Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quick Buttonhole Poll!

Good morning, readers! I'd love to get your thoughts on handworked buttonholes--specifically, if you think they should be included in my book. If they're important to you, I will do my darndest to make a decent looking one to shoot tomorrow. (My technique is much better than when I first tried, thank goodness, but I don't know if it's book-worthy yet!) If you couldn't care less about handworked buttonholes, I'll call it a day and stick with machine and bound buttonholes. What say you?

Thanks for your input, dear readers!

111 comments:

  1. I love my machine buttonholes and don't think I would ever attempt to do one by hand! I think I'd rather spend the time doing some ornamental work or playing with my cats...just my two cents! Thanks for asking, and I can't wait to set my mitts on your book!!!!

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  2. I think it's always valuable to know how to do a machine technique by hand, as well. Especially for those instances where it's difficult to navigate with your machine, or you forget a step... :) I'd like to see your method, even if you decide not to include it in your book.

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  3. I cannot IMAGINE myself ever doing a hand-worked buttonhole. Seriously.

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  4. My machine makes the most horrible button holes ever! My hand worked ones are not much better and take alot longer. I would love to see handworked button holes in your book - if not in your book maybe here on your blog.
    - Liz

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  5. give yourself a break, skip it.

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  6. I wouldn't complain if it's included in the book, but to be completely honest, I don't think I will ever make one by hand myself.

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  7. hand worked buttonholes please! I haven't found good instructions yet! with pictures that is... I need pictures.

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  8. I'd be up for learning how to do a handstitched button hole... 'specially since my button hole function on my machine doesn't work so well.
    :)

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  9. Please include one. I don't think I'd ever use one on medium weight fabric, but very lightweight or very heavyweight material needs them to be really neat. Mine always look sloppy.

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  10. i am interested! i think a technique like hand-worked buttonholes would fit well within your book... bound buttonholes are nice, but they aren't always appropriate. and i think machine buttonholes are kind of ugly :X

    but yeah, count me for a YES :)

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  11. Please yes! My machine makes atrocious buttonholes and I only use it for things where I really don't care how neat they look (kids' PJs and the like) but I have yet to figure out how to make a nice looking hand worked one.

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  12. Not sure exactly sure who your book is aimed at, but I think life is too short for most home seamstresses to handwork buttons unless on a very special project.
    Personally, I can't see myself ever feeling the urge :)

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  13. Machine is the ticket! No need to rally to include a handworked one.

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  14. I'd go with machine for the book. The other one might be a nice blog post though.

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  15. If I'm going to put extra effort into a buttonhole, it will be bound, not hand worked. Save the hand work for the next book on more advanced tailoring!

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  16. Yes, please do! I really want to learn to make them well for tiny buttonholes on fine baby garments.

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  17. I'm always looking for different ways to do buttonholes, since my machine does 'em fast and ugly.

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  18. Don't bother with the hand-worked. I like the look of them, but would go with bound over hand-worked every time.

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  19. Yes! Would love to see a hand-worked buttonhole! I'm finding I prefer hand-picking a zipper and I'd like to add this to my arsenal of hand finishing.

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  20. I'll probably be sticking to my machine. I also agree with Erika - give yourself a break! It sounds like your book is already going to be filled with wonderful sewing deliciousness. If people are really interested, maybe save it for a later blog post tutorial!

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  21. I think you should give yourself a break. I've only made hand buttonholes a few times and they were not really better than my terrible machine ones. There are so many other techniques that I'd rather see.

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  22. Don't bother and save yourself the time! I feel sad for all these people who have machine that make terrible buttonholes- my old Singer attachment makes beautiful ones!

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  23. There are lots and lots of places to learn how to create a hand-stitched button hole if one wants to learn how. Just take a few extra minutes and breathe instead of making a sample!

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  24. Yes please include hand-worked button holes! I find thicker fabric machine buttonholes cannot always be done by my machine.

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  25. Leave it out. I don't think I would ever have the desire to do one.

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  26. The only time I've ever dealt with hand-worked button holes is when I haven't had a sewing machine at hand. Save it for a future blog post or if you have plenty of time after you cover everything else you want to finish for your book.

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  27. I got really geeky over handmade buttonholes last year and spent ages making samples. It is one of my favourite details to make - kind of like adding your signature to a finished garment. However, I found it really difficult to find any good instructions. There are many books that describe the basic stitch but they don't describe how to prepare the buttonhole and stabilize the fabric. They often don't show good close-ups of the finished buttonhole and what it is going to look like.

    I guess my point is - I would love a good reference on buttonholes, but if it is just an extra bit that will be squeezed in without going into details, you might as well leave it out. Handmade button holes are a bit on the geeky side anyway.

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  28. If you have the space and time,include them. I think a hand made buttonhole looks fantastic when made well. BTW, for the nicest looking hand made buttonholes I've ever seen (with instructional video and recommended threads), look here http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2010/02/hand-made-buttonholes-video.html

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  29. I'm sure they're beautiful, but I am also sure that I will never in my life make a handworked buttonhole.

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  30. I say yes to the buttonholes! I think it's always good to know how to do something by hand :) Looking forward to the book!

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  31. I don't want to tell you what content to include in a book but I would be thrilled to pick up a book that did include a technique that I admire in Vintage clothing. So if you really want my vote, Yes. I personally like hand-stitching... if you include it just don't tell your beloved sample maker, Jonathan. Good luck with the photo shoot. Can't wait for the book to come out!

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  32. I think knowing how to make handmade buttonholes (and having a good visual) can be really useful. I usally make buttonholes on my machine but was forced to learn to make them by hand while making a blouse with a very narrow placket out of a very thin swiss dot. I didn't interface the placket and because it was so narrow my machine was literally eating the fabric. I pulled out a vintage refernece book and got to work. They came out lovely, have held up well and no one would know the difference.

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  33. oh, hand-worked buttonholes are amazing. They're one of those little things that can really take a special project over the top—I don't think I'd work a whole shirt's worth of buttonhonles by hand, no matter how special the shirt, but a single buttonhole to close a neck or a waist? Delicious! I'd love to see these in the book...

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  34. I am quite obsessed with suits, and to me they required handworked buttonholes. I've done my fair share of them, and I'll never go back to using my machine for them (well mabye for a cotton shirt or something simple) But my first one was no good. I got better after I watched this video which may help:

    http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2010/02/hand-made-buttonholes-video.html

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  35. Yes please cover hand worked buttonholes, they add such a nice finish and I would love to learn your techniques to improve mine.

    Thank you
    Marie

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  36. I would love to see hand-worked buttonholes in your book! My machine becomes a fussy monster when I attempt buttonholes on it, and getting some tips on making neat ones by hand would be excellent.

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  37. Bound Buttonholes!

    Handworked buttonholes are "gration" on my nerves.

    I had to use my word verification in a sentence.

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  38. I've never made buttonholes by hand and I would be interested to see how it's done (I'm always curious to learn something new, and I love hand-sewing). I would probably try it out and if it's too bothersome and isn't worth its while, I won't make it. Do you think it adds something to the garment? I agree with other commenters who said that a blog post on the topic would be great. Thanks for asking :-)

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  39. Yes please do!
    I love hand stiching and all my vicoritan clothing I do have hand stiched button holes.
    Please ceep the old knowledge alive!

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  40. My machine eats button-holes, so some handworked options would be good.

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  41. I think that hand worked buttonholes would be nice, but do not think that you should demonstrate techniques that you yourself have not mastered.

    The Tutto Fatto A Mano blog by Jeffery Diduch, linked to by another Anonymous, offers a good basic guide. But there's a lot to it, even with a video tutorial.

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  42. I am very much looking forward to this book release and I would love to see a hand worked buttonhole tutorial in there. I just made a post about my phobia of doing buttonholes, well it wasn't exactly about my phobia, but I mention how I'm basically avoiding buttonholes and faking it with velcro.... ARGH!

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  43. I'd say when your more comfortable with your handbound buttonholes then make a seperate tutorial for it from your book. I don't think i've ever done a handbound buttonhole before because I just don't have a clue. I think there is more to it than what it probably is so I stay away but if I had a tut, i'd probably atleast try. You could make the handbound a supplement to your book.

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  44. Tips on doing a hand buttonhole would be fabulous. I have a velvet vest that looks AWFUL with machine buttonholes, and my machine does a great buttonhole. Still. Awful. My first hand buttonhole was great. The next one, not so much. Must have been beginners luck. Any help appreciated.

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  45. Nah-I wouldn't bother putting hand-worked buttonholes in the book. Who actually does those? My machine does them fine, and I think they're sturdier than the hand-made kind. I also wash my hand-made clothing in the washer on delicate, and I find that the machine ones hold up better. Good luck with the book!

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  46. Gertie,

    I'd wait for your second book! The Gertie Couture book:) Or "Gertie goes to Paris" book. I do machine and have not yet attempted a bound (which is definitely a retro technique). I would wait. I took Susan's class and couldn't actually ever figure them out - but I put that in the class of Couture and Tailoring techniques. Just a thought:)

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  47. Just be sure to teach us to use buttonhole stitch, not blanket stitch. Wasted a half-hour of my life once watching someone very carefully showing viewers how to make "buttonhole" stitch around an appliqué, all the while she was actually doing blanket stitch. Buttonhole stitch is much more durable than blanket stitch, as it lays multiple layers of thread along the cut edge of the hole. Only difference between them is which way the thread wraps around the needle after you've poked it through the cloth.

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  48. Another thought - a tutorial on a machine corded buttonhole, if you are not already doing that.

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  49. When I learned to sew my inherited machine did not have a buttonhole attachment so I found a book with instruction for hand working buttonholes. I got very fast at it and they looked good too. I'm not sure hand worked buttonholes are relevant anymore, but it sure is nice to know I can make some if my machine breaks down. So I vote yes, include instructions.

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  50. I do use my machine on my boys clothes, but I do hand stitch my buttonholes on my clothing. I would include both techniques. If I were purchasing a book, I would look at the variety of techniques offered. Well, lol that is how I look for books.

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  51. I made them all the time when I had a cheap kenmore that would not make buttonholes now I never make them so while it is useful information its not something I would personally use.

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  52. I used to always do my buttonholes by machine till i found an old (1911) book with clear instructions on how to do them by hand and then made a dozen or so myself. It certainly takes some practice to make it look nice but in my experience is totally worth the effort. That said, if *you're* not comfortable with handstitched buttonholes, I'd say *definitely* don't include them. After all, it's your book.

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  53. If you include great instructions/tips for bound buttonholes, I won't care if you skip the hand-worked ones! (My machine doesn't make pretty ones, but I doubt I'd do a better job... if I needed a lovely looking buttonhole, I'd go with bound every time!)

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  54. Many moons ago, my mother and I were shopping and found a silk crepe blouse with two hand-worked buttonholes (probably made in the early days of "Made in China") that were exquisitely done.

    Even though her (later my) machine made perfect machine buttonholes, she bought the blouse both because the blouse was otherwise beautiful, but also because such hand-worked details signaled "couture" to her.

    So include them or leave them out as you will, but I am here to testify that once upon a time, such details were the difference between "nice" and "beautifully made."

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  55. I have no opinion on buttonholes, but I thought it noteworthy that when I first glanced at this in my feed, I thought it said "Quick Butthole Poll" and that, friend, piqued my interest.

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  56. I hate my machine's buttonholes and have tried to do them via hand a couple of times -- always with minimal success. Since I'm planning on buying your book when it comes out, I'd really appreciate a buttonhole lessson :)

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  57. As your reader, I want to know how and why YOU do things. So it would be valuable/interesting for me to look in your book and discover that you don't do handworked buttonholes, and your reasons for not doing them.

    So I vote for you to be Gertie, and not to demo a technique if you don't do it readily or easily yourself. You can instead refer the reader to your own source for learning how to do handworked buttonholes.

    Thanks, and good luck. Eager for your book!

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  58. It depends on how much hand sewing you are including in your book. If most of your construction methods include hand sewing then button holes would be a basic.

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  59. I don't expect ever do a hand-worked buttonhole either, but I'd love to know how to, just to know.

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  60. I can't see myself ever wanting or needing to do a buttonhole by hand...

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  61. My vote is really good instruction on turning out perfect machine button holes. I have to do a dozen practice ones to remember how to line everything up right. Bound button holes are completely mystifying to me.

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  62. Chances are, I'd never make a hand worked button hole, and if I did, it would be once or twice ... but I would refer to the other techniques much more often. So I vote for them and not the hand worked. It's not so much the button HOLE as it is the button anyway ...IMHO. Good luck with the book!

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  63. I think I would like to see the handmade buttonholes, but I don't want to stress you any further! Whatever you put in your book will be GREAT!

    It must be so exciting to have a photo shoot for your very own book! I can't wait for the time when I can do the same!

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  64. Button holes you say!! I was almost in tears yesterday putting in the button holes in a velvet vintage bolero jacket I did such a gorgeous sewing job on only to mess up so much on one of the button holes. I have a good machine but obviously don't have a handle on using the button hole feature and need to sit down and crack this. I'm considering asking someone to do them for me who is skilled. YES I would love to have you write about hand ones in fact I tried to fix this one by hand and it was a pathetic mess!! I'm only saved by the fact it's all in black and when buttoned it does not show.

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  65. I believe there is something very vintage about doing stuff like this by hand. So yes please.

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  66. I don't know that I will ever do a hand-worked buttonhole. I much prefer a bound buttonhole. But the hand-worked buttonhole could be an online-bonus. One of my favorite knitting books has 2 bonus patterns online. The password for the patterns is word number ? in the ? paragraph on page number ?. The password is changed monthly (or something like that) to a different word from the book.

    Just an idea, if there isn't room in the book, but you want to include something extra.

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  67. I say no; life's too short. Include a good piece on bound buttonholes and a good piece on machine buttonholes and correct thread. I personally think that's enough for the homesewer.....

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  68. I admire those who can, but I have never tried. I say ix-nay on bound buttonholes. Save it for the next book!

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  69. I am practicing making old-fashioned buttons woven with a needle and thread on a tiny brass ring. They are loads of fun to weave. I find fiddling them a great way to relax at the end of the day. But it just now dawned on me that I have no idea how to hand-make a buttonhole!
    My latest advancement is to use a chisel thingee to cut uniform buttonholes in fabric. I was just going to use my machine to do the binding.
    I don't think good-looking buttonholes can be made by hand.

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  70. I also have big problems with my machine buttonhole and have been meaning to learn. I would like to see it in the book - whic I will definitely be buying.

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  71. I have only ever done machine buttonholes, but I think your hand bound ones are beautiful, and that you should give yourself credit for their awesomeness, and include them in the book!

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  72. I'd love to try to learn to do button holes by hand. I steer away from making anything with buttons just because my button holes always look terrible. I'm sure practice would make them look better...but I'm less worried about doing them by hand than machine.

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  73. I vote yeah! I'm getting very into hand sewing and it's pretty hard to come by good techniques.

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  74. I say add it. My machine broke when I really needed it and all I had was my hand sewing skills left. So in a pinch a handsewn buttonhole is a valuable tool.

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  75. The first buttonholes I ever did were hand ones as I had not yet learnt how to use the attachment on my machine! For some reason I thought it would be easier to do by hand! I still wear the blouse today though so they obviously worked.

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  76. Meh I say don't include it... especially if you are going to have to rush and sew one up. I believe Sunni from a fashionable stitch has a tutorial up (unless I remembered wrong), so you can just direct people who want the tutorial over there...

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  77. Never occured to me to do hand sewn buttonholes! I have done bound buttonholes and I love those and my machine makes pretty buttonholes, but now I think I should certainly learn to make hand sewn. I love embroidery and hand work. Must try.

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  78. This is one of those areas where I'm torn between making an easy and okay-looking buttonhole by machine, and overcoming my fear and learning how to do a nice handworked one. Actually I should probably learn how to do a bound buttonhole properly before anything.

    Have you told us the theme or focus of your book yet? Probably you did and I've forgotten. But if it's about recreating vintage styles, or incorporating the techniques of yore into modern clothes, then the handworked buttonholes would be a nice addition.

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  79. My machine broke once just as I was finishing an item for my family to take to India -hence I had to do three hand sewn buttonholes, never an experience I want to repeat, I'd stick to machine and bound. God Bless the inventor of the sewing machine!

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  80. I'm with Pammie, we can wait for your second book and besides, that will give you some time to practice so that we can then say "darn, she sure makes that look easy!"

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  81. Go with the machine and bound. Bound are so pretty but for those who want to save the time they will go with machine. Save the hand button holes for your second book! Best of Luck!!

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  82. I would love to know how to make buttonholes by hand. At the same time, I don't need to learn from your book - if you'd like to call it a day, I won't run off and refuse to buy the book because it lacks handsewn buttonholes. I mean, really.

    My word verification is holes, which is obviously a sign.

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  83. If you are talking a handmade bound buttonhole, then I would love to see it featured in your book. Any tips for making beautiful handmade buttonholes is greatly appreciated.

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  84. If I am lucky I will never, ever, make a handmade buttonhole. Thusly...

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  85. I agree that a well handworked button hole is nice but not something I really aspire to. Life is full enough. A blog post if you had the time and the mood to do one would be interesting and informative. But, reality: don't load up the book with the esoteric.

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  86. I'm late to the poll party but after seeing beautiful handworked buttonholes on tailored jackets, and knowing how many hours of practice they take to look good, I'd rather do machine buttonholes... rather than be led to think they can look good after a couple tries! (Maybe your next book can have some practice exercises on handstitches! So that one can gain the muscle memory?)

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  87. I would not be interested in working buttonholes by hand on my clothing because of the durability factor, or lack thereof. My two cents is in favor of skipping this technique in your book and showing us some other luscious decorative ideas.

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  88. YES please do! It may take longer to do it by hand but you don't run the risk of ruining your garment in the very last step. Plus unless you have a totally radical machine the button holes often look pretty wonky. Machines are great and all, but if you want to ensure something is done correctly the first time every time, do it by hand. That's how I feel about zippers too but that's a whole other can of worms...

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  89. I'm not sure if I'll ever actually work a hand buttonhole, though I see them in Cath Kidston and they are beautiful. I wonder how many books actually include this technique? Perhaps it would be useful or interesting.

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  90. Yes! Please do include your technique, if not in the book, then please post it here. What if we new yorkers have another blackout and have to make our buttonholes by candle light? (or not)

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  91. I really wouldnt bother . I dont think that unless they are works of art (ie Chanel Couture) they should be attempted myself .Give me a machine one any day.

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  92. It does seem to fit with your modus operandi; beautiful tailoring and lots of handwork, so that's an argument why it might fit nicely in to the book.

    However, most people including me will only make a handworked buttonhole under very special circumstances, and in that case the information is readily available on the web.

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  93. Hi there Gertie

    I am one that votes yes please to handworked buttonholes.

    Will be starting on my Chanel Jacket in a few weeks time; following all the couture techniques.........so your tutorial on handstitched buttonholes would be perfect timing!

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  94. Hi
    I think we have ENOUGH beginner sewing books!!!
    Bound buttonholes and handsewn button holes is what I want to see.
    Lets make it a book for real retro sewing and finishing :)

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  95. I would love to know about hand worked buttonholes, personally, I think it would be a great skill to learn.

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  96. Machine button holes are good enough for me, and I think there will be plenty of other great stuff in your book that you don't need to add little tidbits like this that will put you under extra stress. Save it for book 2, I say!

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  97. i love hand worked button holes and always welcome another technique on how to successfully complete one. I'm on the 'yae' side.

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  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  99. Most would not have a use for the hand-worked buttonhole, but would suggest including the hand buttonhole stitch. If gives a nice finish when attaching snaps and hook & eyes.

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  100. Adding to the extremely list of votes, I would say that I don't care to see information about hand-worked buttonholes. I learned to do them in a tailoring class at Michigan State back in 1960 something..and have not made one since. The time may come when my fabric dictates more than a machine worked buttonhole, but I like bound buttonholes. There are many books out there with this information anyway.

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  101. I don't do machine buttonholes - only by hand - but Claire Schaeffer's couture book has excellent instructions for hand-worked buttonholes, so I don't know if I would need another set of instructions...

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  102. I would add them and try to do it on just one page to make the book more complete. I'd love to see them! ~Page

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  103. I would love to learn this! I want to get better at hand techniques, particularly since I am drawn to styles of days gone by.

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  104. A vintage buttonholer attachment is definitely the best way! I have a very basic machine which makes very unpredictable 4-step buttonholes, but I've not looked back since buying an ancient buttonhole attachment for only 99 English Pence on ebay- the very best in 1950's clockwork technology produces far better buttonholes than the fanciest computerised sewing machine.

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  105. In times of my grandma all my neigbours sew their clothes, and all of them did their buttonholes by hand. They had machines, but those only made stright lines, of course. I remember some of them were specially famous in my street because of the beautiful buttonholes they did. When I started trying and came up with such horrible messes, my grandma told me, it's only when you've done hundreds of them that they are gonna be OK. So I tried to conceal them, or to the them military style with thicke fabrics during all the years my machine was not able to sew them. When some years ago I bought my automatic machine, what a bliss it was, specially for two reasons: buttonwholes and zigzag.
    Now, I say, if a techinque done by hand is not so goodlooking, and more timeconsuming tnaj with the help od the machine, why bother??? It's gonna be ages untill "you make hundreds", like my grandma said, and they start to look Ok. What wrong with machine sewing? We uses to SEW every seam we can with no conscience trouble, don't we?

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  106. How is the button hole done in a couture sewing class? I love my machine button holes but they never seem as sturdy as some of the store bought clothing. I have thought to use the machine more of a secure 'basting' and then top stitch by hand...but this is onvouseely more time consuming!!

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  107. Hi, I'm new to your blog, but I think you should definitely include hand-sewn buttonholes in your book. For one thing, it's not half as hard to do as people think - and it's helped me save many a lovely sweater or jacket that had crappy, machine-done (but not very well done) buttonholes that quickly unraveled after a few wears.

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

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