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Friday, November 18, 2016

Marigold's Machine Button Hole Sewing

Yup - Even with care,  this buttonhole is a little crooked at the bottom edge. This doesn't show because the button covers it, but it's more proof that buttonholes are tricky. Frankly if I want perfect openings, I sew them by hand. Also, I don't stress about perfection!
1) I used a contrasting thread on Marigold's buttons holes, so I sure didn't want crooked threaded openings! Yes, modern machines are programmable to sew buttonholes neatly and repetively, but I'm often challenged by accurate placement. So I draw my buttonholes on medical supply tissue paper and sew them one at a time.

I make test sewing samples first 
Fabric Test Package - I make sure to include a piece of the same interfacing between two pieces of the shirt's fabric, so that I'm testing the same situation as my shirt

2) First I laid the buttons down on tissue. In theory you add maybe 1/8" over the width of the button. I try by theory and I try my gut reaction. Then I sew, cut and try the button in each hole

3) I make sure to put a wide pencil line at top and bottom - this is where a programmed buttonhole knows how far to go - but I  making the decision in each case to stop or turn. 
That's because of experience. Sometimes the fabric or interfacing gets stuck in the machine (even though I always use the right presser foot), and the programmed stitches aren't even on both sides. I use my buttonhole machine setting, but I make the choices each time as though I'm sewing the first, and I no longer use the programmed setting.
4) When I cut the button hole, of course I put a pin across the top so the seam ripper I'm using to open the buttonhole,  doesn't slice past the top of the opening. Again... experience!
5) When test sewing these buttonholes, I found I needed a piece of tissue underneath, as well as on top, in order to make the interfaced fabric test package (in preparation for the actual shirt) move unstickily along. I don't usually need the underneath tissue, but this fabric is a kind of loose, rough weave, and I found this quite helpful to keep my machine sewing smoothly.
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Marigold - A Princess-Seamed Shirt - Terminado - http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2016/11/fall-colors-marigold-princess-seamed.html

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