crafts · Sewing

Making marks

In my last post I asked for advice on marking dark fabrics.  I received so many great responses – thank you!  I personally find marking fabric to be one of the most difficult steps – there are so many choices, but no one solution – it all depends.   I most often use a water soluble marker for washable fabrics that aren’t too dark (I do test for removal first, but it’s been ok so far.)  I have tried the pens for marking on dark fabric (don’t show up half the time, and are very faint,) soapstone pencils (way too hard to get a mark,) chalk wheels (hinky to use, but it may be that I have the Fons and Porter one instead of the Clover version everyone recommends,)  tracing paper (doesn’t always mark, and not good for use on the right side,) and tailor’s tacks (works, sort of, but seriously annoying to do…. I’d rather save them for silks.)    Finally, with your guidance, I found this:

It’s made by Dritz, and consists of long sticks of chalk in a pencil holder.   You can sharpen them with the provided sharpener, and look at all the colors it comes with!  It removes my issues with chalk – that it’s hard to mark small things, and how hard it is to handle.  It does brush away (the sample above was marked and then removed) but not as easily as the chalk wheel.  I found it easy to make the insane number of markings required by my pattern:

I’m about halfway through construction on my dress.  It’s not that hard once you get past the twist on the bodice, but it is time consuming.  The best part?

The red lining!   I actually hate lining things – it involves making the dress again, and since I’ve already made a muslin it’s #3 for me.  Vintage patterns rarely call for linings, but modern patterns often do.  I assume this is because no one wears a slip anymore.  Ive already declared my love of the slip, and I often leave them out – I’d rather have the slip, which is easily laundered, next to my skin, so that the dress gets less wear and tear.  Sometimes, on something closely fitted, a lining is necessary (as with this dress.)  I can’t go without in the winter, because I hate when my dress sticks to my tights, though in the summer I rarely wear slips.What do you think?  Do you line everything, or do you wear the increasingly difficult to find slip?

21 thoughts on “Making marks

  1. I have never seen the chalk pencil. That looks awesome!

    I actually often overdo it and wear a slip with lined dresses. My default is that I wear slips with dresses and skirts. If they are lined, cool. If not, still cool.

    1. It was in the quilting section – it’s labeled as a quilting tool, so be sure to check there if your store has both. I find all the nicer markers are for quilters!

  2. I have to have that chalk pencil. I go through so many markers, it’s crazy.
    The only thing I line are dresses and some skirts with sheer fabric. You’re right about the slip, they are hard to find nowadays. 🙂

  3. Did you get it at Jo-Ann’s? Because I have some of their 50% off coupons and nothing else that I need right now…..

  4. Thank you so much for the info on the marking tool. I have been looking for something to mark dark fabrics. I have gotten to where I line most things, because I really don’t like slips. However, sometimes it is so tempting not to line because it just makes the project last longer.

  5. I got one of these recently too and I LOVE it. I just got sick and tired of buying pencils and every time I’d sharpen them the lead drops out because they are broken all through inside. Once I sharpened a brand new pencil all the way to a stump and I was so mad. Anyway, did I say I LOVE it? 🙂 THe Chaco chalk pens from Clover are also great and I use the spikey tracing wheel thingo with transfer paper too, each has it’s uses.

  6. I love slips but hate that they’ve gotten so hard to find (and don’t come in as many lengths/styles as I’d like). I really do wish they’d come back and not seen as antiquated or whatever.

  7. I am one who prefers to wear slips, as you do. I try to make summer skirts and dresses in a way so as not to have to wear one. But I have made a handkerchief weight linen half slip that I wear in the summer when necessary. The chalk marker looks great. I ordered a box of “Jems” Tailor’s Chalk to mark my dark fabrics. It came in several colors too, but I like the fact that you can sharpen yours.

  8. I have one of those markers , here in the UK they are readily available and I love them . They are narrow enough to make fine lines !! Be carefull with it though I dropped mine and the chalks all broke. Doh !

  9. I have slips that I’ve had forever & they haven’t worn out. Dresses (I just bought one lined on top only: I wear a 1/2-slip for bottom un-stickiness), I haven’t made in a long time & I suppose I wouldn’t line it unless absolutely necessary: i.e. very sheer fabric….
    Interesting point about slips (slipping) “out” of fashion….

  10. I am a BIG fan of slips, it´s the best trick in the book for making clothes look better, last longer, be more comfortable etc. etc. I made my favorite slip from a vintage pattern. It´s made on the bias and is super soft silk. Love it!

    By the way, that chalk pencil looks amazing!

  11. I’ve just been thinking about buying a slip! I’m a bit hit and miss with making linings. It depends on the item I’m making and what I’ll be wearing it with. For summer outfits, no way!

  12. My mother always taught me to wear slips, and I do, without failure. I am not a vintage purist, though, as I only tend to wear half slips, though I can certainly see the advantage of a full slip under a dress. I actually have some “slip fabric” – no idea what it’s called – that I inherited from my aunt. The problem is that I don’t have a pattern! Maybe I’ll find one online somewhere. I find it so interesting that women even 60 years ago still sewed everything – underwear, bras, etc. – themselves. I’m so thankful I don’t have to do that!

  13. I’m a fan of lining all of my fall clothes or ANYTHING with a slit. There’s nothing tackier than seeing a slip show at the slit. Makes me crazy.

    That said, I DO like a good slip, too. Sometimes I wear a slip even in a lined garment.

    That new chalk pencil is cool, btw!

  14. If you don’t choose to make your own slips, I suggest buying silk ones through a catalog like Winter Silks that also makes silk thermalwear for the winter. They have some nice affordable ones and they are not polyester like the affordable ones you could find in a store.

  15. For summer weather I usually line in a thin cotton (broadcloth or something similar). This will be my first winter sewing garments so I’m going to try lining them with lining fabrics.
    I love slips as well though. I’ve found a few great ones at vintage shops and have altered them to fit. I also found a great vintage (70’s) pattern for a full, half slip and cami. I’ve made the slip in cotton so far, but intend on making it in a more traditional slip-type fabric in the future. I’ve tried finding them in stores, but they’re becoming increasingly hard to find.

  16. I think the bag may be Kate Spade. It looks brand new. All your finds were great. I love going to the thrift stores (and there are many here in Hilton Head) but I don’t always have the vision. I buy things mostly for buttons.

  17. I mix between lining and wearing a slip. with some outfits neither!!! Especially summer fabric, or fabric which is fine with stockings and does not itch. In winter I wear a lot of wooley singlets!!! hahaha I’m such a nana.
    I usually to tailors tackes with coloured cotton to mark on fabric – very time consuming but accurate. The bonus is they will remain even if you leave a projet for ages before coming back to them. But the coloured chalk kit you found looks really great!

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