Mrs Bowden’s top tip – using tailor’s chalk

Following last week’s top tip about keeping your chalk in tip top order I thought it would be beneficial to look at different ways of using chalk when dressmaking.
Use chalk to mark the wrong side of a piece of fabric.  This is particularly useful when the ‘right’ side and ‘wrong’ side are very similar.  Even more critical if you tend to work in poor light as it can be difficult establishing the right and wrong side of the fabric.
You can mark the position of buttons and buttonholes.  This jacket was made from pure linen cloth with bound buttonholes down the centre front and on the patch pockets.  You may be able to see the ‘lips’ of the button holes are made using fabric cut on the bias to help it curve into the hole.
If you have a particularly long or shaped contour dart to sew marking the stitching lines in with tailor’s chalk or a temporary fabric pen can encourage accuracy and avoid ‘bananering’ the dart.
You can chalk around the edge of a pattern before cutting out – this can improve accuracy as you aren’t battling with the pattern tissue moving as you cut.  It’s also very useful if you are having to cut multiples of one shape – for example if you need to cut 4 pocket ‘bags’ and only have one pattern. You can mark the shapes out to check you have enough fabric for all the pieces.
Use the chalk to mark up alterations.
I do hope you have found this all helpful and can use your tailor’s chalk usefully and confidentally.

Until next time.

in stitches,

Mrs Bowden x

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