It is not necessary to sew buttonholes with a sewing machine, although it does make the process easier. In fact, some units will create the button hole without much intervention at all, and some will require a bit more interaction. It is advised to check the owner`s manual for exact instructions, on how to make a button hole on a particular style of sewing machine, as they all utilize a slightly different type of method for achieving the same results.
Sewing machines that have a buttonhole feature installed have removed the finesse of making handmade button holes, which was considered to be an art form done by qualified tailors. A handmade buttonhole is a unique finishing touch to any garment and/or handmade gift.
Sewing button holes by hand offers you total control over the placement of the hole. If you have knowledge of a blanket stitch, a buttonhole stitch is going to be a snap to create, as it is simply two blanket stitches sewn close together.
Alignment and proper position of the space is vital for getting a button hole that is the prefect size (not too large and not too small both of which are useless). Use tailor`s chalk or a basting stitch to mark the location where you want the buttonhole to be, and the desired length of the hole.
One way to create buttonholes is to cut the hole and then stitch over the edges. Another option is to stitch the area that the hole will be placed first. It is advised to practice on a piece of scrap material, to see which method you prefer.
Below are the instructions for cutting the hole after the stitching is completed.
Thread a sewing needle with either regular thread or special buttonhole thread that is coated with wax. Use approximately 30 inches of thread; that is slightly thicker, than the thread that was used to sew the entire garment.
Begin by bringing the threaded needle up and through the fabric, at the location where the outside edge of the hole should be, and then down through the inside edge. Repeat this until the size of the hole is completed. It is important that the stitches are placed close together, and kept as uniform as possible, so that both sides of the hole look similar.
Once all the stitching is completed make a knot in the thread, and secure on the underside of the garment. Before moving on to the next step, confirm that the button hole is in the exact location that you want it to be. Once proper alignment has been confirmed, use a single-edged razor blade or a sharp scissor to make a slit in the fabric, between the stitching, in order to open the hole for the button.
Whether you are preparing the button by hand or with the assistance of a sewing machine, it is important to have the exact button that will be used close by, as this determines the correct size of the hole.