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We’re compiling a Top-10 list of member tips in the premier issue of BurdaStyle US magazine.

As time draws near and we approach the launch of our new BurdaStyle US mag, we’re putting the finishing touches on some great new pages that will appear in each issue. And we want you to take part!

We have a brand new page called “Top 10” and it consists of YOUR best tips! For the page, I’m compiling a list of member tips for the premier issue’s topic: Achieving the perfect buttonhole.

Have a tip to share? Comment below and include:

- Your insider tip or trick for sewing a perfect buttonhole
- Your first name and last initial
- Your city and country of residence

I’ll be picking 10 member tips from this list that will be included in the first issue of BurdaStyle US! (And of course, I’ll let you know so you can celebrate being in print!)

Have a beautiful day!

31 Comments

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    Oct 17, 2013, 02.45 PMby Meldbombs

    Make sure the area is reinforced with interfacing, test in a scrap, then draw the exact length and width of the buttonhole with tailor chalk, and follow those lines with the machine. Also adjust the denseness of your buttonhole stitches if needed. melissa D, NYC

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    Aug 13, 2013, 01.44 PMby claireokc

    Two things to make buttonholes pop – use pearl thread under the sides to make the edges really stand up. And if you haven’t done them in a while – take a scrap piece of fabric and testing is good, but do about 10 of them in a row to hone your skill then put your real ones in.

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    Aug 12, 2013, 09.52 PMby A. Nguyen

    I have a circa-late 70s Fashion Mate Model 248 that has a four-step buttonholer. To get the dense stitching of commercial buttonholes, I run through the steps twice. For the bar tacks at either ends, I sew fewer stitches each time around to avoid adding too much bulk.

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    Aug 11, 2013, 02.32 PMby StrikesMyFancy

    I just recently blogged about “Perfect Buttonholes” with tips on making a continuous line when marking and using water soluble stabilizer. I also did a video showing how to make buttonholes. http://strikesmyfancy-2013.blogspot.com/2013/08/perfect-buttonholes-video-part-3.html

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    Aug 10, 2013, 12.10 PMby fluteplayer

    Know whether your machine sews buttonholes back to front or front to back, this can make a significant difference, especially if you are placing horizontal buttonholes near the edge of a project. I’ve seen more than one seamstress end up with buttonholes that ran off the fabric!

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    Aug 10, 2013, 12.05 AMby emilyrln

    I just finished reading the posted tips… Whoops, looks like Myisonu added the same tip as I did yesterday! My bad :/

    1 Reply
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      Aug 11, 2013, 01.40 PMby myisonu

      No problem! Easy thing to do!

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    Aug 10, 2013, 12.01 AMby emilyrln

    Just a basic tip, but one that’s saved my buttonholes many a time: When you cut the hole, use a seam ripper and cut from one end to the center. Next, poke the point into the other end, fold the buttonhole fabric back on itself (under the buttonhole you’re cutting), and push until the tip comes up and out of the hole. Now make your second cut (toward the center) and watch your ripper pop happily out of a perfect button hole. Cutting to the center and planning your ripper’s escape route keep you from cutting too far and having to repair the chopped-open end! Emily L-N, Corvallis, OR

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    Aug 9, 2013, 11.15 PMby noo222

    Oh ps would love to know a hand sewn technique though if anyone has any links to a tutorial or blog! Sarah

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    Aug 9, 2013, 11.14 PMby noo222

    My sewing machine is about 35 years old and the instruction book says to use silk or embroidery thread if possible presumably because it is finer. I’ve not tried this, but am planning a skirt with 16 button holes, and think I will give it a go! I also use tear away or water soluble stabiliser wrapped around the button hole placket, on the front and back of the button hole, which helps to stop the fabric being sucked into the sewing machine. Great point above about a button hole foot being designed to go over the thicker area than a normal foot – I’d never realised that! Sarah T, Melbourne,Australia

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    Aug 9, 2013, 08.02 PMby all8garden

    Before cutting buttonholes, and after making sure they’ll fit nicely, I dab some Fray Check, down the middle, along the length of the buttonhole, allow to dry completely. When I cut there is no fraying of any kind and they are nice and neat. Don’t add too much or the buttonhole may be stiff. Works best with woven cottons. Also dab a little bit of Fray Check on the thread used to sew the buttons on and they stay on.

    Lorinda V E, Fulton, USA

    Ditto about vintage machines making lovely buttonholes, and so smooth to boot. Has anyone tried the buttonhole scissors? I keep hoping to run into a nice pair to try them out.

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    Aug 9, 2013, 07.57 PMby Aida Petre

    The first thing you have to do, when you make a garment that requires buttonholes, is to test the buttonhole on a piece of the same fabric you are making your garment from. I recommend to use a piece of iron on interfacing (I use the light paper type interfacing because I can cut it around the back of the buttonhole and then peel it of easily) where your buttonhole should be (on the back of the fabric). It will keep the fabric from shifting in the process of making the buttonhole. On the scrap fabric you can test different settings on your sewing machine to see which one works best for the type of fabric you are using. After you are satisfied with the test buttonhole, on the measure twice cut once principle, draw were the buttonholes should be on the garment and use that as your guide. It will get easier as you practice. Good luck. Aida P, Bucharest, Romania

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    Aug 9, 2013, 04.35 PMby RedDynamica

    Any sewing machine with Adjustable needle position and Zig zag stitch can make a perfect buttonhole – even better than automatic buttonholes. Yes, always test on a spare piece of fabric. To add Vilene (interfacing) -to make the fabric more stable helps. Turn Needle position either to the Left or Right, Not in the Middle. Tension should go from 5 down to 3. and stitch Length is between 1/2 and zero. Stitch Width 4, that will do the first short bar. then change only stitch width now to 2, this will make the long bar, stitch width back to 4 for the 2nd short bar, and when desired length of the buttonhole match up to the size of the button, turn stitch width back to 2 but make sure to plant the needle in the middle of the short bar into the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn your fabric around, now sew the last long bar. your stitch length will be the same on both sides of the buttonhole, unlike with reverse stitch. that is my weapon 4-2-4-2! and offcourse a buttonhole foot is made to sew over your stitches, whereas a zig zag foot get stuck on the stitches and your buttonhole turns into a ball of thread. These presser feet are designed to make life easy for us! I love buttonholes! Danica M, Cape Town, South Africa

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    Aug 9, 2013, 02.17 PMby Denise Wild

    AMAZING tips here! Thank you all! Keep ‘em coming! Can’t wait to pull this page together. It’s going to be fantastic!

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    Aug 9, 2013, 01.22 PMby Debbie Allingham

    Ok so you have perfect buttonholes, using all the tips above but it’s easy to lose a bit of precision in placing of your buttons once your buttonholes have been made and cut. So don’t just rely on your original markings as you can get a little gaping or pulling. Instead, place the section with the buttonholes over the section where the buttons are to be sewn. Line it up nicely so that all hems etc are aligned. Then, with your needle already threaded, pass it through the button hole at the point where the button should go, and pass it straight through the bottom layer of fabric. And, Ta-Da!!! Your button will be in exactly the right place :)

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    Aug 9, 2013, 01.20 PMby kslaughter

    When sewing buttonholes, with a one-step attachment, into the front placket of a button-down shirt with a collar, start making your buttonholes at the bottom of the garment and work your way up. That way you won’t mess up the top buttonhole when your buttonhole attachment doesn’t want to back up over the many layers of the collar stand. And, I always use some sort of wash-away or tear-away stabilizer under the area I’m working buttonholes in. Is there anything worse than unpicking a buttonhole?! Kathy M. , Shreveport, LA, USA

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    Aug 9, 2013, 11.37 AMby Maureen Kubisz

    If you have a machine that has a large embroidery hoop, and you need to sew a chain of button holes, use the hoop! The holes will be perfectly spaced and evenly stitched, and you can add decorative designs around or in between the holes.

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    Aug 9, 2013, 08.47 AMby Anniemollison

    Always test your buttonhole on scrap fabric first. Play around with stitch length and width on the sample until you ge it just right. This will give you confidence when you start to sew on the garment that it will be perfect. Annie M, Melbourne, Australia

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    Aug 9, 2013, 07.35 AMby dayocouture

    Buttonhole tip: to get perfect dense buttonholes of the same length every time from my 10yr old (maybe older!) Janome Memorycraft 9000 sewing machine, I use the one step buttonhole function with the tension cranked way up. To avoid overstepping the button hole boundaries when cutting it open, put a pin 1-2mm in from each end then cut open between the pins with the seam ripper. DayoA. London Uk.

    1 Reply
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      Aug 12, 2013, 02.13 AMby Mobycat2k

      I have this machine and I get great buttonholes every time. I don’t do anything differently with the tension.

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    Aug 9, 2013, 02.08 AMby Leanne Page

    I can’t wait to see the final top 10. I’ve never done my own button holes—I always got my mom to do them for me. Now I’m thirty and I just put zippers on everything :p

    1 Reply
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      Aug 9, 2013, 02.16 PMby Denise Wild

      That made me laugh! :)

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    Aug 9, 2013, 01.10 AMby thewallinna

    I always fail with machine-made buttonholes, so I am making them only by hand! Maybe my next machine will do miracles! Inna S., Tokyo, Japan.

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    Aug 9, 2013, 12.42 AMby myisonu

    Always use a buttonhole cutter tool on a wood block to cut the buttonhole itself. If you are ever stuck without one… really really stuck and have to use the seam ripper,… start at each end and cut in to the middle only, then repeat from the other side to avoid cutting the top and bottom threads.

    Beth G. Coral Springs USA

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    Aug 8, 2013, 08.53 PMby alekat

    I shared a button trick on my blog about a month ago about getting the right button hole size for chunky decorative buttons. http://sewingthe60s.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/measuring-button-for-buttonhole.html

    Sometimes you need a few extra mm when sewing with a big button instead of normal flat ones. For example with a button 2cm wide, you may end up needing an extra 5mm in order to get the button hole to slip easily through the hole and not damage or stretch the fabric.

    Basically you take a piece of ribbon or tape, wrap it around the button and pin it closed. Remove the button and the flatten the piece of ribbon Measure from the pin to the fold and that is the correct button width to use. Catherine A Sydney, Australia

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    Aug 8, 2013, 08.14 PMby MichelaChicDesign

    I have 3 sewing machine, One its very old , same age as me :-) and didnt had posibility to make buttonholes, I allways did it by hand and what made the cut before sewing, bad choice cause result wasnt the best. My second sewing machine was electric but didnt knew how to use it for buttonholes. With my third machine i start to make buttonholes and I like so much that I make al buttonholes perfect now, one of my project was full of buttonholes :-). Think most important for buttonholes made by hand or by machine îs to not make the cut before sewing! Mihaela L. Bucharest

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    Aug 8, 2013, 07.24 PMby Slotaby

    Before you use the seam ripper to open the buttonhole put a horizontal pin at the top and bottom so you don’t accidentally rip through the fabric! Lindsay W – Fort Worth, TX

    3 Replies
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      Aug 8, 2013, 11.04 PMby Haylee Atkinson

      This is genius!!

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      Aug 9, 2013, 08.48 AMby Anniemollison

      Great tip

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      Aug 10, 2013, 12.45 AMby schnui

      this is the best tip!! Wish I had known it Many years ago. Thank-you.

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