Sewing 101: Using the Buttonhole Attachment


A few months ago, on the facebook page, I asked what you’re scared of more: zippers or buttonholes. The response was overwhelmingly buttonholed! I would have guessed zippers, so I was a little surprised. But I also know how scary buttonholes can be. They are just so permanent! And if you’ve ever unpicked one…!
But after a little buttonhole therapy (i.e. lots of practice) I can honestly say I’m not scared anymore. And I don’t want you to be either because buttons add so much to sewing projects. So let’s go:
Most sewing machines come with a buttonhole foot. This is the one I use (and the one shown in this tutorial), it came with my machine. Your standard buttonhole attachment looks like this:

The button goes on the end and tells the foot how big the buttonhole needs to be. A smaller button will move the placement of the plastic guides so the hole ends up smaller.

To make a buttonhole, put the button for which you are making the hole in between the plastic holders.

Then remove your normal presser foot and replace it with the buttonhole attachment.

Pick a buttonhole stitch. On my machine, those are stitches #29 through 35. I usually use #30.

Find your buttonhole lever and pull it down as far as possible. This will act as the sensor to tell your machine to turn around when the lever hits the plastic guide. That way your buttonhole will be the right size for your button. Arrow below indicates lever.

Ready to go!

Place a pin or mark where your buttonhole should go.

Line up the open space and position the end of the pin or your mark between the three red lines.

Push down on your pedal and let the machine make your hole! It will slow down and come to a stop when the hole is finished.

 Ta-da! Use this handy trick to open your hole seamlessly.

Sew on your button and you’re done!

Tips:
*Always do a test-run on a scrap of fabric first! You’ll never regret doing this, but you might regret not doing it when you’re unpicking a buttonhole (the ultimate worst!)
*Check everything before you start. Check the buttonhole selection, check the button, check the pull-down lever, check the placement on your fabric.
True fact: I hold my breath each time I make a buttonhole, still! I think it’s a habit.

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