I am frustrated with pattern markings and getting them on both pieces
of fabric. Saw a sewing program on tv and they used tailor tacks.
they also used a special cotton thread from japan to do these. but
they didn't show how to tailor tack. any explainations would be
thank you and take care
Take 4 strands of fine silk thread (if you have such a thing - if not,
cotton is better for this than poly thread). DO NOT put a knot in the end!
Take a small stitch at the marking point... through all layers of
fabric. Pull the thread through until you have a 2" 'tail'.
Take another stitch, making a loop... Pull the thread through until you
have a 2"-3" loop. Cut of the needle, leaving another 2" tail. You now
have a loop of 4" (or a bit bigger) of thread with a 2" tail at either
side. This is the tailor's tack.
You can now remove the pattern, carefully tearing it at the dot
(actually, if you want to use the pattern again, I find it better to
reinforce the area and cut a small hole through the pattern where the
dots are, and stitch through the holes!). Once the pattern is gone, you
can separate the layers and cut the thread between them, leaving a
thread mark where the dots were on the pattern, like this: >
down until you see the second day's work, where the tailors tacks are. :)
I can't guarantee that this is the "right" way but it's how
my mother taught me -
Take a long double length of thread and put it through the
needle doubled again (you will be sewing with four strands,
the thickness holds in heavier fabric more firmly, if you
are sewing finer fabrics do this with two strands)
take a small stitch through all layers where you want your
mark and leave a good 1.5" tail sticking up from the surface
of the fabric
take a second small stitch (I usually form a cross stitch on
the back)and this time leave a loop 1.5" long
snip of the thread with a 1.5" tail
now you can "pop" the pattern off the fabric carefully to
leave just a small hole
ease the layers of fabric apart and cut the stitches so that
there is a "tuft" of thread at your mark on each fabric
You will find it best to do all your tacks on each piece
before cutting any. You can use different coloured threads
for matching tacks if you think that will help. The tacks
are a good way to use up cheap cotton threads but be careful
about using strong colours as you don't want to have any
colour transfer, and I do not recommend poor quality poly
thread. If you need to mark four pieces you can make the
loops/tails longer but I would then take three stitches for
added security. And remember to match your fabric weight to
the number of threads and needle size - four strands of
cheap thread sewn with a "crowbar" will leave holes in silk!
The cut tacks will easily pull out when you are finished
with them, but try to avoid too many machine sewn tiny
stitches through them as this can make removal difficult.
There are many experts here who can probably describe this
better but this might help get you started until you hear
Something I was taught in college in my textile class was to use strands
of cotton embroidery floss - one strand for a single layer and two strands
for double layer. Just pull it through the fabric and leave 1 1/2 inch
tails on top and bottom. The cotton floss will stick to the fabric and you
don't need to make a loop. Saves time and floss. I have used this method
for 38 years and it works great.
I use a single strand of whatever thread is handy -- same thread for
basting, thread-marking, and tailor tacks. Unless I want to
I leave half-inch loops, take at least two stitches in each place, and
always cut the thread after each tack, *especially* when making an X
with two tacks. I must be careful to use sharp scissors when cutting
between layers, but otherwise have no trouble with slippery threads. I
find that short, quarter-inch tufts of thread are less likely to be
caught on something and pulled out than longer threads. Also less
likely to be mistaken for a piece of thread that was just floating
around and get picked off on purpose -- oh, the sinking sensation as
the slight resistance informs you just a split second too late!
My home-made patterns have a diamond hole at each tack, made by
snipping off a folded corner. Or if I've been using the tracing wheel
up until now, I'll cut the paper with the point of the needle before
taking the stitch, then pull the pattern off the tack before cutting
between the layers.
Tangent topic: I've recently learned to thread mark through a pattern
by putting the needle down through the same hole where it came up --
often one of a series of needle-cut slits along the line being marked.
If two layers are being marked, one can loosen the stitches, having
*not* cut the thread after marking, so that there is plenty to pull
back in. (Sometimes I baste with the thread still attached to the
spool.) Then the layers can be separated and cut between, leaving
tailor tacks along the marked line
Sometimes I forget how terrific your web pages are Kate. Thanks for
all the work putting them together. You have so much to share about
clothing construction. I really like seeing the finished projects too.
Hope you are doing ok. You've been quiet lately.
Thank you all so much for the detailed instructions! I think I can
manage now! I couldn't get how to have it on both sides of the fabric
but you all have put good visionals together (thank you thank you)
I'm pretty good at following instructions.
just getting back into sewing at 54 - use to sew my clothes in high
school on a treadle and old wobbly singer - loved those machines. but
stopped sewing and tried to be corporate for about what seems a
millions years - that drove me to having neck surgery (years and years
of computers.... ;-) so i bought myself a fancy machine several
years back - but my ex put it in storage.. yeah ex! ;-) i know you
can imagine the reason why when he put my machine in a storage unit
while i recovered from surgery - fought with the workers comp system
wallowed in and out of depression , finally got a divorce and work
comp settlement (9 years later) and i found my machine again - and my
fabric - it's been like old home week finding my fabric :) ;) but i
find i never learned to use my machine - i have found a few creative
blocks - and am trying to learn to sew again! whew... i guess that
was kinda an introductions for you all. i haven't been lurking, but
i've been offline for about 9 years now also - am starting to come
back online again.. i know exactly where to go to ask this question
and i am grateful for your help!