I know that a lot of people have been asking us--sure, embroidery patterns are cute, but if they're not iron-on how do I get them onto my fabric? For lightweight, semi-sheer or light-colored fabrics, transfer pens are a good solution. Sold in many fabric, craft and art stores, these pens come in several sizes and types.
Sulky pens! These are pens that turn your paper pattern into an iron-on. You simply trace or draw your image onto paper and iron it on. They advertise you can use the pattern multiple times.
PROS: Gives you a nice, dark line that's easy to follow. Can use it multiple times. Available in many colors. Pretty inexpensive.
CONS: It's permanent! Sometimes the lines are a little thick--and in order for them to not show, your stitching must be thick, too.
HELPFUL HINTS: Making really dark lines and holding the iron on a hair longer will make the ink seep through lightly to the other side. That way you can flip your image over and stitch from the other side if you decide you want it reversed. Go gently with the pen when it's new (it tends to make dark, wide lines) and make sure to use a piece of scrap fabric underneath it when ironing.
Disappearing ink pens! When you are needing to stitch something up fast, this little friend is a good solution.
PROS: The ink disappears in 48-72 hours, so there's no need to fret about your pattern showing. Some types can be removed sooner with a damp sponge or spray bottle. Pretty inexpensive.
CONS: The ink disappears in 48-72 hours! So you'd better be ready to finish your project. Markers are usually not fine-tipped (unless specified) which can make detailed stitching a little challenging. You still have to trace the image onto fabric, which can be hard when using dark or thick fabrics. (Taping the image to a bright window or using a lightbox can help)
HELPFUL HINTS: Ink shows up a few seconds after touching the fabric. In other words, be patient! Marker will dry out fast if lid is not on. (I learned that the hard way!) Use a light touch, tip will get fat and mushy if you press down too hard.
These are just two options to help you get your stitchin' on. Of course, you can always use your trusty no.2 pencil! Let us know if there are any little transfer secrets up your sleeve. We're all about sharing!