Trouble with buttonholes
My buttonhole foot keeps getting stuck in the jacket, leading to *lots* of frustration. I dont have problems in scraps, so it’s something about the bound seams and collar getting in the way of the feed. It stuck in the middle of buttonholes, got confused and couldn’t finish. I was left with half finished buttonholes! One I unpicked, but I think that affected the fabric integrity. So the next time, I finished the but to hole freehand with a tiny zig zag stitch. One came out fine. A second I needed to “help” the machine feed and that looks OK. The other two that I had to finish myself look pretty crappy. It’s very disappointing because the jacket is otherwise lovely – flat felled seams, bias bound seams in pretty florals, pretty nice top stitching, etc. Does anyone have tips for doing the buttonholes on this jacket?Tamara @justsewit
I had the same issue with bound seams when making a music class shirt. Do you have a buttonhole component and foot that allows you to manually sew one? I had to take my machine down to my dealer 450km away because I thought there was something wrong with it. It turned out to be the bulk from the seam. The foot just hated the bulk.
Are you making the button hole across the front or down ways? Have a look and see if the angle at which the buttonhole is made would inflict with the bulk from the seam. You may have to make the buttonhole in a different direction.
If you can, I would suggest doing a manual buttonhole without an automatic buttonhole foot because this is what is making it difficult to get the buttonhole made – the foot is telling the machine there is a barrier. If this is not able to be done then, I would look at changing the angle of the buttonhole and if this is not possible then I would suggest cheating and doing press studs and sewing a button on top to make it “look” like it is supposed to.
There is a product called seams great which I know a lot of heirloom sewists use to bind their seams. It comes on a roll I think but is really really light weight plain colored and does an excellent job at giving the bound seam look without giving the bulk.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for the ideas. I finished the other two buttonholes freehand with the machine, but they certainly don’t look nice, especially next to the two “perfect” machine ones. I had really been enjoying the one step buttonhole on my new machine! I suppose the best way to finish the jacket would be with a hand sewn buttonhole. A little much, I know,but ever since seeing it in an English sewing book, I’ve wanted to try. My machine will do some kind of hand buttonhole template too. Well, if it cooperates, that is! Many if I shed enough tears over this, hubby will see why I just have to upgrade. 🙂rastis @rastis
what type of sewing machine do you have meleliza?Tamara @justsewit
I do know how you feel about the need to get the buttonholes to be just as pretty. I had the same concern and that’s probably why the shirt is still sitting there unfinished – I lost the heart to try again. I have a you beaut bells and whistles top of the range Janome Horizon that does the automatic buttonholes exceptionally. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a manual button hole foot but I did score a freebie when I took it to the dealer.
It just means that when planning to bind the seams near the buttonhole placements that some care has to be taken into consideration about how it will affect the buttonholes with that automatic foot. It could include possibly using a light weight fabric for the binding to decrease the amount of bulk or even trying a different seam finish. Bound seams do make a garment look so neat and tidy though.
It was a good call to do the freehand buttonholes and maybe do give the handstitched method a go next time. I love to do things that are out of the ordinary so it would be good to find out how you go with doing the buttonholes by hand.
I have a Brother. Usually the automatic buttonhole works beautifully, but the seams were too close together for this. Fortunalty, when it’s buttoned you can’t see the messed up ones. Another option might be to make the buttonholes much earlier in the construction process, before I bind the seams. It’s an awfully cute jacket so I know I want to make it again. I’ll work it out.
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