Today is Day 24 of 31 Days of Sewing School.
Something you might come across in sewing a garment or other project is a button enclosure. Hopefully you’ll be okay with the button part but the buttonhole is a little trickier.
There are two ways to this, the high-tech way, and the old-fashioned way.
The high-tech way
If you’re lucky enough to have a buttonhole presser foot, this job is super easy.
My current machine is the first I’ve owned with this foot, although you might be able to buy one separately for your machine if it didn’t come with one. Some are more “automatic” than others.
My presser foot has a slot where you set your button, then you simply choose the buttonhole stitch on the machine and the machine will literally sew the perfect-sized buttonhole for that particular button.
It’s pretty darn amazing. When I figured out my machine could do that and sew on a button, too, it was a bit of a sewing-mind-blown experience.
The old-fashioned way
If you’re a bit intimidated by “technology” or you have a simple sewing machine, this is the way to go.
You might have a buttonhole stitch on your machine, which will help you make it properly even without the foot. Just follow the directions in your owner’s manual.
Otherwise, you’ll simply want to sew a tight (small height) zig-zag the length of your button, then a widened straight stitch over and back a few times for strength, a tight zig-zag up the other side and finally a widened straight stitch at the top.
Whichever way you make it, here are a few tips:
- When you finish, use a seam ripper to gently cut the fabric open inside your buttonhole. I find it is easier to precise this way and not accidentally cut the the threads you just sewed into your buttonhole.
- On a garment, start making your buttonholes at the bottom. That way, as you get better at the technique you’ll work your way up towards the top. Chances are, your best buttonhole will be the last you make; it might as well be the most visible!
- Check out this awesome tutorial at Sew, Mama, Sew! for using your buttonhole foot. For a different look, maybe a hand-sewn buttonhole would be better for you.
How do you sew your buttonholes– the high-tech way or the old-fashioned way? Tomorrow, I’ll teach you another useful skill for garments and other projects.