Pattern Tool Box: Awl

Pattern Tool Box: Awl

Pattern awl.

While there are many times where markings on a pattern can be indicated with small notches in the seam allowance. The partner tool for marking patterns, which can be used for the rest of the the pattern, is the awl. The awl is used to piece through the pattern card leaving a small hole.

This means that when you are cutting out the pattern onto fabric you can then mark the position of this dot onto the cloth without having to move the pattern. This can be done by using tailors chalk, and can sometimes then be backed up by using a tailors tack to hold the position in case the chalk rubs away. You can also use the awl through the fabric to make a tiny hole as your marking.

Places where an awl could be used on a pattern include:

  • Marking dart points (always mark the dot about 5mm back from the actual point of the dart) When you sew this marking for the first time it will make more sense. If the hole is right on dart point it will make an ugly mark visible from the outside of the fabric, whereas if it is 5mm back, you will still know where to sew to but there will be no visible mark)
  • Marking pocket placements (mark the dots 5mm within the square of the pocket so that the pocket will overlap the dot by 5mm on each side).
  • Buttons and buttonholes.
  • Any additional trim placements that you may need.

The points where the awl makes a hole are also often referred to as drill holes. And due to the fact that the hole can mark the fabric you must always make it in a position where it will be hidden – for example, safely within the dart, in a seam allowance, or under a pocket.

Awl image from MacCulloch&Wallis»

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