What is and How to Use a Skirt Marker (Singer, Dritz, Pin It)

When it comes to making a good dress or shirt, it pays to mark your fabric. This way you can sew between the lines and have whatever you are making turn out looking like a professional sewed.

What is a skirt marker? A skirt marker is a variety of devices used by professional tailors and experienced sewers to mark their boundaries or where certain sewing features, like hems, go. These markers come in all shapes and sizes and some even come with rulers to help you find the length you want in your skirt, etc.

To learn all about skirt markers just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to make sure you use the right marker that fits you and your sewing needs.

What is a Skirt Marker Used for in Sewing?


One of the most common uses for a skirt marker is to find the length of a skirt or a dress. If you have the pin marker you can pin up a hem or just mark the hemline where you want it to be.

All skirt markers should be easy to use and there is a wide variety of styles. The pin marker should have the pins removed as you press your garment. Other markers can be wiped off and so on.

There are a variety of uses for these markers besides using them to mark hems. You can use them for seams or for marking darts. The skirt marker should save you a lot of time and frustration as you know exactly where to sew and when to pull the pins or the markers out of your dress, etc.

How Does a Skirt Marker Work?


These are not complicated sewing items to use. You won’t need a degree in rocket science to understand how they work. For example, if you are using a pin marker, you place the pins at the hemline, single thickness, and when you go and press your fold, you remove the pins.

Probably the most difficult pin skirt marker to use would be the metal rod with a ruler. It is free-standing and may take two hands to get the gauge in the right spot. Each skirt marker operates in its own way but the learning curve is not steep for any of them.

The trick is to find the one that fits your style of sewing and the way you like to work.

How to Use a Skirt Marker


There are about 10 different styles of skirt markers you can choose from. Each one operates in its own way but they all do a similar job. They mark your hems, seams, and darts, etc., and help you sew like a professional tailor.

A skirt marker takes a lot of worry off your mind so you can concentrate on doing your sewing well. It is not hard to sew around or over the hem marks or even press over them.

Just make sure you remove all traces of them so your skirt, dress, and other clothing items look their best and leave no clue as to how you did it. One of the more uniquely designed skirt markers is the tracing wheel. But more on that later.

Dritz Skirt Marker Instructions


The Dritz skirt marker is the one with the gauge or ruler attached that requires a little extra work and handling to get set up just right. One model is designed to mark hems from 4 1/2 inches to 29 1/2 inches from the floor.

To assemble, you need to pull the legs down till they are flush with the base. After you have done that, you need to swing the legs up till the ends lock into place. Once that is done, you remove the chalk dispenser from its spray nozzle and fill it with chalk.

When the dispenser is full place it back where you got it and attach the nozzle to a small peg located on the slider. Now to mark hems, you need to wear the garment or place it on a dummy.

One special note, if the dress, etc., is cut on the bias, let the dress, etc., hang for 24 hours first before marking. If you are modeling the clothing item, wear your shoes so you get the right distance from the floor. Make sure to stand on a hard surface.

Next, line up the slider with the exact length you want to have the hem but remember this marking is coming from the floor. Stand erect and then spray the garment with chalk, making sure to go all the way around.

You will want to make marks about every 2 to 3 inches. Finally take the dress, etc., off and fold at the new line, press, trim and sew either by hand or by machine.

Pin It Skirt Marker


The pin marker is an old fashioned skirt measuring device that has been around forever. Since it is old fashioned it will not be hard to use and you should be able to mark your hemline in no time at all.

When you are placing the pins at your hemline do so at a single thickness only. Once you are finished with that task you follow their marks with the iron. Fold the garment area up and remove the pins as you go.

You can then place the pins in the hem allowance to make sure you remember where it is when it comes time to sew the fabric into a hem. This is simple, neat and easy to do. It just takes a little time to get it right and go from start to finish.

Singer Skirt Marker


It is possible that you may not have heard of the old Singer skirt marker. Some people have been surprised that they were once used by a lot of sewers back in the day. The Singer skirt marker looks like an old wooden yardstick with a piece of metal attached to it.

The metal piece, or slider, helped you mark your hem without the aid of other people. It uses spray chalk and a similar device the Dritz skirt marker uses to spray the chalk onto your skirt or dress.

The process for the Dritz to mark your skirts would apply to the Singer model as you turn to make your mark about 2 to 3 inches apart press the trigger to get the chalk onto your skirt, etc.

The chalk sprayer attaches to the outward pointing part of the slider. Depending on what distance you want from the floor, you move the slider up or down till you get the r=exact measurement you want.

Just make sure you stand properly and move in an even circle so your marks stay even. The vintage Singer skirt marker can be found at different places like eBay or Etsy but there are modern versions of the same thing made by different companies.

Just don’t be surprised if you get a little sticker shock when you see the modern prices for the old vintage Singer skirt markers.

Some Different Types of Skirt Markers

There are probably more designs than the ones we will mention here but at least you will get an idea of how many different types there are to use. This gives you a great selection to find the perfect skirt marker for you and your sewing projects.

  • 1. Tailor’s chalk - it comes in many colors so you can have the chalk stand out when you mark your clothing item. It wipes off very easily with a damp cloth.
  • 2. Chalk pencils or wheels - it should be waxed covered but the main drawback is that it won’t wipe off easily. It will come off in the wash though.
  • 3. Household pencils or marking pens - either one is a good choice and you should have standard pencils lying about the house. The marks come off easily.
  • 4. Tracing wheel - it looks like a pizza cutter and if used with carbon paper you should see the lines with ease.
  • 5. Stitches or tailor tacks - these two tricks work well and let you see your marks without hassle
  • 6. Bath bar soap - its cheap, it is at home and all you need is a sliver of it to make your marks
  • 7. Pouncers - these use powdered chalk and work best with embroidery designs and stencils.

Some Final Words

Marking your hems for your skirts and dresses is not that hard to do. All you need is a good skirt marker to do the job. Whether you go old fashioned or modern doesn’t matter.

Once you find the right one for you to use, you can mark your hems quickly and get your sewing project done like a professional. Good results are always in the tools you use.

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