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Vintage Singer Buttonholes
vintage buttonholes
leapyfrog

leapyfrog
Washington USA
Member since 2/7/08
Posts: 15
Skill: Beginner
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Date: 7/13/10 12:22 PM

Hi everyone,

I am making my son some rocket jammies from a nice cotton, but the background is black, so I was having trouble marking the lines for the buttonholes. I usually use a ballpoint (gasp!) as the dressmaker markers I have found donít make a mark, donít work, whatever. Since my sewing is not that sophisticated (yet), this so far hasnít hurt me, but as you can guess, my ballpoint didnít work in this case. What to do.

It dawned on me: I have always heard that vintage Singers make these FABULOUS buttonholes, with this old cam buttonhole attachment. Since I was told this repeatedly, I bought one off ebay years ago, but have never used it. Okay, time to get it out. As it uses cams, the length is predetermined; so it will solve my marking problem! I hauled out my 15-91 and set it up. I couldnít believe it. Not only was it fun to watch (SO mechanical, so over-engineered, in the way things were in the early 20th century) but it made BREATHTAKING buttonholes. Bernina 830 buttonholes are perfectly nice and functional, but these are everything people have said they were Ė BEAUTIFUL. So there they are, on Clarkieís pajamas. But they could just as well be on haute couture. I think I will always haul the 15-91 out of my closet for this on clothes that matter; a bit of a hassle, but the wow factor is impressive.

Having too much fun sewing with old machines, Candace

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Candace
Bainbridge Island, WA

Karrol
Karrol
California USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 75
Skill: Advanced
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Date: 7/22/10 5:31 PM

LOL! Candice, I have two of those buttonholers. They do make the best buttonholes and are really easy to use. Have been using mine since childhood sewing with my grandmother!

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Irvine, CA

jannw
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jannw
Washington USA
Member since 9/3/06
Posts: 8552
Skill: Intermediate
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In reply to leapyfrog <<


Date: 7/22/10 8:10 PM

I've got a couple of the Singer and Greist buttonholers too. Will never go back to regular machine button holes. As for marking on dark fabrics, I use regular blackboard chalk. It brushes off and leaves no residue and never dries out or refuses to mark. I buy the chalk at the back to school sales and probably spend under a dollar a year..can't beat that!

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2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

neeleymartin
neeleymartin
Member since 7/9/10
Posts: 129
Skill: Beginner
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Date: 7/22/10 9:11 PM

i just bought one of these buttonholers on ebay. i would love to see a pic of a finished buttonhole. people rave about these things. i plan to check youtube for footage.

i would just use my own, but i am the ultimate beginner. perhaps i will whip it out tomorrow.

Karrol
Karrol
California USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 75
Skill: Advanced
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Date: 7/23/10 5:13 PM

Just get some scrap fabric and play with it! Follow the directions and don't be alarmed at the noise it makes. Try out a few of the cams and see what they do. Don't worry about being a beginner, we all were once!

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Irvine, CA

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
Posts: 1070
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 7/23/10 5:41 PM

Don't forget to cover the feed dogs with the little metal plate (or drop them, if your machine can) before using the buttonholer! I have used mine quite a few times now and absolutely love it, but last time I forgot to cover the feed dogs. It took me ages to figure out why my buttonholes were completely wonky. It was a real DUH moment when I realised :)

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
California USA
Member since 9/18/04
Posts: 1905
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 7/23/10 6:32 PM

Buttonholer videos, BrianSews! blog

Fun to watch these attachments in action.

CMC

Peter in NYC
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Peter in NYC
USA
Member since 6/9/09
Posts: 333
Skill: Intermediate
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In reply to lareine <<


Date: 7/23/10 9:31 PM

OMG, the exact same thing happened to me yesterday. I was like, Why is the fabric getting bunched up when the stitch heads back up the front of the buttonhole? Then it dawned on me!

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You'll be in stitches at malepatternboldness.com!

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
Posts: 1070
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Date: 7/25/10 6:25 AM

That's such a relief that I'm not the only person here who has such scatterbrained moments! At least my buttonholer wasn't broken like I first thought :)

Yarndiva
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Yarndiva
California USA
Member since 3/28/06
Posts: 403
Skill: Advanced
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Date: 7/25/10 11:58 AM

If you enjoy the buttonholer (and I admit I do too) then you'll love a zig zagger. I got this simple little gadget a while back and only recently tried it out on my 15-91: Chadwicks Zigzagger. It's not a Singer model which is a bit more complicated but more like a ruffler. If you see one somewhere, get it.

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http://silkmothsewing.blogspot.com/

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