I used water and air erasable pencils for sewing for years. Yeah, it’s quite simple to trace pattern to the fabric with the pencil, cut details out with seam allowances and sew them using pencil’s line. And then just wash outfit. But…
Now I live in a country with high humidity. And once I discovered brown lines on white clothes!
I guessed that these brown lines are the pencil lines! They come out and become visible after few years!
First of all I changed a sewing technology because I do not wish to see that brown lines again and do not wish to repeat outfits again. Also I sewed for my friend’s shop and I’m not sure that her customers would be happy to find these brown lines years after :)
I bought few books about pattern making. And after reading them I started to add sewing allowances to the patterns. I’m self-educated in sewing and I thought before that this is not convenient to sew using detail’s edges as a guide, when you do not see the real pattern line. Also I added some marks to the patterns that help me to sew.
Secondly I started to use chalk pencils. I tried soap residue before but it’s hard to find proper hard soap without artificial dyes and keep them dry in our weather conditions. I also tried chalks but they provide a thick line that may be useful when you sew clothes for human but not acceptable for dolls’ clothes. I found that chalk pencils have different thickness, different colors for use on different prints, and also they can be easily sharpen as usual pencils.
I still have erasable pencils but I do not use them. You can see them on the left side of photography. Now I use only chalk pencils that visible on the right side of photography.
One more tip I read about cutting details out. I used scissors before but read that a rotary cutter allows to cut details out exactly! Because I’m in patchwork now I have the rotary cutter and found that it definitely allows cut details close to the pattern edge, at first. At second, you do not need to trace pattern to fabric, just put it to the fabric and cut. At third, the rotary cutter cuts faster then scissors!