Lovely button holes the 'cheats' way

OK this is a quick post really to show a couple of people on Twitter how I do my 'cheats' button holes. I was having a chat with @almondrock_sews and @housofpinheiro about how I do my button holes without wasting time so here we go!

We all love hand sewn button holes, they are beautiful and crafted with skill and love. The problem is they take time....For a professional Seamstress or Tailor they still take time...for us home sewists they take too much time! 

To do a proper hand sewn button hole you need silk buttonhole twist thread, and gimp. These are not that readily available and I have only found them in a limited range of colours (please do let me know where I can get them in the UK!) So here is my way. OK purist will hate me but I am a mere home sewist who likes a good look. 

For this tutorial I shall make the buttonhole in a contrasting colour

So 2 pieces of cotton sewn together and buttonhole marked

Take your buttonhole foot and place some embroidery thread (the same colour as you are stitching your buttonhole!) in the channel below.

Stitch the buttonhole using the machine as the instructions tell you!


Now cut the embroidery thread away at each end as close to the normal thread as possible.

Carefully cut the buttonhole opening. Cut close to each end.

Now thread a needle, double the thread and knot. Start at one end of the buttonhole and sew through and over one end, keeping the stitched close. Like a bar tack.

Now take the needle through the buttonhole and pass upwards (use the machine made stitching as a guide) but don't pull the needle all the way through!

Wrap the thread under and around the needle in the same way as you are moving. So if you are stitching from left to right pass the thread from left to right and vice versa.

Pull the needle through and up. This forms the little knot (or purl stitch) then keeping the stitches close keep going. When you get to the other end do another bar tack over the end and continue down the other side of the button hole. (You can see the difference in the lower left)

This is a finished version (on a real garment) done this way. Each buttonhole takes about 10 mins more but it is well worth it!

Until next time.... Happy sewing

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