Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu (oddharmonic) wrote,
Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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Identifying a new pair of mystery scissors!

A few weekends ago, we dug through the clearance bin at our local fabric store, where Vogon found a pair of scissors that didn't look like anything we owned. I'd never seen scissors with a set screw before and there weren't any other scissors like it at the store for comparison. I looked through our collection of sewing books with no results before I described them to my mother a few days later. She said they sounded like something she'd seen in sewing classes she'd taken and suggested I look up a particular phrase. Before I tell you what that was, here are the mystery scissors:

So what are they? They're buttonhole scissors, used to cut open a buttonhole after you've sewn the stitches to keep the edges and ends of the hole from fraying. The screw can be adjusted to cut exactly the length of the buttonhole (which you practice on a piece of scrap fabric first, it's not marked) and by cutting the exact length, you have much less chance of accidentally cutting into the securing buttonhole threads and weakening or ruining the buttonhole.

Several of the public domain sewing books digitized in the Vintage Sewing Reference Library refer to the use of buttonhole scissors and the 1926 New Way Course in Fashionable Clothes lists them as one of three pairs of scissors every sewer should own (the others are a pair of shears and a pair of small scissors).
Tags: 646.2_sewing

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