Sunday, October 3, 2010
Bound Buttonhole Tutorial
Ah, bound buttonholes. Aren't they such a lovely detail?
The thing about bound buttonholes is that they're often the very first thing you do while sewing a garment—unlike regular buttonholes which get made almost last in the process. So if you're making bound buttonholes on your Lady Grey coat, now's the time to do them! After cutting your coat pieces out and serging the edges (if desired), this is the next step. (If you're not making bound buttonholes, skip this step and make your buttonholes when the pattern instructions direct.)
This is my absolute favorite method of making bound buttonholes. The first part is called the "windowpane method" because you make a little window in your fabric using a silk organza facing. "Lips" are formed with two squares of fabric behind the window.
Always make a test buttonhole in your actual fabric! Here I'm using some scraps in different colors so you can see it well.
1. The first thing to do stabilize the area with a fusible interfacing. Cut out a small circle of fusible (I like Weft interfacing for this purpose) with pinking shears. Fuse it to the wrong side of your fabric where the buttonhole will be positioned.
2. Next, mark the placement of your buttonhole. I like a chalk pen in a bright color for this purpose. Here is the buttonhole line and ends marked.
6. Now take this to your machine and machine stitch around the rectangle for the window. (Marked in yellow here.) Use a very short stitch length and follow your markings very carefully. Pivot at each corner. It helps to start along in the middle of a long side. If you want to be really precise, you can count your stitches per side to make sure it's even. Another handy tip is to use a clear foot so you can see where you're stitching.
11. Now pin the pieces together, right sides together and mark a stitching line down the middle (vertically) of the two pieces.
12. Stitch down this line with a long basting stitch.
13. Now you want to "butterfly" the pieces open so the right sides are out and each piece is folded over itself, with the basting stitch holding the pieces together down the middle.
15. The goal of the next steps is to secure the lips in place by machine stitching the lips to the "triangles" formed when you ironed the organza in step 9. Remember the little triangles on the back?
And your buttonhole is finished!
Let me know if you have questions!