Monday, 4 January 2016

Vintage Buttonhole Scissors


Firstly, Happy New Year to you all.

Over Xmas, I was given a vintage sewing machine to see if I could fix it but was missing its electrical lead and pedal.  It was made in Japan probably in the 1970s.  A replacement lead was over £30 if, and it was big if, I could find the right one.  So before I went on the hunt, I turned the machine over by hand, it did one rotation and then seized solid.  As I needed another sewing machine like I needed a hole in the head, this one went to the tip.  You just have to say no sometimes (the owner didn't want it back)

However, in its accessory box was a cute pair of scissors which I recognised as 'Buttonhole Scissors' but didn't a clue how they worked.  After a bit of research, here's how.

Notice the funny notch.

They are for cutting the slits for hand sewn button holes.  You use them by placing them against the edge of your fabric, the little gap is exactly the right distance from the edge for a small buttonhole.

 The blade cuts the same size slit for all your buttonholes.  Then you would secure the slit using a buttonhole stitch.

Some scissors come with a screw which adjusts the length of the slit.  I think these scissors are for children's clothes buttonholes because of their small size.

Not sure how old they are but they look late 19th or early 20th Century.  They do have a makers mark on them which is G. Butler & Co which were a Sheffield Company so they are English.

Not sure if I would ever use them, as I have the Griest Automatic Buttonholer for my Singer sewing machines.



  1. Ooh, interesting, I've never heard of these. Something else to look out for!

  2. Thanks Lizzie for visiting the Button Box. They look so cute, now I have sharpened them can be used as thread snips. I like using vintage sewing tools and it doesn't break the bank to start a collection! X

  3. I was given a very old pair of those a while ago and didnt have a clue what they were for. Thanks for sharing that.

  4. Glad to be of help Cheri, they are curious looking things! X

  5. Thank you for solving the mystery of my inherited and unusual scissors! I thought they had something to do with buttons but couldn't figure it out. Not sure if I'll ever use them for that but one never knows.

  6. I was the same as you, knew they had some thing to do with buttons but how? Thank goodness for Google! Sharon x