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Permanent marker is the devil to remove from clothing. Ask Google this question and you’ll find way too many answers (apply nail polish remover to the stain, washing the stain-ridden garment in cold water with no detergent, blotting the stain with WD-40, and the list goes on). Which one works? Who knows. I experienced this permanent marker dilemma when I was given a chunky blue and white-striped sweater that was about to be thrown away (at the end of each season, we clean house at work by either throwing away samples or selling them at samples sales. This sample was on its way to the trash). The only problem with it was its permanent marker stains along the raglan (armhole) seam and side seam. Rather than trying (and probably failing) the many solutions Google provides on how to eliminate permanent marker, I instead sewed lace (it’s my favorite fabric. See why here), on top of the pen marks. Simple and easy (I’ll show you) and it didn’t require any nail polish remover, vinegar, WD (yay because they smell).

Step 1: Cut out lace motifs and determine the placement (I not only covered the marker but also added a a titch of pizzaz by framing the neckline with lace).

Step 2: Hand baste lace to sweater close to lace edges.

Step 3: This is a little trick of mine (don’t tell anyone). If any of the lace edges are fraying or messy, dab the edges with Elmer’s glue. It dries clear and prevents the edges from getting really yucky looking.

Step 4: Ta da! You’re finished!

If you want to take a stab at the traditional methods of removing permanent marker (WD-40, nail polish remover, etc), click here (and good luck!)


  1. Reply


    Wait, where are teh pretty pictures of you modeling tis gorgeous sweater aftere it’s clever repair!
    So this was a mutilated sample. I was none the wiser adn I am an old wise one…
    or wose cracker.. ha!

    • Reply


      They pictures didn’t turn out. If someone would have taken the pictures for me – cough, cough – then maybe I would have pictures to show! 🙂

  2. Reply


    really nice x

    • Reply


      and super easy!

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