Welcome to Simply Sewing with SewVeryEasy,
and my name is Laura. Today let’s talk about buttonholes. When we think of buttonholes we think of the buttonholes on clothing such as sweaters, jackets, shirts and even the top of the pants. Even in clothing, the buttonholes can be used for more than just buttons. They can be used as an opening so you can put elastic in to make casings or anything else can go in. They can also be used for decoration. You can weave ribbon in and out of buttonholes and it gives a beautiful decoration to skirts, blouses, even quilts and homemade items. A buttonhole is very simply a form of zigzag stitches that are finishing that fabric so there’s a closure for that button or that opening to have. Buttonholes can be done with just a plain zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. A lot of machines also have a built-in buttonhole stitch. Let’s cover how you can make a buttonhole if you only have zigzag on your machine. Then I’ll show you the buttonhole stitch on my machine. Yours might be slightly different. A buttonhole has two rows of zigzags on each side and then a larger zigzag to cover the ends. The machine will do a zigzag, a closure at the end, the zigzag comes back up to the top, then another zigzag at the top. If you have a machine that does the buttonhole automatically it might do it in a different direction, but this the basic shape: Closures and sides. You can use special feet for buttonholes. These extra pieces are to hold cording if the zigzag will cover a cord. I would recommend a foot that you can see through. Because we’re using just a zig-zag stitch, this is going to be very helpful to see where you stop and start. We need to have an opening that the needle can do that zig and zag through and we can see through it. If we’re making the buttonhole for a button we need to establish the size. If it’s for something other than a button, they’ll direct you on how large that buttonhole should be. I’m using a marker, but I would definitely recommend something that you can see but will wash out. The button is approximately that big, but what we need to do is take into consideration that depth of the button. Some buttons are very, very thick. We need to add that depth to the measurement. We’re adding just a little bit more for that measurement. My buttonhole needs to come from one line down to the other. I always recommend testing your buttonhole and your button on a scrap piece of the fabric that you’re working with, before you put it on your garment. That way you can always make adjustments on your scrap fabric. I’m also going to need to have a line down the center. This line down the center is going to be the opening. I want to start up at the top, zigzag down, up, around, and close up that top. That’s why having a foot that you can see through the first time will make it really handy. The first thing we’re going to need is to set the machine up with a zigzag. That zigzag is going to have to be really tight together. We don’t want any fabric showing so we’ll need to adjust the machine. I need to adjust that stitch length to be very very small, almost to a zero. If you set it to zero, then go up one or two notches and that should be a good way to start. You’ll be able to see how tight and close those are together. What we’re looking for is this tight stitch. This loose one the fabric is just going to rip right out of those holes and the buttonhole will not be secure. The first thing I want to do is stitch a top bar. We can adjust the width so it’s going to be wider to do this top part. It’s the width you’re changing, not the stitch length. For example, this is a nice, wide stitch. The first thing we need to do is close off the top of this buttonhole. To start, have that center line in the middle of your foot. That’s the opening, so we’re not stitching that. Put the foot and the needle down and do a couple of stitches to anchor that top. The next row of stitches were going to do is on the left side. This is where you’re going to adjust that so we have that nice narrow, tight stitch. Have your needle line up to the edge of that last zigzag. We’re going be able to stitch down. We need to put this bottom anchor on so we’re going to change back to the wider zigzag. The stitch length is still the same; we just need to change that width. We’re going to be able to just turn this fabric. Now we’re able to stitch down to the next side. You want to adjust the fabric and the stitches to leave just a little opening down that center. And stitch. Now you’re going to be able to take this out and you have a buttonhole. That little opening in the center is where we’re going to open and put the button through. There is another way we can do the buttonhole. We’re going to work all the way around. For this you’re going to stitch down, leave your needle in your fabric, lift up the foot, and rotate. I’m going to do my anchor stitch now, going right over top of that last row of zigzag until I get to the next point, and put the needle down. We want to rotate that fabric one more time. We’re going to be sewing back up. I’m going to go right over that tack again. You want to be sure to leave your space, rotate your fabric, and now you want to close that end off. We need to leave enough space in the center so that we can cut that buttonhole open without cutting those threads. Most machines have a built-in automatic buttonhole. Some have an attachment that you attach onto the machine; others are built right in. Your manual will give you step-by-step on how you need to do it. In my machine I still want those markings of the size of the buttonhole that I want to do. You can use the buttonhole foot for this feature. That starting line should be right at the back of the foot. On the little Bernina Red it’s a number 11 stitch. All I need to do is set that. You’ll be able to see that it’s set up for the buttonhole. You’ll see I have a little flashing line. That’s the line it’s going to stitch first. All I need to do is have my threads out of the way and start. I’m going to be able to just let the machine stitch all the way until I get to my bottom line. The next step is to push this reverse button once. If you watch you’ll see that that blinking light changes. The blinking light is gone to the other side. That’s telling me what is going to do next. All I have to do is push the pedal down and let it do what it’s supposed to do. What it’s doing is a straight stitch until I stop it. Next will be the bar stitch at the top. I’ll push that reverse and you’ll see that that lights up. The machine is pre-programmed. It’s going to do that top bar and then start stitching down the side where it had that straight stitch. The bar is done. Now it’s just going right down the edge. It’s going to stitch right over top of that straight stitch. Continue sewing until you come to your bottom mark. One last push of this reverse button and it’s going to do that bottom bar tack. It’s going to stop on its own even if you leave your foot down on the pedal. My foot is still pressed all the way and it has stopped on its own. I’m able to put the foot up and take that out. We have a beautiful buttonhole with that space in-between that we can open up. If your machine can do a zigzag, your machine can do a buttonhole. After all, that buttonhole is really just a glorified zigzag. Thank you for joining me today on Simply Sewing. Today has been episode six and we have been doing this the first Tuesday of every month. Be sure to go back and check out those videos and stay tuned for the first Tuesday of every month. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye now!