How to sew a buttonhole using a machine
How to sew a buttonhole using a sewing machine is crucial to learn as a beginner.
Overall, buttonholes are vertical or horizontal slits or loop in a project or garment that a button can be passed through. On the whole, these are most commonly used to fasten a garment together. However, buttons can also be added for decorative purposes.
Although buttonholes can be daunting at first; with practice, they become much easier.
Due to buttonholes usually being added towards the end of your project, it is always a good idea to practice with a scrap piece of the fabric and interfacing that you are using. As a result, you will hopefully avoid any errors that could ruin your project or garment.
In addition to this, it is also a good idea to try the button through the practice hole to make sure that it fits before you complete this on your garment.
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Interfacing and buttonholes. How to sew a buttonhole using a machine
To begin our guide on How to sew a buttonhole using a machine, we will first look at; what is interfacing? and why interfacing is important for buttonholes.
On the whole, interfacing is a type of material applied to the inside of a garment to add: shape, structure and stiffness to that area. For example: When sewing collars and necklines, you will add fusible interfacing in order to make it stiffer.
In the case of buttons and button hole, interfacing is used in order to reinforce the area
In most cases, interfacing is ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric and can be found in: light weight, medium weight and lightweight.
Although not all patterns will instruct you to add interfacing to the wrong side of your buttons, we suggest that you do this step anyway.
Furthermore, you can purchase interfacing of all kinds and at amazing prices HERE.
Sewing your buttonhole-
Marking button position
Once you have applied your interfacing, it is time to measure and mark where you want your buttons to be. Without a doubt, it is very important to ensue that your buttonholes are evenly spaced and not too close to the edge.
On the other hand, if you are using a pattern, the pattern will also usually specify where your buttonholes and buttons will go. However, if you struggle to get these in the correct place, you can buy an amazing tool that help with buttonhole spacing HERE. After you have measured out where your buttonholes need to be, use some tailors chalk or fabric pens to mark your fabric.
Prepare sewing machine
As well as preparing your fabric, it is also important to setup and check your sewing machine.
Next, you need to check that you have enough thread on your top thread and bobbin, as running out of thread half way through a buttonhole can be a real pain. After this, ensure that your machine has a zigzag foot attached and set your stitch to zigzag.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, it is important to use a scrap piece of the material you are using in order to practice on. Not only will this help you get better at sewing buttonholes, but it will also aid in finding the best tension and stitch length.
2- Sewing a buttonhole with a zigzag stitch
To begin, you first need to determine what size buttonhole you will need. In order to do this, measure the diameter and height of your button. Once you have these measurements, mark on your fabric with tailors chalk or a fabric pen and ruler. As well as this, draw a line at the start and end of the button hole to assist as a guide.
In addition to this, as mention above, you also need to adjust your stitch width and tension. Overall, we suggest trying a stitch width of about 2.0 and a length between 0.3 and 0.5 for the lines. However, when stitching the T bars at the beginning and end, try a stitch width of 5 and stitch length 0.
1- First T bar- How to sew a buttonhole
After you have prepared both of your fabric and machine, it is time to start sewing your buttonhole. To begin, you are going to create the first T bar. In order to complete this, line up your needle with the first line; on top of the T bar, with a stitch length around 5. Next, sew several stitches across the first T bar line. Additionally, you can also check that the stitch is the correct length before you start by slowly turning your Hand wheel and watching where your needle starts and finishes.
2- Begin first line- How to sew a buttonhole
3- Completing the second line
5- Finishing touches- How to sew a buttonhole
Next, using a seam ripper, gently open your buttonhole, ensure that you don’t cut through any of the stitches.
Last but not least, repeat these steps until you have the correct amount of button holes,
Sewing your Buttonhole with a buttonhole foot.
Using the Buttonhole foot
Overall, when using a buttonhole foot, there will be some kind of indictor that will communicate with the machine when it needs to stop and reverse. Therefore your machine will pretty much do the work for you.
Another thing to remember when sewing a button hole, is to never pull or push the fabric. On the whole, moving and stretching the fabric will affect the tension and as a result, the buttonhole will be wrong.
As well as this, it is very important to check which direction your machine will start sewing; forwards or backwards.
After this has been determined, line up the centre mark on your buttonhole foot with your starting point and begin sewing.
How to sew a buttonhole with a button foot.
On the whole, buttonhole settings on your sewing machine will make the process of sewing buttonholes much easier. In most cases, you will find that on the buttonhole there is a space at the back where you attach the button that you are using. Overall this will ensure that a hole is made big enough for your button.
1 – How to sew a buttonhole
Next, add your button to the foot and ensure that it is gripped firmly in place. As with the above technique, ensure that your have enough thread in both your top and bottom thread. If your machine doesn’t automatically change your tension, you will also need to do this. Furthermore, it is also important to drop down the buttonhole guide on the side of your machine. You can refer to our guide on a sewing machine HERE.
2- How to sew a buttonhole
3- How to sew a buttonhole
After the buttonhole has been sewn, remove the garment or project from the sewing machine and secure threads as above.
Finally, it is time to open your buttonholes. Using your pins, place a pin horizontal across the top and bottom of the buttonhole. As a result, you won’t cut through your buttonhole when you open it with your stitch un-picker.
We hope that you have found this useful and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to message us or comment below.
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