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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Buttonholes - oh, the horror! ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Buttonholes - oh, the horror!
Help me to fix a monumentally stupid mistake!
eclair
eclair
Intermediate
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 7/18/07
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Date: 5/31/12 7:37 AM

I've just finished sewing a shirt for my man. It's been quite a learning experience - like that obsessive-compulsives shouldn't sew checked shirts. I've been going cross eyed and rocking back and forth in the corner matching up ALL those checks! But it is nearly done. The collar is symmetrical, the yoke is centred with the two pleats on the back piece lining up beautifully. The SIDE seam checks meet! The sleeves are perfect. And the pocket is invisible. This shirt is a thing of great meticulousness.

BUT despite checking THREE TIMES against a RTW shirt which was HANGING NEXT TO THE SEWING TABLE I still managed to sew the button holes on the wrong side of the shirt! Not only sew them but cut them, stitch on the buttons and call my man in to present him with the world's most perfect checked shirt.

(Quick caveat here: I'm not the only nutjob in the house. My man is a programmer and mathematician and has a thing about pattern-matching and symmetry. He's never owned a checked shirt because there has never been a store-bought one which matched up enough to satisfy him. This thing has been a labour of love as well as an attempt to break him out of his plain-clothes rut.)

He was thrilled! He gasped, said all the right things (shirt is wonderful, work of art, I am clever, beautiful, better than he deserves, etc etc) and then he goes to put it on...

A look of confusion. He looks in the mirror. He looks at me. The true horror dawns on us both. The shirt fits perfectly in every way. The shoulders lie flat, the ease is just right. We talk it over calmly but the smiles have gone. We just can't face living with this one imperfection.

After much flailing and wailing and suggestions from a certain somebody that if someone else was more secure in his masculinity then that person wouldn't have a problem with wearing a blouse instead of a shirt, when it comes down to it this shirt is so very nearly d*mn perfect that I have to fix it. Because I'm a control freak obsessive-compulsive perfectionist nutjob. Clearly.

So, this shirt has an interfaced (iron-on) facing behind the buttons and the button holes. If I unpick the buttonholes can I iron another piece of interfacing onto the back of the shirt front fabric (between the facing and the shirt front) and also on to the front of the facing. So there would be two pieces of interfacing 'back to back' inside the facing of the shirt. (Does that make sense?) then do a little darning stitch just over the slit where the buttonhole was. Then I could sew the buttons on where the buttonholes were?

Then all I have to do is re-do all those perfect buttonholes where the buttons were and the shirt would be finished.

Do you think that would work? Short of a shotgun or a continuous campaign of emotional blackmail I can't see any other way to get him to wear this shirt. And I know I can't live with the mistake - not after all those hours going cross eyed over matching those checks!

Any ideas? I'd be pathetically grateful for any advice.

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 5/31/12 8:18 AM

Hey, we've done the same thing for women. I read the opposite gender buttonholes come from the days of men reaching for their guns with the right hand or some such!
Unless this is for dressy office wear, could you do a subtle contrast strip for the button placket? Often they set off a print with a solid front band, then also use it for the inside collar.

lgrande
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In reply to eclair <<
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Date: 5/31/12 8:25 AM

Gasp!!!
I have no advice to offer (this is WAY over my head), I'm just totally impressed.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to eclair <<


Date: 5/31/12 8:42 AM

Quote:
So, this shirt has an interfaced (iron-on) facing behind the buttons and the button holes. If I unpick the buttonholes can I iron another piece of interfacing onto the back of the shirt front fabric (between the facing and the shirt front) and also on to the front of the facing. So there would be two pieces of interfacing 'back to back' inside the facing of the shirt. (Does that make sense?) then do a little darning stitch just over the slit where the buttonhole was. Then I could sew the buttons on where the buttonholes were?

Absolutely! This will work. Because it's the same thing I did when I put the buttons on the wrong side on my blouse. I was using a dress form at the time, and you are looking at the blouse/form, and not wearing it. Now I put a tag on the side that I wear my buttons so I don't make this same mistake. Tack down the interfacing with a straight stitch around where you unpick the buttonholes (if they are cut out) so the fabric doesn't fray. You can use Fraycheck but that stuff never worked for me.

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

SEE MY ETSY SHOP HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntMaymesAttic
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petro
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Date: 5/31/12 8:50 AM

So, who hasn't done this one? I've usually got away with sewing the buttonholes closed at the same time as attaching the buttons, and making buttonholes in the other side. I generally interface both under the buttons and buttonholes on shirts etc so its the same anyway, but I've noticed a lot of rtw mens' shirts very poorly interfaced.

I was told it was from the days of sword fighting, reach under your cloak for the sword. This may not be true but it helps me to put the fastenings on the correct side, as does putting the garment on. For some reason its hard to recognise which is the right and which is the left of a garment flat down on a table.

threaddy
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threaddy  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/31/12 8:54 AM

You could try your idea, since the "fix" will be hidden when wearing it. Maybe slightly larger buttons to hide the fix...but make sure your man approves of the button. My man is very fussy about his buttons. The other thought is a placket...lots of men's shirts have plackets on both sides. That would mean going cross eyed again in matching your plaids...all the way down the front of the shirt... UGH. Wishing you success from a fellow obsessive compulsive,perfectionist, control freak nut job...except I call it being "fastidious".

------
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

threaddy
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threaddy  Friend of PR
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In reply to Miss Fairchild <<


Date: 5/31/12 9:01 AM

I'm not sure I would unpick the whole buttonhole...leave some of the stitching in where it is hidden by the button....????

------
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to eclair <<


Date: 5/31/12 9:54 AM

That is too bad. Getting plaids matched up is not an easy task so I congratulate you on what sounds like a nearly perfect shirt-quite an accomplishment.
However, about the buttonholes. I have been there done that before as well. When I was married, I made shirts for my husband and once in awhile this would happen to me. It looks right when you have it laid out on the table. If you have enough fabric, a placket would cover up the whole mess and would look like it was suppose to be there. I have sewn the buttonholes together when I sewed on the button too although that does not always look great.

a7yrstitch
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In reply to eclair <<
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Date: 5/31/12 10:35 AM

Having sewn shirts for the hubbie, and, being fully appreciative of your masterpiece, I'll go out on a limb and suggest you leave it as is.

I'm presuming your guy looks like a guy and that the shirt fits like a shirt. With the matching, only about 10 to 15% of the placket might have the potential to be identified as closing on the other side. If someone is looking that carefully, they will be so caught up in the other details that it is extremely doubtful they would notice. My eye, and now, my hubbie's, is immediately drawn to pattern matching and alignment, not to the little open section of neck where the top shirt button is left open. It is difficult to imagine that someone would look at him and make the leap into thinking he is wearing a blouse.

Ask him if he would mind wearing it as a weekend shirt. He could try once around family - if someone notices, they'll speak up. If not, well-------

Besides, being a numbers guy, he is bound to have a quirky sense of humor. If he did wear it to work and someone was puzzled looking at the shirt because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, and that someone can't quite figure out what puzzles them about the duck (the shirt), wouldn't your husband be amused?

Seriously, I suggest he wear it a time or two before you tinker with it. If it were your shirt, which would bother you more, having to strap your sword or pistol on the other side or knowing that the hidden placket has closed up buttonholes.

The shirt is not wrongly made. It is custom made and it is unique with a stamp on it that says meticulously constructed with love and affection.

Hubbie totally agrees. He only received compliments on the one that I did like that.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 5/31/12 3:54 PM

Well, I have gotten my chuckle for the day. Not because of the buttonholes being on the wrong side(and yes I've done it too), but the way you tell the story.

I'm with a7yrstitch on this one. I wouldn't try to mend and fix. Even if you did get it done and looking "passable", you may never be happy with it. I would have him wear it and see what happens. If all else fails, it might be a wonderful "over shirt" or shirt dress, for you

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