I am lucky enough to have a button hole maker foot that came with my machine. It remembers how big the button holes are based of the first button hole you made. I am not sure exactly how many machines come with the button hole foot, but I want to go over how to make a button hole with a foot today. If you plan to make lots of garments with button holes, buying a foot for it would be a time/headache saver! If you don’t want to buy a foot, Shwin and Shwin has a great tutorial on doing a button hole on the machine without a special foot.
Depending on what machine you have, your button hole foot may be slightly different than mine. Just read your instructions to see if there is anything else that mine doesn’t include, or that may be a great trick to make it easier. Before running full steam ahead to make your button hole on your garment, practice on a scrap piece of fabric. Button holes are not fun to pick apart if you mess up!
Start by marking your button hole on your fabric. Every button is different and may need a different size hole. To take this into account, instead of following the size of button hole on your pattern, I usually lay my button down and mark the top and bottom. You want it to be pretty exact, not to big, not to small so your button fits and stays nicely. Mark a line between the top and bottom points.
Now remove your normal pressure foot and put on the button hole foot. Pick the stitch on your machine that looks like a rectangle. My machine just remembers what size of button hole I need, but some have a lever that you pull down. Check your instructions for how your machine remembers the button hole size.
Now center the top mark you made with the starting place on the button hole foot. Lower your pressure foot and start sewing! Again your foot may differ than mine, so I can’t say it enough, read your manual! My foot requires me to press the backstitch button once when I get to the bottom mark I made. It will then reverse and continue stitching until it slows and stops. Let up on the foot pedal and admire your button hole! Now any other button holes I make will be that exact same size. I won’t need to manually press the back stitch for the rest of the buttons.
If you like the button hole you just created, take your seam ripper and rip out the center, taking care not to rip any of the stitching. I love See Kate Sew’s handy trick for keeping your stitching safe when ripping open the button hole!
Now sew on your button! To do this I usually overlap the two places that will be joined with the button. Get them exactly how you want them then make a mark through the middle of the button hole onto the spot you will attach your button hole. Then either hand stitch the button on or machine stitch it on! If you don’t have a button foot like me, you can use a zig zag stitch and your normal pressure foot to accomplish the same goal. I place my button over my marking and place a little bit of scotch tape over the button, not over the button holes. This holds it in place really nicely! When you go to sew it on, you just have to be careful and always turn the hand wheel first to make sure needle will go through the holes and won’t hit the button. After you make sure it clears the holes manually, just do lots of zig zag stitches using the foot pedal, then back stitch quite a few times. If you choose to apply the button this way, make sure your feed dog’s are disabled! Otherwise your button will take off on you :).
To follow along with the Whole Series Click Here!
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