I must tell you about this wonderful little device (which everyone else may have known about for years, but it's new to me, and has me wanting to shout about it's fabulousness from the rooftops...). But first, the problem I have had that lead me to it:
I've always found the marker pens where the ink fades away after 24 hours to be a bit of a disappointment, for the lovely crisp lines they allow you to draw seem to dissolve almost immediately with exposure to light or heat and so the minute my fabric gets anywhere near my sewing machine lights it is a race to sew along my guidelines as fast as possible (and you can just imagine how attractively that turns out!). A dressmakers chalk is another option, but I sometimes find that for smaller items it is too cumbersome and doesn't give a fine enough line, so up until now I have stuck to a combination of squinting, sewing in the dark and cursing a lot....but now those days are behind me.
Meet the wonderful push-up chalk pen! It comes with with a selection of chalks for you to load in to the pen in all manner of colours and gives a satisfyingly thin line that brushes off quite easily afterwards. I now cannot imagine a sewing life without one.
I must also tell you about a green and thrifty option to marking that was recently brought to my attention by the lovely Hazel (who I must implore to start a blog so that I can link to all the loveliness that she makes!). Hazel sent a near-finished bar of soap for me (at just the point where the bar has turned into more of a wafer with slightly sharper edges) and suggested that it is a fantastic way of marking on lines...and it is! Mid bag-making session using some dark suiting and having an argument with the dissolving pen (which doesn't really show up on that type of material anyway), before the push-up pen had come into my life, I suddenly remembered it, and I have to say it is the most perfect, green, and economical option.