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No-Fail Buttonholes with Vintage Buttonhole Attachments

Made for straight-stitch or zigzag mechanical sewing machines, these devices produce consistent results.

Sep 27, 2019
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If you’ve ever struggled with stitching machine-made buttonholes, this post is for you.

In the era of less mechanically complex sewing machines, sewers used buttonhole attachments to create buttonholes on their garments, unless the sewer had the skill and the time to make buttonholes by hand.

As someone who learned to sew on vintage machines, I was exposed to buttonholers early in my sewing experience. For a long time, they were all I knew. My first sewing machine, a basic 1980s Kenmore zigzagger, didn’t have its own buttonhole function. The eBay seller from whom I purchased the machine included a buttonhole attachment, free of charge. Like so many buttonhole attachments, this one used templates in a variety of sizes. I no longer have the Kenmore sewing machine, but I still have the buttonholer.

Kenmore buttonholer

Kenmore buttonholer with templates


Since this buttonholer was designed specifically for zigzag machines, the width of the stitch…

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  1. Delica October 5th

    Great article with helpful details about using the buttonhole attachments. Still love my very old Singer attachment--makes the best buttonholes.

  2. Shelleyps October 19th

    When I first started making buttonholes on my more modern zig zag machine, I wasn't happy with them. It was difficult to get the balance right and they just didn't look as tidy. I said 'forget this' to myself and went back to using my vintage buttonholer.

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