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How to Make Tailor’s Tacks


Tailor’s tacks are thread markings done by hand, to mark darts, circles and other pattern markings. Tailor’s tacks are little tufts of thread, usually in a thread color that contrasts with the fabric color. They are easily visible from both sides of the fabric, are easy to remove and don’t leave a mark!

Tailor’s tacks

Tailor’s tacks


Tailor’s tacks are great for markings that you want to last, as opposed to fade-away marker and chalk. Tailor’s tacks are done with many tufts of thread, so if one or two fall out, the remaining threads are still there to mark the spot. This is especially useful for markings that need to last during the construction of the garment, such as button placement or pleats that are sewn near the end.

Tips + Notes

  • Save nearly empty spools of thread and use them for sewing tailor’s tacks.
  • Make all of the loops the same size. When you make the second loop, use the tip of the needle to pull both loops and adjust the new loop until it’s the same size as the first one.
  • If you are making multiple tailor’s tacks through the same piece, make all of the loops before pulling the layers apart and snipping the tacks.
  • Keep a handsewing needle near your sewing machine, threaded in a bright contrast color. Then, when you need to make a marking, it’s all ready to go. Making tailor’s tacks will seem quick and easy if the needle is ready and waiting.


Start with your pattern piece still attached to the fabric. Thread a handsewing needle with doubled contrasting color thread. Line up the ends of the thread but do not tie a knot.

How to Make Tailor's Tacks (1)

Take a few small stitches through the marking. If your pattern is printed, you can either poke a hole in the tissue to make your stitches or fold back the tissue paper to make your markings.

How to Make Tailor's Tacks (2)

Take a small 1⁄8″ (3mm) stitch through both layers of fabric and pull the thread until there is only 1″ (2.5cm) of a thread tail left. Make a second stitch. Leave a loop of thread that is about half the length of the first thread tail. You can make your tailor’s tacks thicker by making a few more stitches. Make at least two loops before finishing the tack. On fine or loosely woven fabrics, thicker tacks will last longer.

How to Make Tailor's Tacks (3)

Peel apart the two layers of fabric. Spread the layers apart, as shown. In between the layers you can see the thread tacks are holding the two layers together.

How to Make Tailor's Tacks (4)

Snip through the middle of each tailor’s tack. You’ll end up with a little tuft of thread on each side of your fabric. These tidy little thread markings show on both sides of the fabric. They won’t stain or permanently mark your fabric, or fall out like pins do.

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine