Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buttonhole Theory

Recently in Colette Pattern's Snippets Department, there was a whole lotta nonlove for the stuff that trips you up in sewing. From the things that are just hard to remember (which was to turn for french seams) to the the hard to avoid (staring at the moving needle when topstitching), there's always something that messes a body up.

I have several (shirt/pants open wrong way, kaff kaff) but one I have learned to work around is

The Failed Buttonhole.

The Bernina, the Damned One, can make an automatic buttonhole. It's never the same size from hole to hole in the same piece, so I just don't use it anymore.

I draw a box on the fabric, or sewing lines, and I do four turns with the zig zag set reasonably dense. Not super dense, but something that gived adequate coverage. And I do four turns, and sink the needle at the corners.

This is not to scale. I would never make a button hole with a hole that big, unless I was using the Bernina, the Damned One. Your Bernina may vary.  Do not say "Bernina" three times on a moonless night. Okay, maybe it just needs more tuning up than I have money for. Do not say I need a new machine three times on a moonless night.

The zig zag will not entirely match up. Perfect is the enemy of good. I should point out that this will look better than if I use the automatic button hole feature. 

I poke a hole in the opening with my seam ripper, and use cuticle scissors to trim to the ends. Then I grab the thing, pull the sides to open it up, and clean up the whiskers that linger.

If I can't draw on the fabric because there is too much texture, I will make a bound buttonhole, using iron on woven facing pulled through to the back. But that's another day.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes buttonhole the old & reliable way. My sewing machine's 1-step buttonhole stitch is OK with the simple buttonholes, but useless with the keyhole type. For that I have to resort to hand sewing.

    Regarding shirts/pants opening the 'wrong' this day & age is there really still a gender specific way? The tradition just makes no sense to me. There is no logic to it apart from wanting to enforce gender stereotypes - which I resist. I mean even for men's trouser wouldn't it make more sense for fly to work with erm which way Sir hangs? ;-)


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