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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Help with buttonholes, PLEASE!!! ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Help with buttonholes, PLEASE!!!
heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/2/13 6:00 PM

Ok... so I'm just about done with a cute little fleece jacket for my soon-to-be nephew. It is double-breasted and has 3 buttonholes. I get everything set up and start the auto buttonhole on my primary machine and it won't work. It starts to feed through and then on the return trip, the feed dogs can't grip it enough (I'm guessing too thick) and pull it back through. I try a couple of times and it's a no-go. So, I try machine #2, my Janome, same thing. So I try machine #3 my very first sm, the Singer... and of course, no luck!

So, now I have this cute little jacket and I managed to salvage it w/o too much damage from the attempted buttonhole fiasco, but now I don't know what to do! I looked in my sewing books, but they don't really cover how to make button holes by hand very well (at least I can't understand it).

Any suggestions??? Is there a way I can get the machine to do the work for me? Or what is the best way to sew them by hand? I'm willing to do it since it's only 3 buttonholes, but I don't even know where to start.

Sorry so long winded, but thanks in advance for any help!!!

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/2/13 6:14 PM

I suggest you do a manual buttonhole on the sewing machine with fairly large stitch length. The problem with auto-buttonholes is that they try to make the zigzag too dense, so they get hung up on the fleece.

Water soluble or tear-away stabilizer can also help.

Failing that, you could just sew a straight-stitch rectangle and cut down the middle. The fleece isn't going to fray.

Or you can put in snaps!
-- Edited on 11/2/13 6:15 PM --

------
Debbie

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/2/13 7:19 PM

Ooooo... Stabilizer! I'll try that first... Will report back, thanks!

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

Elona
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In reply to heathergwo <<
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Date: 11/2/13 8:29 PM

Piece of cake: Space Tape for buttonholes.

I use this stuff all the time, for many different kinds of fabrics, but it really excels on difficult stretchy, fuzzy, or slithery fabrics.

You put it on the right side of your fabric (it has a light, peel-able adhesive), put small pieces of tearaway backing or paper next to the feed dogs, and make your buttonholes. When done, tear away the stuff that needs to be torn away, and open your buttonholes.

If any tiny plastic bits remain, pluck them out with your tweezers, or wait for washing to remove them.

Honestly, the only place I don't use this stuff is on high-level sewing. For general purpose garments, it's incredibly handy.

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/2/13 11:42 PM

Well regular tear away stabilizer didn't work.... Went to Joannes & got some snaps, think I'll justuse those.

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

wendyrb
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In reply to heathergwo <<


Date: 11/3/13 2:16 AM

Snaps will be really nice I'm sure and what a timely suggestion. Good luck on getting this done to your satisfaction.

Heather, I'm just getting into embroidery and for pile fabrics I've learned to use a topper stabilizer. The suggestion was to use tear away stabilizer underneath against the feed dogs, if I have that right? When you have the inclination after all this, , you could try both- the firm tear away on the bottom and the translucent topper above. Looks like the Space Tape is functioning as the topper.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

Elona
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In reply to wendyrb <<


Date: 11/3/13 12:06 PM

Space Tape is indeed the stabilizer for the top layer of fabric (the part the public sees). It is a thin but rather firm plastic that does not wobble or creep, so your buttonholes, even on the thinnest knit, are never distorted. On fleece, the plastic keeps your buttonhole stitches from catching or disappearing into the pile

Space Tape also has buttonhole lengths from 3/8" to 7/8" printed on the plastic in various colors, so you always know where you are while you're stitching.

It is a tremendouly helpful sewing notion that overcomes many of the commonest problems with buttonholes.


-- Edited on 11/3/13 12:07 PM --

Julia C
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In reply to Elona <<
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Date: 11/3/13 1:31 PM

Thanks for the Space Tape. I did not even know this existed! I really hate trying to get the buttonholes even.

elizajo
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Date: 11/3/13 1:31 PM

I foresee making fleece jackets with buttonholes in my future, too. So I played around this morning with making them on my vintage Bernina 830 Record sm which has the 5 step manual buttonhole feature. My usual technique is to draw the buttonhole on a strip of the water soluble stabilizer, which yields a beautiful buttonhole. This is probably like the space tape referenced above.

I already knew that the second, backwards pass of the buttonhole would be denser on two layers of fleece. So, I started with a 1.5 setting and worked my way back towards the satin stitch to find the one which gave the most even stitches on both sides. None of the trials got stuck or hung up, most were just different densities on the backwards pass. The stabilizer kept the stitches on all attempts smooth. But I found one stitch setting which is almost perfect, just below the marking for satin stitching.

I always make sample buttonholes on scraps with stabilizer before I begin making buttonholes. I even cut it to make sure it fits button. Learned the hard way that fabrics, thread, needles, and button thickness can affect the final result.

------
Elizabeth

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/3/13 2:03 PM

These are all super helpful suggestions! Thanks, as always, for everyone's input!

I ended up using Velcro, small round ones and sewed them in place with the buttons sewn on for decoration.

I have done many buttonholes before, but not on fleece, so I didn't even THINK that I'd have a problem

I really like the idea of that Space Tape and will have to order some so I have it handy for my future projects!

I did buy some snaps, but I have NO idea how to insert them and I was so frustrated on the project by that point that I just opted for the absolute easiest solution. I will have to read up on snaps in the future though as I will be making more baby clothes for my nephew.

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

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