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Why You Should Try Hand-Sewn Buttonholes

Achieve precise, durable results with traditional methods

Threads Issue #211, Oct./Nov. 2020
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A beautiful handworked buttonhole elevates a tailored coat and improves the look of simple designs. Sewing buttonholes by machine is unwieldy if the fabric is thick, and getting exact positioning can be elusive. Working a buttonhole by hand gives increased control over the placement and enables you to reinforce the edge neatly and invisibly. If you want to create camouflaged buttonholes in a high-contrast patterned fabric, you can shift thread color to match the fabric pattern.

With this method, the buttonholes are cut open, then the edges are overcast with careful stitching. Perfecting this process takes repetition and time, but impeccable results are achievable. In this article, I’ll share specialized techniques for making beautiful keyhole-shaped buttonholes by hand, just as tailors have been doing for centuries.

Create a mock-up for refining your handworked buttonholes: Cut two layers of the fashion fabric 5 inches wide and 12 inches long, with…

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