Apr 3 2017
Buttonholes… the final step when finishing your garment and for many of us the most dreaded.  Why is that?  Well, for one thing there is a lot of room for error even with our modern machines.  Here are a couple of hints to help take the anxiety out of your next buttonhole adventure.
1. Stitch a test buttonhole on a scrap of the garment fabric.  This will let you know if you need to make any adjustments to the sewing machine or if you need to use a stabilizer for light weight fabric.
2. Carefully measure and mark your buttonhole placement.  Once this is done, do it again.  It is important.
3. Use a quilter’s ruler and draw a line for the buttonhole to make sure that the buttonholes are straight.  I hate pretending that the button will hide my crooked buttonhole.
4. Never ever stitch buttonholes when you are tired!  Even if “All I lack are the buttonholes and I think I have time….” I choose to walk away and leave them for another day.  Saving my buttonholes until I’m rested and focused has made a HUGE difference in my personal buttonhole success rate.
Now go forth and fearlessly “Buttonhole!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 comments on “Buttonhole Hints

  1. Lillian Menzies on said:

    Yes, the dreaded buttonholes. May I add a few hints? Most machines auto adjust the tension, increasing the bobbin tension. On other machines you need to thread a bit differently (some Bernina’s you pass the thread through an extra spot) or manually adjust by decreasing the top tension.

    And we machine embroiderers save our scraps of stabilizer, and put tear away beneath and water soluble on top. Especially on fabrics with nap it makes a prettier buttonhole, and if things go horribly wrong, it makes it much easier to rip them out! If you don’t do machine embroidery, ask a friend who does…she will have loads of scraps to share.

    And sometimes the easiest way is to stitch them in the embroidery hoop. This is especially true when extra lumpy seam allowances hover nearby ready to sabotage your very best efforts. Saved my bacon on a jean jacket!

  2. Patrice Preston on said:

    Do you always make horizontal buttonholes on the back of a dress? I have been making vertical buttonholes all this time. I can see the benefit of horizontal ones though!! Buttonholes are definitely a challenge for me. Thanks for the tips!!!

  3. Karen Crouch on said:

    I have so many problems making vertical buttonholes on my beautiful little girl dresses. Placing them with Bernini 440q, buttonhole foot and compensation plate. Doesn’t work well with seam allowance edges, small bodices, etc. I also use stabilizers and interfacing. Also hard to mark placement with the foot. A tutorial would be great. I use batiste , babywale corduroy, good cottons.
    I find buttonhole foot very ” fiddly” and I exact.