Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Confession


I'm not the world's most conscientious person when it comes to transferring marks from pattern pieces to fabric.

When I took Home Ec. in high school (back when it was required of all girls and forbidden from all boys), marking was a big deal. We dutifully transferred every mark using tracing carbon paper and a little rolling wheel. It seemed to take forever and I hated it.

Now, I'm a bit more cavalier. I "transfer" marks along the periphery of each pattern piece by taking tiny snips into my fabric (anything smaller than the seam allowance works just fine). I don't do any other markings until I get to the point in the construction when I need them. Then I typically use pins. Sometimes I use tailor's chalk or a fabric safe ink pen.

What I NEVER use is my old high school nemesis tracing carbon paper and wheel!

How about you? How religiously do you mark your fabric? What tools do you use?

Photo "credit" clearly goes to me. Sorry for the blurriness!

14 comments:

wendy said...

I have some clover wax paper that I use with a wheel to transfer tucks and most darts. When I make the little dresses for the nieces they often have tucks that need a fold line and a stitching line marked off, or inverted pleats in the skirts. Kids clothes are so fast to mark, though. zip and you're done.

Clover paper is soooo much nicer than the icky chalk paper that JoAnns carries although you do have to be careful to remove the marks for ironing or you could permanently set them.

You can buy it in NYC's garment district or online at a few places. amazon carries it, for one.

wendy said...

that should say "remove the marks before ironing". it has wax in it, so an iron can melt it into the fabric.

Summerset said...

Oh, the part about sewing I like the least, the marking. I know it needs to be done, and it makes for much better garments, but I leave it until right before I use the piece while it is still pinned to the tissue.

I only mark what I absolutely have to, and rarely cut notches. I'll make a small mark on the fabric for those, and only for the necessary ones: for armscyes/sleeves, princess seams, collars, and any unusual constructions, darts and pleats.

I use a variety of marking tools, mainly pencil (I know, I know!), water soluble pen, or white water soluble marking pens, or tracing paper and wheel. Whatever is closest and best suited to the fabric. I rarely use chalk, although I have it, because some of it has wax that gets stuck in the fabric if ironed.

Lindsay T said...

UGH! I hate marking too. But I just set in a sleeve the wrong way because I was too lazy to mark it. I have some adhesive label dots about 5/8" in diameter that I use to mark notches and the like when I remember it. Sometimes I'm really good about marking, but I need to be better.

Becky said...

I do mark pretty regularly--used to cut the notches, but I've recently just started doing a tiny snip instead. And stuff like dots and darts, I'll mark with thread so I can just pull it out later and it won't leave any residual markings. It's a pain, and one of my least favorite parts of sewing, but otherwise I'm not sure I could get things lined up properly. Especially for things where easing is involved, like sleeves, and things where gathering is involved. (Knowing me, it would be all skewed to one side!)

Lisa Laree said...

Mostly, I'm a notch snipper, too, but for internal marks...like dart points...I use tailor's tacks.

And I will pull out the wheel-and-paper for some unusual things, like the shaped darts in Sewing Workshop's Tribeca shirt.

On *very* rare occasions, I will thread-trace....

mamafitz said...

i snip in the seam allowance for notches, but i don't mark all notches (like side seams or underarm seams. i don't mark those at all). sometimes i mark the sleeve, but usually i just put a pin in one side so i can tell the front from the back.

if i have to mark dart ends, tucks, etc, i use pins or tailor's tacks. i once made one of those gunne sax dresses in highschool (i graduated in 1988), and it was chock full of pleats, tucks, etc. i marked each one with one of those disappearing pens. made the dress. the marks disappeared. then, when i washed and ironed the dress after wearing, the marks CAME BACK! since then, i almost never use any sort of pen, pencil, etc for marking.

i did use a regular pencil to mark the embroidery lines on my nephew's christening gown. i was nervous about that!

Lori said...

I don't like marking either. My method is quite like yours, snips at the time of cutting and then I leave the other marking until I am ready for that peice.

Miss Linda said...

I dutifully mark every little thing, including cutting out every notch exactly inside the lines. I feel like the Sewing Fairy is going to smack me with her magic wand if I don't mark everything and cut every notch. Hopefully, as I become more experienced and more confident with my sewing, I will find more efficient ways of marking.

Christine said...

Like Miss Linda, I cut out all the notches as they are. Maybe it's a newbie thing, but I just feel like I'll mess something up if I try to take a short-cut.

KARIMA said...

I use tracing paper and wheel to mark the sleeve v shape thingee for a sleeve packet. I will use paper and wheel to mark button hole and button placement on the wrong side of the cuff after i've interfaced it; then i usually thread baste the marking. I do this so I don't have to quess where my buttonhole and button goes when I'm ready to sew them. Other then that, I snip in the seams.

Sarah said...

I barely mark... You and I are definately on the same wavelength there.

I drafted the pattern for the red dress, and didn't put in grainlines until it was already sewn together!

I cut a triangle out instead of in for notches, and I leave pieces pinned to the pattern till I decide which marks are essential... then I use pins or this fun chalk clicky-thing because it makes me giggle. Tailor's tacks are something I never mastered, so they don't happen anymore.

gaylen said...

I'm actually trying to get better about marking. I've always done a hap-hazard job and I think my sewing may have suffered. Now I use chalk, the clover wax paper and a tracing wheel and I'm working on tailer tacks. g

sewducky said...

LOL while it wasn't required I already sewed better then the teacher and wasn't allowed to take the class because my ah, opinions were vocalized too much.

I do thread tailor tacks, or thread tracing, I have no issues with marking, and I usually have a bobbin half full I can't use again so it doesn't go to waste. It's not one of those things I worry too much about, I do it and don't think too much about it, or I use chalk I stole from my kid and a ruler to connect the thread dots for darts.

Notching is a whatever. I do it, but I french seam most of my garments so they get cut off anyway.

Now if you want to talk about how the inside of a garment is, I get all anal and weird about that LOL!