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help in identifying vintage(?) tools

CLeoCre8 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I need help in identifying two items that I received in old sewing kits.  I have an item called button-mate and another item called Aunt Mary’s instant tailor marker. I would appreciate any help you could offer and instructions on how to use them if possible. Thanks.


  1. User avater
    paddyscar | | #1

    Hi Cleo:


    I remember this from ancient television ads.  It works along the lines of the guns used in the retail shops to 'shoot' the nylon anchors for price tags into clothing.  Also similar to a quilter's gun used instead of pinning.  Accompanying fabric patches are placed behind the fabric on the spot where you want to attach the button.  The button is placed on the outside of the garment and the short nylon 'anchors' are shot through the button, fabric and backing to attach the button firmly in place, or so the guy on TV told us!  :-))






    Aunt Mary's Instant Tailor marker?  If you let us know what it looks like, perhaps someone will remember identify it, or tell you how to use it based on a similar product.



    1. CLeoCre8 | | #2

      Thank you so much Frances. With your information I now realize that the needle part of the button-mate is broken so it won't work. As for the Tailor Marker to me it looks like a fishing rod. There is a bobbin of thread inside and the thread is pass down this plastic tube about 2 inches long and through a tubular needle. I've tested it on a scrap by just putting the needle through but the thread just pulls out. I did find a patent number on it 746733 if this helps anyone. I've had no luck googling that patent number but maybe there is someone out there with more patience. Have a great day.

      1. SewTruTerry | | #3

        Cleo I also did a bit of research for Aunt Mary's Instant Tailor Marker and came up empty.  I would guess that the main reason the patent number is not coming up is that after a certain period of time unless it is renewed the patent is legally up for grabs by anyone. Also one must remember that the patent office sees literally thousands of patents every hour if not more and that the internet has only been around for a fraction of the time that the office has been in existance and it may not be able to catalog all patents on-line. 

        This said if you could post a picture of it on-line that may help our memories. 

      2. Teaf | | #4

        My guess is that the tailor marker makes quick work of tailor's tacks. I remember seeing a demonstration of this gadget back in my junior high homemaking class--back in the old days! Try holding the end of the thread about an inch away from where you poke the tubular needle through two layers of fabric. Keep the tension loose, and let the thread play out as you poke it through, then pull it back out, leaving a long loop of thread on the back side and two long ends on the front side. Clip the thread to separate it from the marker, gently ease the two layers apart, and clip the thread now loosely joining them midway. You'll be left with thread markers on both layers--tailor's tacks.As with many zany inventions from the 1950s and 1960s, this gadget didn't seem to work any better than the traditional method of making tailor's tacks, so I can't imagine that it ever caught on--hence, the lack of patent information. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

        1. CLeoCre8 | | #5

          Thank you so much for the information. Not sure yet if I'll ever use it but it helps to know how to if ever the circumstance arises.


  2. user-37718 | | #6

    My grandmother had one of these tailor markers - you were supposed to put it over some foam and plunge the end through the fabric.  the foam would supposebly catch the thread and make a tailors tack.  I think a needle and thread would be easier.


    1. CLeoCre8 | | #7

      Thanks for the information. I can totally see that working. I'll have to dig out some foam and see how well this works. I'll let you know.

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