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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Buttonhole too small for button! ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Buttonhole too small for button!
What am I doing wrong????
Immelu
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Immelu  Friend of PR
Intermediate
KS USA
Member since 5/6/06
Posts: 335
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Date: 8/11/07 7:36 PM

Okay, so I've finally decided that I AM woman and I CAN conquer the buttonhole. Despite two unsuccessful attempts to create a buttonhole in the past, I figured I'd give it ONE more shot (before seriously considering a new machine). I'm working on this awesome corduroy coat, Vogue 7764 in rust/orange.

So today, I finally did it! After three tries, and only one involving serious effort to pull the thread out of my machine, I can create a buttonhole!!! Whoopie!!!!!! But, Wait!!!! The buttonhole isn't big enough for the button to go through!!! What am I doing wrong??????

My machine is a Brother, Model XL2027. It's hand-me-down from a lady who wanted to upgrade, and I think I'm following EVERY step in the manual. The only solution I can currently come up with would be to use a bigger button (and that would require a trip to Joanns.




-- Edited on 8/11/07 7:40 PM --

Monica G
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Monica G
Intermediate
PA USA
Member since 6/21/05
Posts: 22
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In reply to Immelu


Date: 8/11/07 7:40 PM

Your stitched buttonhole should be 1/8inch longer than the diameter of your button. And make sure you use interfacing to prevent the buttonhole from stretching out of shape over time.

Immelu
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Immelu  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/11/07 7:44 PM

MonicaG, you're fast! I'm here trying to figure out how to put in a picture...


I know it should be longer, but my buttonhole-r isn't making them longer.

If you go here...http://public.fotki.com/immelu/experiments_in_sewing/pict0136.html
you'll see the problem.

ELizabeth_Atl
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ELizabeth_Atl
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GA USA
Member since 7/25/07
Posts: 70
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Date: 8/11/07 9:18 PM

A couple of thoughts ... if you have an automatic 1-step button feature where you load the button into the presser foot thingy, some will allow you to adjust it to be a bit larger than the button, load the button in, then pull the guides out a click or two larger. Some machines also let you do a buttonhole manually, which you could try if your 1-step button foot can't be adjusted. If your machine has a bartack stitch you might play with that to jig a manual button hole.

If your button is very thick, most auto buttonholes will be too small, but if it is a regular button and the hole is still not right, it sounds like a problem with the presser foot or machine.

Bummer. I know how excited I was when I made my first buttonhole ... I know your persistence will pay off : )

KatieN
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KatieN  Friend of PR
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VA USA
Member since 3/16/05
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In reply to Immelu


Date: 8/11/07 9:36 PM

I have an buttonhole foot just like yours for my 1-step buttonhole, and I usually have the opposite problem. Mine usually come out a tad too big. My solution is to put the button in to establish a "starting" point, then take the button out and click the button-holder part in just a click smaller.

For your situation, I would adjust it to the size of the button, but then open it out just couple clicks larger. Experiment until you find the right length. The buttonhole foot should hold the size setting with or without a button in it.

I know it's annoying to not have it work exactly like it's supposed to, but this is a pretty easy work-around. Good luck!

Katie

Immelu
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Immelu  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/11/07 9:53 PM

I have checked out everything and there doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the foot...without breaking it.

I'm beginning to suspect that the lady who gave me the machine may have given me a buttonhole foot from some other machine.

I hate to do the do-it-yourself buttonholes b/c those never turn out for me very nicely and I LOVE my jacket so far.
A lady at work has offered to loan me her machine if I couldn't get mine figured out, so that's what I may have to do. Jacket so far

KatieN
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KatieN  Friend of PR
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VA USA
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In reply to Immelu


Date: 8/11/07 10:00 PM

That's strange that it can't be manually adjusted. I guess mine must be a bit different.

One other possible solution - possibly you could cut a circle from cardboard in a larger size than your button and use it as a "button" in the buttonhole foot. Couldn't hurt to try.

It sounds like you may be right about being the wrong foot for the machine, or a setting is off somewhere. It may be worth a trip to a repair shop to take a look at it.

Immelu
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Immelu  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/11/07 10:09 PM

Yeah, I think I'm doomed. I pulled the thing that holds the button out as far as it would go, and the buttonhole that I got was still less than an inch. My buttons are an inch. Oh well, at least the machine was free.

I could always just get smaller buttons, but I'm not sure they'd look right, and I really like the ones I have. Maybe I'll go look at Joann's tomorrow to see if any of the smaller ones would work.

Lisa Laree
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Lisa Laree  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/11/07 10:24 PM

I'm wondering if the thickness of your corduroy may be messing with the accuracy of the buttonhole attachement...that is, the feed dogs aren't able to grab it and move it through correctly, so that it's not the right size.

Hm...can you reduce the pressure of your presser foot? That might let the fabric move through a little easier.

I've got a similar setup on my machine; you'd think it'd be really accurate, but sometimes stuff like that messes with it. Especially if there's a seam allowance or other lumpiness nearby.

Just a thought!

------
Lisa -- so much fabric, so little time!
http://sewrandom.blogspot.com/

KatieN
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KatieN  Friend of PR
Intermediate
VA USA
Member since 3/16/05
Posts: 170
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Date: 8/11/07 10:47 PM

Lisa Laree has a good point about the thickness of your fabric possibly messing with the buttonhole formation. Maybe you could experiment with some plain cotton fabric and see if you get better results. This would at least narrow down the problem to the fabric or the foot/machine.

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