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Tips & Techniques > Buttonhole tips from Sewin Stuff

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Posted by: Mel.J

About Mel.J starstar
VIC Australia
Member since: 7/30/02
Reviews written: 36
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 43 people
tips added: 2
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Posted on: 1/31/03 10:03 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 11 people   Very Helpful by 77 people   
Thanks to Sewin Stuff for these tips in Kerina's review.

"Buttonhole tips:

1) Never Never Never go over a buttonhole twice that is a sure sign of a home made garment have you ever seen RTW with double stitched holes?

2) Shorten your stitch length even if it is set automatically small increments will fill in your buttonholes nicely

3) Use some Water dissolving stabilizer (Sulky Brand is good) on the top of your buttonhole - I steam mine away I don't even need water it really makes the Buttonholes neat and aids in the cutting fray problem

4) Invest in a buttonhole chisel and mat It is a very sharp blade you push through the buttonhole instead of slicing it with a seam ripper - much much neater

5) Always Match the interfacing if you can

6) Starch and press the area before stitching the crispness of the fabric will also prevent puckering in the button hole area

7) Use 100% cotton thread whenever possible it has a really nice sheen and will not stretch like polyester or poly blends and again prevents puckering and helps get a clean cut

MOST IMPORTANT!!!!! TEST TEST TEST. Well worth the time. Make sure you use the same layers as the garment you will be putting the buttonholes on (Interfacing, fashion fabric lining if it applies).

I don't mean like to sound like a know it all in the buttonhole area but, I am a garment sewing instructor and my pet peeve it HOMEMADE BUTTONHOLES that is usually the first dead give away it is not RTW With a few tricks of the trade we can achieve a professional look.

Stabilizer and button hole cutters are available @ Coltilda or Nancy’s notions or any large Fabric Chain I think even WAL-Mart

Hope this helps"

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art lover said...
good comments. One of my pet peeves is homemade buttonholes on a garment that looks great but for the buttonholes. What kind of sewing machine do you have?
8/31/10 5:58 PM
Sewslowly said...
Thanks--some of this I knew but some was brand-new information.
6/4/10 11:55 AM
Tainsh said...
If you don't have a button hole cutter, a pin on both ends of the buttonhole will prevent cutting though the ends.
6/1/10 7:52 AM
Ingacr said...
Thanks very much Mel. I'm a beginner and was not aware of these tips before.
5/30/10 6:18 PM
what a valuable piece of advice. Thank you, this is a technique I will be using in the future.
5/29/10 9:14 PM
jjenks said...
Mel, thanks for posting these tips. My buttonholes are adequate but will improve with these tips.
5/28/10 8:18 PM
JodieT said...
Your tips are so wonderful to find. I've had my button hole cutter for 20 years. I thought it was so clever! I have never tried the water soluble stablizer and look forward to better buttonholes. Thanks so much.
5/28/10 6:55 PM
cleretta said...
i consider the information to be very helpful.
5/28/10 5:41 PM
Summerlea said...
I've found that very sharp embroidery scissors work well on small buttonholes, when my chisel is too wide. The vintage Singer buttonhole attachment instructions have great tips for making buttonholes and the instructions are available free online. Two I like are adjusting tension for a handsewn look, and stitching a second time half the width of the first--against your rule but it can give a nice look. Thanks for the tips.
5/28/10 2:45 PM
learningnewtricks said...
Thanks for these great tips. My button holes look even worse than homemade. I'll practice your tips and, hopefully, improve in my next attempt.
5/28/10 2:18 PM
MAD14kt said...
I am GREATFUL for finding this tip. I will have to invest in a buttonhole chisel.
5/28/10 1:56 PM
Sue in MD said...
I don't make many buttonholes any more, but I'll take all the tips I can get. Can't wait to try them out. THANKS!
5/28/10 1:53 PM
moxiedogdog said...
Many thanks. Have never been satisfied with my buttonholes. Now I know why! Moxiedog
5/28/10 1:04 PM
kalee said...
I always have a problem with fraying buttonholes. These suggestions help me alot.
1/8/09 3:56 PM
Jiggs said...
Mel, Thank you for the tips. I am just getting back to garment sewing after 30 years and am just trying my hand at fitting. My first project is a shirt with buttonholes, of course. Your tips will make the job much easier. Janice
9/12/03 6:20 PM
mjl said...
Thanks Mel, I have been avoiding making some buttonholes on some garments that have been waiting a long time to be finished. Your tips are helpful and timely.
2/2/03 5:55 PM
GorgeousFabrics said...
Great tips, Mel, thanks! Sewin' Stuff, definitely post your tips, and welcome! I love reading the tips, and this whole community is wonderful. Definitely post your toilet brush tip separately. It's both useful *and* LOL funny! -Ann
2/2/03 11:24 AM
Mel.J said...
Sewin Stuff, absolutely add some more tips and reviews. Love the toilet brush idea - post that one too to give everyone a laugh!
2/1/03 7:50 PM
Loreli said...
Thanks for thes tips Mel. I always went twice over the first row and no wonder they donīt look good. I wil try to make it your way. Hope I get a a buttonhole cutter here in Germany. I havenīt seen any here yet in the shops but maybe a person should ask the saleslady.
2/1/03 2:57 PM
NancyDaQ said...
Mel, thanks for posting these tips! I do many of these things, but it's nice to have them all in one place!
2/1/03 2:03 PM
xxx xxx xxx xxx said...
I am so touched you felt these tips were helpful I have been lurking for some time I haven't been very active didn't want to sound like a know it all . I must do a review it looks fun . I love every ones stuff. I am teaching a basic sewing class right now and I just love the look on one of my students faces when they finish the garment. If it is ok maybe I can post some other tips and I love reading them. Thanks Mel for posting this for me I wouldn't have thought of it FUN TIP: go to your local dollar store and buy a round toliet bowl brush this is the best tool for picking up stray thread off the floor your vacuum will love you for it.In the shop I work in most of the vacs that need service are wound up tight with thread around the beater brush hmmmmmmmm is that why sewing shops sell vacs haha Thanks again
2/1/03 3:24 AM
Georgene said...
Great idea MelJ to paste those tips into this section. Often great advice like this gets lost in the reviews and message board, and this is the most complete set of buttonhole tips yet! Yaay!
1/31/03 11:10 PM
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