Technique Tuesday: Buttonholes

July 27, 2010

Back when I was just starting to sew, button holes were....the....worst. The BANE of my projects. I avoided them any way I knew how. Velcro. Snaps. Zippers. When I finally realized I had to just get over my ignorance and learn how to do them right I was shocked and delighted at how easy they really were.

All of this happened at about the same time Brian bought a new sewing machine for me that came with a bunch of odd looking feet. I wanted to learn what each of them were good for. I was fascinated at the thought that a simple foot could make my life a little easier.
In this video I show you how to use the special button hole foot but for those of you who only have a regular foot I also show you how to do it without one. THOUGH, my machine has a drop down lever to create the buttonhole and perhaps yours is different.

To use this video you must have a machine that has a buttonhole setting. Something like a long rectangle. I show you some examples in the video. Here's a great buttonhole foot on Amazon. Make your life a little easier too.

And if you have a technique that you'd like me to feature please leave me a comment.

28 {comments}:

Tanyia said... Best Blogger Tips

Ummm... WHY have I been avoiding this!?!?

I have a machine with a foot, but I have not even read the directions because I was so convinced I could not do it.

I am a VERY visual learner and have a serious hard time learning how to sew w/o being able to watch someone, so I can not tell you how much I love your video tut!

Ty,. so much!

Jennifer said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow that's a lot easier than what I've been doing. Although the machine I'm using is my mom's and is close to 40 years old so it's really not in any way similar. Maybe my own new machine is in the future with a convenient drop-down buttonhole...thing. Thank you for this!

Can you do a tutorial on bound pockets? I can't figure them out.

Pretty Zesty said... Best Blogger Tips

what a great video!

I have some earrings up for grabs on my blog. Check it out!

Bonnie said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much for the video! It was wonderful. I too have been scared of buttonholes and avoiding them like the plague!

My only question is, when you have marked on your fabric where the buttonhole should go, then where do you line it up to start sewing? At the top, bottom or middle? I hope that made sense :)

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Start at where you want the bottom of your buttonhole to be. The machine should sew from the bottom up.

cowboybunny said... Best Blogger Tips

I used to avoid it as well until a couple of years ago I figured I just need to pull down a lever on my machine, and "Wala" I haven't looked back!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi this is the first time I've ever commented on your site but I noticed that you said that the buttonhole shape is largely a matter of preference and that isn't really true. The keyhole and single rounded edge settings are preferable for shanked buttons (or drilled buttons with thread shanks). The shank on these buttons can cause a pressure point at one of the corners of a square buttonhole which can lead to puckering along the button band or even tearing. Use the rounded edge for small shanked buttons and/or thin fabrics and the keyhole for large buttons or thick fabrics.

♥ Angela said... Best Blogger Tips

I have that sewing machine too and I haven't figured it all out either! Can you make more tutorials like this so I can learn how to work my sewing machine please?!

Aurora said... Best Blogger Tips

I just recently discovered how easy it was to do a buttonhole with my machine, too. But I keep it simple and only do one button becuase I'm afraid I might mess up and not be able to line up the second buttonhole and make it even with the first :)

Do you, by chance, know of a good tutorial (or have one) for shirring? It seems so simple, but I still don't quite get it.


Elizabeth said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you. I love all your tutorials! They have helped me so much! I would love a video tutorial on shirring! Thanks!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the info! I will definitely remember that.

Christie // lemon squeezy home said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh my word, I am totally laughing at myself right now. Seriously, I had a post that mentions the awful turnout of a buttonhole here:

And NOW I get that little thing that you pull down! I didn't even know it existed on my machine, and I looked and looked at the instructions and don't remember that being mentioned. So THANK you! You are great!

Meg said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for soothing my anxiety over attempting buttonholes. It is so much nicer to have someone show you! I feel confident that I can attempt my first buttonhole now.

Katie@ Grow. Cook. Sew. said... Best Blogger Tips

oh.. what a perfectly timed post! I borrowed (note: stole) my mums sewing machine a few months ago and have done almost everything except button holes! Hopefully its as easy as it looks..

chris said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for a great video tutorial! I am adding a link, if you don't mind, to my Sewing 101 collection of great posts on other sites.

You can find the archive here:
http://Sewing 101 Archive

Anne said... Best Blogger Tips

I love my buttonhole foot! I can't imagine doing a buttonhole without it. Of course, mine doesn't have the handy slide out thing to measure the size of the button. I always have to eyeball it and stitch a few test runs in order to set the size right.

I linked to your video tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


Brittny said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much I was totally like you avoiding using buttons in all my projects I watched you tutorial and had a perfect button hole like a min later. You just opened up a new world of kids clothes for me! Thank you so so much!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

I keep trying button holes on my machine (Husquvarna Viking Lilly 500) now and again but I just don't like the results - they can be fine once stitched, but then get the slot cut and I end up cutting into the stiching and messing that up, or just wind up with a fraying mess. I avoid still!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. I have watched other tutorials on how to use my button hole foot but I never succeeded in makeing the button hole. It turns out that in your explaination you said the machine knows when to turn around when it hit the back bar of the button hole foot. My macine doesn't hit it hard enough to send it forward, so now I know I have to do it by hand. Also you said you can't take your foot off the proessor foot. I didn't know that. So of course that's wy it never worked before. I am so happy that I can make a button hole. You are great. I really love your blog. I read it every day. You and MADE are my daily reads.

mommy Orkid Belle said... Best Blogger Tips

When I first got my own sewing machine that my husband bought at Sears, I didn't know all about those odd sewing machine foot or feet that came with the machine until I read the manual. It sure is easy to make buttonholes with this thing. :) Thanks for sharing!

mommy Orkid Belle said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for sharing all your sewing techniques and I appreciate that. For someone that learned sewing from just watching my mom, I still need to learn tons of things about sewing and you sure do a good job with all your video tutorials with just one hand. LOL!

Anyway, talking about one hand sewing thing, I just want to share something. I saw some video tutorials somewhere in the internet world and what she does is she would use a tripod, put the camera and place it in front of her so it is easy to maneuver the camera around while doing the tutorial. I think it would be of help when you do your video tutorial. :) Well, I hope this will help. :)

Sandra :) said... Best Blogger Tips

I thought you had a Babylock machine because yours looks exactly like mine, but then I saw Brother on yours :D Happily, I have the pull down thingy and probably have that special buttonhole foot as well - I've had the machine for 5ish years and haven't even attempted to make a buttonhole! I'll be able to give it a try, now that I've - literally - seen how it's done - thank you!

Deece said... Best Blogger Tips

The buttonhole foot is amazing! I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and I love it. I'm still a novice, I have only sewn three garments with zippers - and I'm pretty sure I inserted them incorrectly. I've been very afraid to sew button holes, but while making costumes for the kids I decided to suck it up and learn. My sewing machine's manual explained it really well and now my mind is blown at how easy it is to create a button hole (with a button hole foot).

I can insert zippers into bags, but I really just wing it when I insert them into garments. I would certainly appreciate it if you would share with us how to properly insert a zipper into skirts and dresses.

Clarissa said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for posting this tutorial. I've been so afraid of buttonholes. I finally just bit the bullet, watched the tutorial and did it. It was so easy!!! I feel like a whole new sewing world has opened up to me. Thanks again

Zerique said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!! I was scared of button holes! But I'm not scared anymore!!!

Alyssa McVey said... Best Blogger Tips

I didn't even know you could do that! Now I know what that weird looking foot is lol.

Andrea said... Best Blogger Tips

You're tutorial was so helpful, even more helpful than the user manual for my machine! THANKS BUNCHES!!!!!

Momma J said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the link to this tutorial. I have been trying for about 4 years to get my machine to make a button hole and for the life of me I couldn't get it to work. There was nothing in my instruction manual about putting the lever you pull down between those 2 brackets!!! GAAAAA I may now be able to make that jacket I always wanted :) BTW, what machine is that, I am looking to upgrade and really like my Brother now. Thanks!

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