mark the topstitching line for fly zips as I know it will brush off easily when I'm done. The powder chalk goes a long way too. I really should get another one with yellow or blue chalk powder for marking on white/interfacing.

For most things, though, I use the blue water soluable markers. And generally (99.99%) mark only on the wrong side of the fabric. I don't tend to mark things like pocket placement at all and just place/pin by eye for the position I think looks best on me.

Sometimes I do use the tailor's chalk (blue and white) but I don't like how thick and clumsy it is and will only reach for it at certain times -- any example of which has completely flown out of my head right now.

------
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"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

BeckyC
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In reply to Butterfli Bleu


Date: 4/6/06 8:57 AM

The Chaco Liner is one of my favorite markers. I have it in blue and white powders. I can easily brush off the lines and it never fails to mark my fabrics like other markers and pencil do. It is the most reliable marker I have found for most fabrics.

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I feed my soul by the stitches I sew.



Nata
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Nata
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Date: 4/6/06 9:03 AM

I used to buy every new marking tool I caould get my hands on. I don't do it anymore. I use soap sliver for dark fabrics. It is always available in the house and free

I use fine #2 pensil for lighter colored fabrics. Lines are very fine, barely visible after washing. And, again, I never run out of it, and it's inexpensive. I also use fine ballpoint pen sometimes. I draw the lines very lightly, so it looks fairly neat on the inside. The key with using pen or pensil is making sure it does not show through to the right side.

Finelly, I use water soluble marker (blue color) for white fabrics. I also use disappearing marker (purple) for marks on the right side of the garnment (like pocket placement).

I wanted to use onlythe best available marking tools when I was beginning to sew. After awhile I realized that they don't have to be expensive, or designed for sewing. I also found that running out of stuff and running to the store or mail ordering was just another hassle, cutting into my sewing time. Not to mention that all those special markers cost more than a lead pensil, but don't work much better. Just my 2c worth

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Fabric bought in 2009: 30 yds
Fabrc sewn in 2009: 19 yds
Fabric stash: 145 yds

3 Garments IN and 6 Garments OUT

Learn To Sew
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In reply to Butterfli Bleu


Date: 4/6/06 11:47 AM

I love my Chalkoliner in White. I do not care for the one in yellow, however. I had a hard time getting the yellow one to come out of the zipper topstitching area. I had to pretreat it 3 times, as I used it pretty hard on the pants and then realized that was not a good idea! Live and learn and try something else.

What I really love is my Mark-B-Gone pen that comes off in water. I was really unsure of it, so I got it on my fingers and got them wet. The blue marks just washed right off my fingers. I have not washed my garments I have marked with it yet, as I am not done with the waistband and hem. However, it comes off the sample easily. Last night in sewing class, my teacher told us to be careful and not iron them in permanently. Especially on light fabrics.

For light fabrics, I think making Tailor tacks might be the way to go.

I also have Tailors chalk that I like. It comes off, if you don't put it on too hard. Ask me how I know!

Carol

------
Bernina 630, my much loved main machine
Bernina embroidery module
Pfaff 2036 my back up & travel machine
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Sherril Miller
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Date: 4/6/06 12:14 PM

My new favorite marking tool is a pencil called "General's Sketch & Wash". I buy it at the quilting store in my area, but it leaves a nice dark line and really does just wash right out. It's a very soft graphite pencil and can be sharpened very easily in the pencil sharpner. The lead is quite thick and doesn't break at all. For darks I use a chalkoliner in pale blue, dark blue, or red, whatever will show up best. Sometimes I just use a pin, and unless I'm using a 1/4" seam allowance, I always snip my notches inward. It's faster and easier to do and then I don't have to go back and cut them off after I sew the seam. OK, this isn't necessary but I think it gives a less "homemade" appearance on the inside of my garment to have them gone.

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

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