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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Buttonhole Bonanza!

I knew when I started making this jacket that I would have to make proper hand-worked buttonholes.

So the smart thing would have been to start learning how to make buttonholes in like, October, right?

Well, guess what I've been doing for the last week and a half.

Yeah. Learning how to make buttonholes. This was something I was pretty terrified about, but it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be, so now I'm wishing I had started practicing way earlier so the buttonholes on the jacket would be perfect. I really couldn't wait though, so I just went for it.

Not perfect but pretty good. Perfectly serviceable buttonholes, which is really all you can ask for in life, I guess. This fabric made it more difficult by being just incredibly ravely. It was crazy-making. I did the little stitch outline, two applications of fray-check and overcasting stitches and it was still pretty touch-and-go.

I mostly used these three sites to learn.

What tricks do you use to make your buttonholes look great? How long did it take for you to master them?

The instructions were pretty clear but sometimes it's confusing which way to wrap your thread. When you get to this point

With your needle inserted halfway and pointed towards you, take the threads coming from the eye of the needle and wrap them under the point of the needle from right to left (assuming you're right-handed and therefore working from right to left on your buttonhole). A lot of the instructions talk about clockwise or counter-clockwise but I found that this got confusing. Especially because if you take the thread coming from the last stitch you made (instead of from the eye of the needle) you wrap the other way, going under the point of the needle from left to right. Really either way works as long as you're consistent.

Another thing that was tricky was finding the buttonhole gimp. In the end I just ended up using my old friend, that silk thread that comes with the wire needle. It's cheap, easily available and comes in a variety of colours and weights. I used size 5 and I would have liked to use a slightly heavier gauge but the store I went to only had the higher gauges in black or white and I had already gotten it in my head at that point that the buttoholes had to be silver-grey.

Hey, does anyone else read 'buttonholes' as 'buttholes' like, 90% of the time? Ha ha! Butthole Bonanza!

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