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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Marking white fabric?

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Marking white fabric?
How to mark pivotal and important dots on white fabric?
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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 9/4/13 2:07 PM

I just finished a white shirt, and made the Important Dots (for collar setting, for instance) with pencil.

Now it's finished, I can see that I did indeed sew on the Important Dots - the pencil marks show, even though they were done very lightly on the reverse.

What is the recommended procedure for marking white fabric, so that these marks do not show on the finished garment? I have just ordered some other expensive white fabric and don't want to make the same mistake again.

Also, as an experiment, yesterday I used one of those so-called 'fading pens' on a scrap of white fabric. I wrote (lightly!) Tuesday 3pm. More than 24 hours later I can still see that on the scrap.

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Date: 9/4/13 2:58 PM

Crayola washable markers do wash out of most fabrics, it is super important to buy the name brand because some of the knock-offs stink.

But the safest thing to do is to use a tailors tack with thread. I found a truly obnoxious neon yellow/green thread in a bargain bin years ago that I still use, it stand out on all fabrics.

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Date: 9/4/13 3:12 PM

Yeah, tailor's tacks. Though I have no shame at all about putting a visible, even permanent, mark where I'm sure it will not be seen during wear.

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Date: 9/4/13 3:30 PM

I agree, tailor's tack. If you are not sure how to do one, there are examples on youtube

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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 9/4/13 3:34 PM

What about tailor's chalk - not in white - does that wash out?

I tried marking the white shirt buttonholes in white tailor's chalk, but under the sewing machine light, I couldn't see the white chalk on white fabric......... so I hand tacked in a line of blue thread instead. Then pulled out that blue thread, buttonhole by buttonhole as I proceeded up the strip.

Trying to make the machine sew on white buttons on white fabric was even worse. I gave up and sewed them on by hand.

MrsCharisma
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Date: 9/4/13 4:07 PM

I usually test a corner of my fabric first to ensure it will wash out, but I buy the regular old water soluble markers in the notions section.

I have a disappearing one and boy does it disappear! Much, much too fastLike, in the time it takes me to finish marking and get to my machine, my marks are often gone. That's no help! But the water soluble marker works a treat.

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Date: 9/4/13 4:29 PM

I have an ordinary sewing chalk in yellow and use that, lightly, on most things, where it can be seen. It has always washed off, I've even brushed it off some fabrics (as in erasing it with a scrap of fabric) ...
I used it on a white denim-like fabric and brushed off the marks fairly well before washing and all marks were gone after the wash. However that was an experimental pants, when I really want to be safe I use tailor's tacks. I quite like them :)

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Date: 9/4/13 6:16 PM

Tailor's tacks are the safest, but a warning about using brightly coloured thread. I learned this lesson the hard way looooooong ago - if your thread sheds dye as you pull it through the fabric, it may not come out! So just like testing a fading or wash-out pen, test your thread. Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

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Date: 9/5/13 0:25 AM

Tailors tacks are safest, but I use blue chalk, the kind that has the little plastic holder and built-in sharpener. (I use blue on light colors and white on dark colors.) I keep a rolled up nylon knee-high in my sewing room to rub on the chalk for removal. I keep another rolled up knee-high in my closet to take deodorant marks off my tops. Works great!

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Date: 9/5/13 7:46 AM

I mark dots with elastic thread using a self-threading needle. It is textured just enough to stay put. Take a single thread through the tissue and fabric. Like tailor tacks, separate the layers and snip, leaving a tail on each layer. I use about 4 in. for each dot and have not had black thread bleed on white or light colors.

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