Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How To - Manual Machine Buttonholes

Happy Tuesday folks! The sun is shining and spring is finally in the air around here! With the new season upon us I wanted to make some new changes to the blog, so if it seems a bit of a mess for a couple days, bare with me I just have a gazillion things on the go, one being packing for the move. I cannot wait to show you the new place, but for now it is on the to-do list.

As a precursor to a tutorial you will be seeing here shortly I did a quick photo tutorial on buttonholes. I did this for two reasons, the first being that I know buttonholes are incredibly intimidating to novice sewers. Seriously, how many projects did you/have you avoided because they required buttonholes? Or, you did do the the project but avoided any buttonholes and it just didn't turn out the same? That is why. The other reason is because when I searched for easy tutorials to link for you I couldn't find a single one that did not include using a buttonhole foot. I will admit, my machine has a buttonholer (It is so cool to watch) but not everyone has that option and I didn't want you to not make any upcoming projects because of that that little detail.

A manual button hole is super simple. I developed this method from scratch for the sake of the tutorial having never made a buttonhole before so that should tell you how easy they are. Below is a series of twelve photos numbered to the corresponding step below. Each step is so simple I almost thought about not posting photos but we need photos and then I thought about labeling the collage with one word of text but that was just not quite enough. So hopefully the numbered photos and the super simple written steps written below work for you.

Buttonhole Collage

1. Supplies: Scrap fabric, ruler, marker, razor blade (Or super sharp, super pointy scissors), button
2. Measure diameter of button.
3. Measure thickness of button.
4. Add together and mark on fabric.
5. With marked line on the outside of the needle sew a running stitch around the mark.
6. Check it out, a nice little rectangle guide.
Set zig zag width to 1.25 and use buttonhole/applique/satin stitch setting. Sew around running stitch. You might need to do this twice if your stitches are not close enough together.
With the center of the buttonhole lined up with the center of your foot and needle, set the zig zag width to its widest setting. Mine is 4 and it fit perfectly.
9. At the top and bottom of the buttonhole stitch approx 1/8" to give it some added resistance to wear.
10. With your razor blade (or super sharp super small scissors) slice down the center of your buttonhole, making sure not to get any stitches.
11. Check your button in your newly fashioned hole.
12. Tadaa! You did your very first buttonhole without a fancy machine foot!

If you have any questions, or if any readers have an helpful comments please feel free to share them! And with that, I bid you adieu and happy sewing!