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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Afterthought button loops ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Afterthought button loops
Made of embroidery thread? braid?
DaisyGrubber

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Date: 11/13/12 6:44 AM

I'm making a black silk dress, 40s style, very Barbara Stanwyck with big sleeves gathered to a cuff. The pattern is Butterick 5152, long sleeved version, and made knee length.

The cuffs are supposed to be just hook and eye, but I've made some little covered buttons as I think this will be more in style. Because I've already made the cuffs and nearly finished the dress, I can't do rouleau loops unless I undo the seams to put them in, which I'd rather not if possible as the fabric is quite delicate and frays somewhat. Can I make decent ones with, say, embroidery thread? Any other suggestions? Can I do something with braid? Just normal thread loops I think would be a bit thin, and also fiddly as I'll need to be able to do the cuffs up with one hand. They are not wide cuffs, about an inch, so I am just putting two little buttons on each.
-- Edited on 11/13/12 6:45 AM --

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 11/13/12 7:10 AM

Use cord elastic for this, gives you a stretch to fasten it and less strain on the loop. You should be able to thread it between the stitches and then stitch a couple times over the ends inside.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to DaisyGrubber <<


Date: 11/13/12 8:42 AM

If you use a heavy thread, like quilter's hand quilting weight, it should be fine and not to delicate. Even regular thread that is doubled (both ends are part of knot.. if that makes sense?) will do. I think I learned in a Claire Schaeffer book to sew the loop loosely, then with the same needle & thread, wrap that loop with the thread to strengthen it. I wish I could draw this out . . . words are not sufficient.

Sewliz
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In reply to DaisyGrubber <<


Date: 11/13/12 10:39 AM

You can make button loops the old fashioned way on a finished edge. A video here shows how to start and there is another video seems to come up automatically for the next step.

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Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

stirwatersblue
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 11/13/12 12:53 PM

As Liz said, you can make very nice button loops from thread, and it's simple to do on an existing/finished seam. With a little practice, it's a lovely high-end handwork detail. IIRC, there are pretty good instructions in Claire Shaeffer's couture sewing book, but I like this tutorial for great step-by-step photographs.

Thread loops done with buttonhole stitch have a tendency to twist as you stitch them, which can be kind of pretty but may not be the look you want. So a stitchy friend recommend I try hedebo knots instead--which is pretty similar to buttonhole stitch, except you bring the thread around the needle in the opposite direction. That's harder to explain than it is to demonstrate, so when I was learning them, I found this video really helpful. You have to extrapolate from needlework to sewing, but it's the same technique. It's the very beginning of the video, but she doesn't actually get to the point of the loop until about 2:30.

Have fun! You might find you start putting thread loops all over the place! (I did some on a dress last summer, and liked them so much that I put them in the back neckline of a couple RTW tops where the neck was too big; a button/loop in the back snugged it up just perfectly, without looking weird or hurting the lines of the blouse.)

------
~Gem in the prairie

PattyE
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Date: 11/13/12 4:23 PM

You could use small frogs...purchased or make them yourself.

Lovin To Stitch
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Date: 11/14/12 0:29 AM

I have always had success making the thread loops. When needing loops on a more casual garment, my favorite quick solution is hair elastics found at discount stores. They are available in different thicknesses, inexpensive, and available in every color in the rainbow. Just a fyi for future reference.

DaisyGrubber

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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 11/14/12 3:03 PM

Quote: stirwatersblue
As Liz said, you can make very nice button loops from thread, and it's simple to do on an existing/finished seam. With a little practice, it's a lovely high-end handwork detail. IIRC, there are pretty good instructions in Claire Shaeffer's couture sewing book, but I like this tutorial for great step-by-step photographs.



Thread loops done with buttonhole stitch have a tendency to twist as you stitch them, which can be kind of pretty but may not be the look you want. So a stitchy friend recommend I try hedebo knots instead--which is pretty similar to buttonhole stitch, except you bring the thread around the needle in the opposite direction. That's harder to explain than it is to demonstrate, so when I was learning them, I found this video really helpful. You have to extrapolate from needlework to sewing, but it's the same technique. It's the very beginning of the video, but she doesn't actually get to the point of the loop until about 2:30.



Have fun! You might find you start putting thread loops all over the place! (I did some on a dress last summer, and liked them so much that I put them in the back neckline of a couple RTW tops where the neck was too big; a button/loop in the back snugged it up just perfectly, without looking weird or hurting the lines of the blouse.)

Ooh, I've just done a practice loop with hedebo knots in embroidery thread and it's brilliant, looks really well finished. In fact it looks like a little piece of cord. I also like the way in the photo tutorial you linked to that the legs of the loops are quite far apart, so the loops are kind of semi circular.

I think this will be a lovely finishing touch for what is turning out to be quite a posh frock.

The elastic/hair elastic tip is a good one too and I'll remember that for the future!

I did think of frogs, and found some smallish ones that were actually hooks and eyes, but decided they'd be too heavy.

I reckon if I get the overlap right, I can get the cuffs so that they don't fall down on my hand, but I don't really need to undo the buttons every time I put the dress on.
-- Edited on 11/14/12 3:06 PM --
DaisyGrubber

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Date: 11/17/12 10:23 AM

Here are two of the completed loops, done in embroidery thread. Possibly they're heftier than they need to be but I'm really pleased with these!

-- Edited on 11/17/12 10:23 AM --

PetitePear
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Date: 11/17/12 12:31 PM

That's very pretty. I've never heard of hedebo knots until now but will try it next time I make thread loops.

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