How to Sew Buttonholes
When sewing buttonholes there are two methods to consider. The first method is with a buttonhole foot on your sewing machine and the second is without. Both methods will give you a buttonhole that will securely hold the garment closed.
Method 1: Sewing a Buttonhole using a Buttonhole Foot
1. The first step to sewing a button hole with a buttonhole foot is to read the instruction manual to understand how the foot works with your sewing machine. Typically, all buttonhole foots work similarly and with the same results.
2. Attach the button hole foot to the machine. Generally the machine will come equipped with a lever that will need to be pulled down to keep the buttonhole foot in place. The lever is usually under the arm of the machine near the edge.
3. Mark the fabric for the buttonhole with a fabric pencil. Make sure that the hole will be large enough to suit the button that you choose.
4. Position the fabric with the top of the pencil mark at the far end of the buttonhole foot. Drop the foot down so that it is against the fabric.
5. Slowly push down on the pedal of the machine and sew along the left side of the buttonhole foot. Let the foot guide the fabric and make sure that it is steady to avoid any uneven lines.
6. When you come to the end of the pencil mark on the left side, let the buttonhole foot guide the fabric along the bottom of the buttonhole by turning the fabric 90 degrees.
7. Turn the fabric another 90 degrees so that the right side of the buttonhole will be sewn. Again, let the foot guide the fabric along to avoid any unevenness.
8. To finish the buttonhole turn the fabric 90 degrees one last time and sew the top of the buttonhole.
9. Release the buttonhole foot and cut any loose thread. Use a seam ripper and cut apart the center of the buttonhole.
Method 2: Sewing a Buttonhole without Using a Buttonhole Foot
1. Measure the button that is going to be used and mark the center of the button hole with a fabric pencil.
2. Position the fabric so that the needle is on the left side of the pencil mark. Sew a line that is the length of the button measurement.
3. Leaving the needle in the fabric, turn the fabric 90 degrees and sew the bottom of the buttonhole approximately 1/4 inch long.
4. Turn the fabric another 90 degrees and sew the right side of the buttonhole the same length as the left side.
5. To finish the buttonhole turn the fabric another 90 degrees and sew the top of the buttonhole. The line will be approximately 1/4 inch and will finish at the top mark of the left hand side of the buttonhole.
6. Cut any loose thread and use a seam ripper to release the center fabric from the button hole.
Whether you are sewing a buttonhole with or without a buttonhole foot the result is similar. Follow the steps above for either method and you will have a precise buttonhole every time.