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Thread: need major help with making button holes

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wendys Quilts's Avatar
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    I am getting so frustrated!!! I made a satchel for my nephew and he wants a button and button hole (to use while he is in college). I have made a button hole before on a different bag, but I cant get it to work this time!!! I dont know why??? I have pulled out the machine manual have done all it says, but it still messes up. AND I AM MESSING UP HIS SATCHEL, in trying to figure this out!!! grrrrr.

    has anyone made a button hole WITHOUT the button hole foot? If so, I would love for some instruction how to do it.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Ohhh, I will be following this post! I avoid button holes at all cost. They have always been a monster for me. I would love to know the tips and tricks. Another thanks in advance.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wendys Quilts's Avatar
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    dsb, no kidding. I am beginning to feel like that now! I went so easy on the other bag I made and now, poof, it just isnt getting it! So very frustratiing. It is a Christmas present for him and I so wanted it to look nice. But I am afraid I have messed it up :(

  4. #4
    Senior Member DawnMarie's Avatar
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    I guess I'm fortunate to have a machine that does buttonholes for me. I just tell it how big the button is, plug in the buttonhole foot, and off it goes.
    It wouldn't hurt me to learn how to do it manually though. I'll be following this to learn as well.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wendys Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawnMarie
    I guess I'm fortunate to have a machine that does buttonholes for me. I just tell it how big the button is, plug in the buttonhole foot, and off it goes.
    It wouldn't hurt me to learn how to do it manually though. I'll be following this to learn as well.
    Good luck!
    Dawn, I do have a button hole foot. And it still isnt working correctly. That is why I am so upset about it now lol.....

  6. #6
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    The manuals for my vintage machines all show how to make 4-step buttonholes using the zig-zag stitch. Is there anything like that in your manual?

    You mark your buttonhole with a straight line that's a hair longer than the measurement of the width of the button and sew a narrow, almost satin-stitch zig-zag along the right side of the line, then turn the fabric and sew down the other side. Make sure that you don't cover the line - you will need to get in between those rows with a cutter to open the buttonhole.

    Widen the zig-zag width and shorten the stitch and sew bars across the top and bottom of these two rows. Put some Fray Check on the buttonhole and let it dry, then use a sharp scissors or seam ripper to slice a slot between the rows of narrow zig-zag.

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    heck, i used to make them by hand!!

  8. #8
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    I feel for you!!Nothing worse than trying it out, having it work, then on your project, nope! One thing I might suggest,,, look to see if a thicker seam or edge is causing the guide to stall. I have had this happen before when sewing on something thick. sometimes you have to change the direction of the button hole from horizontal to vertical, or the other way, depending on where the thickness is. Other than that, you can make them by hand, using a buttonhole stitch, but I've never done that except years ago. Before there was such a thing as a buttonhole maker. We had to learn that in home ec., my only time of doing it!!

  9. #9
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    What you need is the old standard buttonholer made by Singer. It has cams and makes many sizes of buttonholes absolutely perfect every time. You can also adjust the width for larger thicker buttons. I have the older black model low shank model (circa 1950) that came with my Featherweight. After being totally frustrated trying to make buttonholes for my purses on my expensive Janome (wouldn't take larger or thicker buttons) I found that my ancient old buttonholer would fit and work on my Janome 6500!!! All you have to do is pop in the right sized cam, attach it and drop the feed dogs. I now have perfect buttonholes every time. Singer buttonholers are often available in thrift stores or at estate sales for $5 - $10. The newer models are tan in an oval green plastic case while the high shank slant models come in a dark rosy pink case.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DawnMarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepolyparrot
    The manuals for my vintage machines all show how to make 4-step buttonholes using the zig-zag stitch. Is there anything like that in your manual?

    You mark your buttonhole with a straight line that's a hair longer than the measurement of the width of the button and sew a narrow, almost satin-stitch zig-zag along the right side of the line, then turn the fabric and sew down the other side. Make sure that you don't cover the line - you will need to get in between those rows with a cutter to open the buttonhole.

    Widen the zig-zag width and shorten the stitch and sew bars across the top and bottom of these two rows. Put some Fray Check on the buttonhole and let it dry, then use a sharp scissors or seam ripper to slice a slot between the rows of narrow zig-zag.
    Would you recommend putting Fray Check on all buttonholes? I mean, even the ones that the machine stitches out itself? I've never done that before. Though, it does make sense.

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