Keep a bottle of your old bright red nail polish in your sewing kit. I use it to mark the slot on a thread spool so I can slip the thread end into it after sewing. This way the thread does not unwind and the slot is easy to find.
Running the thread through a cake of bees wax makes the thread stronger so it does not bread as easily. This makes it easier for gathering material. It also helps with threading the needle if the end also goes through the wax cake. If you do not have bee's wax, you can use a soap bar to make it easier to thread and both will help keep them from tangling during sewing.
A flat soap sliver is great to mark a hem or sewing location, like where a button goes, darts to sew, etc. It washes out nicely and makes a nice sharp mark if you use the edge.
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