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Button Hole Fiasco

user-141117 | Posted in Creative Machine on

Hi, When my oldest son was small I tried making him a pair of pajamas. The button holes were not lined up right so I never tried making buttonholes again. My current sewing machine has a built-in button hole maker so I may try again.


  1. mem | | #1

    Have a go !. Whats the worst thing that could happen?? Try on a sample and draw in your Center front line and do 10 beautiful uniform button holes and I will declare the hex on buttonholes null and Void !!!!

    1. user-141117 | | #2

      Hi, Thanks for the tip. I'll try it.

  2. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #3

    Here's a handy hint...when deciding where to place your buttonholes, put a long strip of "paper tape" (the kind you get at the drug store to apply gauze bandages) Paper tape is easy to remove, you can write on it, it's great for mending patterns that get torn or overworked, etc. Anyway, set the edge of the paper tape 1/8" away from the center front line toward the button extension. Then measure off and mark the buttonhole intervals on the tape. Set your buttonhole foot to begin at the edge of the tape at each mark and voila! Perfectly spaced buttonholes. No fear!

    1. betsyv | | #4

      When you cut the holes, be sure to put a pin at each end inside the bartack at the end of the buttonhole. It seems commonsense, but how many times have any of us thought - "oh, I don't need a "stop", I can control that pesky seam ripper"?

      famous last words ...

      Betsy V

      1. FitnessNut | | #6

        If you use a buttonhole cutter, that problem is eliminated. It looks like a little chisel and you cut by pushing it through the space between the side beads of sewing. Try one....its brilliant!

        1. Teaf5 | | #7

          I use my husband's wood chisels plus a carpenter's hammer to cut open my buttonholes. I get a clean piece of scrap wood to bring inside and wipe off the tools to make sure they don't smudge my garment. Every time I make something with buttonholes, I startle the whole family with the loud whacks, but it works so well and is so precise!I agree with the advice to practice like crazy. Even then, it's a good idea to start with the bottom buttonhole first, so that by the time you get to the ones near eye-level, you've warmed up and gotten used to the particular demands of that fabric.Finally, keep in mind that nobody other than sewing contest judges ever looks at the quality of a buttonhole. You usually cover it when you add the beautiful buttons, and people are generally looking at your face rather than at details of your garments if you're having a good conversation. And, as my mother used to say, "You're never standing still long enough for anyone to notice that anyway!"

          1. ixs | | #8

            I also have used a buttonhole chisel/cutter for years. It just makes a more professional opening for your buttonholes, and there's no chance of slipping with scissors or a seam ripper and ruining the buttohole/garment.

          2. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #9

            A little funny for Teaf5....my Momma used to say," you'll never notice on a galloping horse!".

          3. Teaf5 | | #10

            Thanks for the giggle! I'm sure our moms would've been great pals!

  3. mygaley | | #5

    Many years ago I read in a Palmer-Pletsch book that if you couldn't make buttonholes, to sit down and make 100 buttonholes, or sew for an hour, whichever came first.  Zippers were my nemesis, so I gathered every used and stash zipper I could find and put them all in.  After that, there was no problem.  God bless you, Galey

  4. User avater
    user-221153 | | #11

    Hi, hope you don't mind me chiming in. The one thing I can say is that you will never master any technique if you are afraid to allow yourself to make mistakes. Fear of "messing up" is the main thing that keeps most people from advancing their skills. I know from personal experience, when I started sewing I got very discouraged whenever something didn't turn out right. I would make a shirt, then fear the buttonholes and never finish it. Or make pants, and fear the invisible zipper and never finish it. But as they say, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs! Practice on scraps, then practice on things that won't be as crucial, such as pajamas. If they don't turn out perfectly, they still feel great to sleep in. And anyway, I've been sewing for many years and have yet to make something PERFECT. I'm a perfectionist, and there is always something that I would have preferred to be slightly different or better. But no one knows but me! Nothing is a complete failure if you gained experience and learned something from it.

  5. stitchintime | | #12

    Do try. I had the same problem with my old machine but my new one makes automatic buttonholes. What a difference! I practiced a little following my machine's instruction booklet and voila... 8 perfect buttonholes on my blouse!

    I have found in general that my new machine has made such a difference in my sewing. It's easier and more fun than my old one so I find myself sewing more.

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