How to Sew Buttons with your Sewing Machine

The buttonhole foot is a sewing machine foot which simply clips onto the machine.  Remove your current presser foot, and then clip the buttonhole foot on.  You can make a buttonhole with a 1 step or 4 step buttonhole setting on your machine.  The 4 step buttonhole setting your sewing machine should look something like the image below.

First, you need to decide how big you need your buttonhole to be for the button to fit through. To do that, place your button in the buttonhole presser foot (or if it is too big, next to the attachment) at the end which is closest to you. Note the markings on the side of the attachment are there to help you remember the size of your button. You don't have to only make buttonholes at a marked level. Don't forget that this is the standard way to measure for a flat button.  Raised buttons marry need more room, so it's always best to practice on a scrap of fabric first to make sure the button will go through.

A one-step buttonhole will do the whole buttonhole for you, but the 4 step buttonhole needs you to manually change stitches. So I will show you how to do that below. 

Set the attachment at the length of your button and select stitch 'a/c'. This will sew a side to side. You need this to be anchored in well or when you open your buttonhole it could break and the material could rip. So I would sew at least 6 times.

Next, select stitched'. This sews a right-sided zigzag stitch and brings you to the front of your buttonhole. Note that your stitch length will affect your zigzag. You will rarely find a satin stitch used on a buttonhole, but I would recommend a short stitch length.

Step 3 is a repeat of step 1, but this time you are just at the other end of the buttonhole.  Finally, select stitch 'b'. This is a left-sided zigzag that will bring you back to where you started. I prefer to always sew a buttonhole twice over so I know it can withstand heavy usage. So once you have sewed it twice it should look like the image below.

The only thing you have left to do is open up your buttonhole. Ideally using a seam ripper (or scissors) slide down the center of the material being careful not to cut the end stitches.

Tip - If you are worried about cutting too far place a pin in the fabric across either end of the buttonhole.  You seam ripper will stop when it hits the pin.

Adjustable Buttonhole Foot




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