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How To Do Buttonholes On A Sewing Machine? Here’s Our Guide!

The buttonhole is a simple sewing technique that often crops up in beginner sewing classes. It’s used to finish off seams at the top and bottom, of hems, along with necklines and sleeves, and is very easy to learn.

Sewing a buttonhole on a sewing machine is one of the skills that every sewist should have. The big tip that many people miss is going too fast. Sewing on a buttonhole takes a lot of practice before it becomes second nature.

While many people know to sew buttonholes on the sewing machine, quite a few people don’t. The problem is that buttonholes are a straightforward sewing task to learn, but it can be challenging to get the hang of it.

Step one: Draw a straight line. (You make one with a ruler.)

Step two: Draw another straight line on the sewing machine that is 45 degrees from the first.

Step three: Draw a line from the end of the first straight line to the end of the second.

Step four: Draw a dot where the lines meet.

Step five: Draw a line from the dot to the end of the second straight line.

Step six: Draw a dot where the lines meet.

Buttonholes are a favorite among sewers for a good reason. They are easy to sew, and even those with minimal experience can make them look professional.

They are also a great way to give a garment a neat finish and are a popular way to top off a garment that is already finished, such as a jacket or a dress.

Buttonholes are the finishing touches to a garment and are made by sewing a series of small holes across the fabric. Buttonholes are used on knitted fabrics, to join a garment to another, finish raw edge of a seam, or even on elastic bands.

How to adjust your sewing machine

The world of sewing can be daunting, so it’s helpful to know what you can do to make things easier on yourself.

One of those things is knowing how to adjust your sewing machine to do buttonholes. The needle in your sewing machine is not adjustable, so you have to use other techniques to make buttonholes.

How do you adjust your sewing machine to do buttonholes?

Well, first, you should know that it is possible to adjust your sewing machine to do buttonholes if your device has an adjustable presser foot. This is particularly useful if you like to do multiple types of sewing like hemming, stitching various layers of fabric, doing buttonholes, or using a zigzag machine.

One of the essential elements of sewing is an accurate and consistent stitch. Zig-zag and straight stitch are the most common stitches used in sewing, but many more are used in both home and professional level sewing.

Types of buttonholes

Did you know that there are two kinds of buttonholes?

Unique buttonholes and standard buttonholes.

Unique buttonholes are also known as self-covered buttonholes. These buttonholes look great if you have lovely, smooth fabric, but they’re not ideal for some materials since they are difficult to stuff, and they can snag when you’re putting in stitches.

Buttonholes are great, but don’t have them everywhere, especially on an overstuffed shirt! So, why is it that buttonholes seem to pop up everywhere? Well, that’s because they perform such a function that they make almost any garment more appealing.

On the top, a buttonhole in the center gets your attention immediately. They add interest and depth to a plain shirt, dress, or jacket. On a skirt or pants, it helps to balance out the weight of the seam when gathering.

The key to a suitable buttonhole is proper preparation. The first step in preparing a buttonhole is to trace the button’s outline to be sewn onto the fabric. If you’ve never sewn a buttonhole, you may want to start with a practice piece before attempting a garment that will wear.

Learn how to sew a buttonhole so you can make your buttonholes, no matter how complicated the pattern you want.

Many things make each buttonhole unique, but they all fall within these basic categories:

A single row buttonhole is generally used in fabrics that are less structured, such as linens, chiffons, and madras. The single row buttonhole is used by sewing a single line of stitching across the grain of the fabric. This allows the thread to be used up in a single sitting.

An invisible buttonhole is used when sewing a sheer fabric, and the material is not to be seen. The invisible buttonhole is used by sewing a double line of stitching across the grain of the fabric as if the fabric was on facing grain.

The key is to stitch carefully, with the needle in the fabric rather than the material itself.

Tips for better buttonholes

A poorly-made buttonhole can result in a sloppy or uneven appearance, and you can remedy it by carefully measuring the buttonhole size, pinning pieces of fabric together, and using your sewing machine to sew the buttonhole.

Creating a buttonhole is an essential step in any wardrobe, so the task is often skipped when sewing a garment.

When you sew on a button, you had a choice of either:

  • using a buttonhole attachment or
  • hand sewing.

Buttonhole attachments were easy to use and had an excellent fit. Hand sewing was a pain – but the buttons always looked good.

That’s why it’s so important to take a few minutes to take your sewing skills to the next level and learn how to sew a buttonhole properly.

There’s no denying that a perfect buttonhole is a labor of love, and to achieve an ideal buttonhole, you must take your time and do a lot of practice.

But then again, isn’t that the same with any skill – learning requires time and effort as with any other.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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