Now that we have the placket assembled it’s time to move onto buttons and button holes!
Oh the dreaded/loved buttons and button holes. If you are like me you love the look of buttons, but don’t love actually love sewing them. Let me tell you, I had lots of practice sewing them with the creation of the Button Up Pencil! In this post I wanted to share a few tips and tricks that have made sewing buttons and button holes much easier! I did write another post all about button and buttons holes here if you want even more information. Today’s post will be more specific to the Button Up Pencil skirt pattern.
I chose to place the button hole and button assembly before sewing the skirt front and back together. I know many times it is done at the end and you can sew your waistband button on with the others. I find this way easiest for me because I don’t have to worry about the back being caught in my stitching. It is a minor little difference, so if you want to attach the buttons and make the button holes at the very end, go for it! Either way the steps are the same!
First mark the button holes using the pattern as a guide. If you choose to mark your own on version 1 remember we will be hemming it 1 1/2″ later so leave atleast 2 1/2″ from the bottom to take in account the folding of the fabric. The button hole guides are flipped horizontal vs. vertical. The reason for this is to prevent gaping. Since the Button Up Pencil is designed with negative ease vertical button holes may lead to gaping. If you are wanting to use larger buttons on version two, you may be able to get away with vertical button holes since it is not the entire placket, I would just be aware that is a possibility.
Once you have sewn your button holes it is time to rip the middle out! It is often beneficial to apply fray check BEFORE ripping. Let it dry and then rip. It will minimize your fraying so you won’t have to trim all those pesky loose ends. The plackets can get pretty thick with the heavier weight fabric plus the interfacing. For this reason it is important to trim the seam allowances down in previous steps. If you didn’t, you may have to rip through the top layer, then repeat with the next layer. All the layers together may be too much for your seam ripper to handle. I like to place a pin in the end of the button hole just before the button hole stop. This prevents the seam ripper from accidentally ripping through the stitching.
Once your button holes are ripped it is time to mark your button placement. To mark your button placement, stick a pin through the far right edge of the button hole. Open the placket and make a mark where the button is. To prevent gaping, you want to attach your button to the far right of the button hole so it catches at the edge and doesn’t gape. If it is perfectly in the middle of the hole the button hole edge will shift and your plackets won’t be perfectly on top of each other.
A trick that is a sanity saver for sewing buttons on is good old scotch tape. I love taping my buttons where they go, I don’t have to mess around with the button sliding around and getting off centered as I sew it on!
When you place your button, place the outer most hole on the dot you made earlier. This will be the catch point for the button hole and hold the plackets together nicely. Notice in the picture above how the button is not centered on the placket, but is off the the right slightly. That is perfect and what you want!
When you get to the point of adding the waistband button the edges can be slightly thick. I find it easier to start my button hole from the inside and head to the outside of the waistband.
I hope these tips will help make your button holes and buttons a breeze to sew on!!
Remember to share your creations with the tag #buttonuppencil on social media so I can see your beautiful creations!