Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finishing Your Bound Buttonholes

Okay! You've made lovely bound buttonholes on your coat, and now you need to finish the backs of them (on the facing) so that you can actually put buttons through them. Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to see very well with my fabric, but hopefully this will still make sense to you. Here are the steps:

1. Position the coat so that the buttonhole front is facing you. Mark the buttonhole rectangle on the facing side of the fabric by sticking a pin through each corner. My pins are indicated by blue arrows below:

 2. Turn the coat over and connect between the pins with chalk.
 This rectangle is indicated with yellow below:
3.  To reinforce the rectangle, handstitch around it, using a back stitch. I went around my rectangle twice to give it extra security.

4. Cut carefully through the center of the rectangle, and out to the four corners, being careful to only cut the facing fabric. This forms little triangles on each side of the rectangle.
 The blue arrows below show your cutting lines:
 5. Fold the triangles under and pin.
 6. Slipstitch around the rectangle to hold the triangles in place.
That's it! Your buttonhole is now accessible on both sides.


  1. I'd say to do a lot of practice buttonholes on scrap fabric first...just to get the feel of what you're doing. And the binding fabric? Cut a huge chunk of fabric. Some cut too little and then end up with not enough to do the job.

  2. This was one of the most nerve-wracking steps when I sewed my coat! It was hard to really see what I was doing. I can't recall - did you fuse interfacing to the back of the front facing? I did and it helped keep the fraying to a minimum. The silver lining of being hard to see while sewing, is that my imperfect stitches are hard to see, too! I made sure I just stitched it securely and in the end it came out fine. Yours is looking good!

  3. Thank god you posted this. I wore my coat last night with the buttonholes unfinished. I totally didn't know what to do! All's good now though. I'm looking forward to seeing everybody's finished coats!

  4. I hope this comment isn't too out of place here. I just discovered the sew-along and I'm so inspired! I've ordered fabric and made my first muslin--I probably won't catch up with everyone, but I hope I can still be involved. Gertie, these tutorials are amazing, and I can't wait to try all the tailoring techniques you describe. I know I'm going to learn a ton!

  5. I'd just like to add my voice to that of 'a little sewing on the side': I don't remember you mentioning anything about fusing the inside of the facing at the buttonhole position, but I would recommend that to everyone. If you don't there's almost no stopping the fraying and the back of the buttonhole will continue to be a weak spot on the finished coat.

  6. Hey guys! I did interface the facing pieces. But you reminded me that I may not have mentioned that in the sew-along posts, so thank you! Going to go back and update the lining post now.

    Joanie, thanks! A lot of people are still working on the beginning stages, so you won't be alone.

  7. I got confused with the reinforcing handstitching around the rectangle. On the first one (I have 4), I caught a thread on the front jacket piece with each stitch, thinking that rectangle should join the facing to the front. That made it crazy hard to fold under the triangles. So on the second, I stitched the rectangle just on the facing and that one looks much better. Does that make sense?

    Also, you definitely did tell us to interface the facing pieces. You even reminded us not to forget, which I remember because I HAD forgotten and had to fuse mine on after the facing was sewn to the lining.

  8. sortandfold, your second try sounds perfect. You just want to catch the top layer with your reinforcement stitches.

    I'm so glad I really did tell you to interface your facings! :)

  9. Thanks for your post on finishing bound buttonholes. The steps (and the many pictures) are quite helpful.

  10. The great news is that they have share many things in their article and it make the people updated about their knowledge.Some cut too little and then end up with not enough to do the job.

  11. oh i luv you Gertie,now i`ve learned this buttonhole!!actually i ve been searching for how sewing the bound buttonhole for long time,and u helped me and i appreciate that!!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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