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Another Buttonholer Question

cycler1729 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

How am I able to tell if a specific Buttonholer will work on my machine?  There are several available but except for machine-specific models I’m not sure how to tell.  I’m talking about the big device that extends to the back of the machine when attached.

The one that I am looking at says that the fork arm fits over the neck of the needle clamp.  There is another for zig-zag machines.



My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin


  1. Josefly | | #1

    I bought a buttonholer from my sewing machine dealer, after years of struggling along making unsatisfactory buttonholes according to the directions in my ancient zig-zag machine manual. Now I can finally make uniform buttonholes. It works great, so I wish you luck in finding one for your machine. My machine is a slant-needle machine, and that, apparently, was an important factor. Do you have a dealer who can tell you what will work with your machine?

    1. cycler1729 | | #2

      Nope - there aren't any close by.  I'm looking at the Greist models but I'm not sure which to buy.  I know that if it's slant or not is important but I don't know how to tell if it will attach properly. 

      Even the Greist site doesn't provide any information and Brother Customer Service has become horrible!



  2. marymary | | #3

    cycler, what machine are you trying to find a buttonholer for?  To be more specific, you might need a low shank, high shank or slant shank buttonholer.  There are buttonholers for SS machines and different ones for ZZ machines.  Griest buttonholers, if still in the box, will have a code on the box to tell you what kind of machine it fits.  I think they all have an arm that fits over the needle clamp.

    1. cycler1729 | | #4

      It's an older Brother zig zag - I'll need to look to see if it's slant or not (weird the things that you don't remember!).


      1. marymary | | #5

        It is probably a low shank.  Only Singer made slant shank.  I think only some Kenmores have a high shank in a home machine.  What you need is a low shank buttonholer for a zz machine.  Greist made the buttonholers for Singer, so you could use either brand.


        1. cycler1729 | | #6

          Yes, it is a straight shank. 


          1. marymary | | #7

            cycler, are you comfortable with being able to find the correct buttonholer now, or do you need more information?

          2. cycler1729 | | #8

            I'm still looking and pricing them on Ebay.  I remember the one that I had sort of hooked over the arm - I'm not sure by looking at the pictures if they are right.

            Did you ever notice that everything seems to need repair or replacing at the exact same time? 


          3. marymary | | #9

            They are all going to have an arm that hooks over the needle clamp.  After looking at the offerings on eBay, I can see why you are confused.  Apparently, most of the sellers are also.  What you need is a low shank, and as some of them say, a vertical needle.  The Singer Professional is a good buttonholer because it gives you lots of choices in the size of cams.  If you decide that this is the one for you, do be careful not to end up with the slant version.  It seems to me that the slants are more available.  Talk with the seller before you buy.

          4. cycler1729 | | #10

            Thank you for taking the time to look at those for me!  Online shopping is so convenient and saves a lot also - new Griest buttonholers are $40-$60 before shipping elsewhere but it's not like buying in a store where you know that you are getting the right thing (although I've been told many times that the "whatever" I am buying will fit and of course it doesn't!)



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