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Can someone help with my problem please??

I have tested the buttonhole gadget on my machine. Same thickness of material with interfacing as per the waistcoat I am making.

Buttonhole works on test material but will not open on actual garment, or when pushed sewed a small patch then reverted to sticking. I spent at least one hour yesterday unpicking (carefully) the knotted blobs.

Really disappointed as this could ruin my waist coat totally, I am making the front in a medium weight suiting.

Is it a tension problem or a common problem. On another point I noticed on this site that you can make a buttonhole with using the one step gadget has anyone tried this??



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  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Aug 26, 2012, 08.39 AMby katexxxxxx

    Did you make a seam on the edge of the test piece? And how close did you trim and grade the seam inside the waistcoat?

    I find that the lump on the edge of a garment where you have not only the basic fabric layers but also the seam allowances for all those layers can make a bid impediment to progress! You need to trim and grade those seam allowances down to about a quarter of an inch and set the buttonholes back far enough that the machine foot is clear of the ridge along the edge at the closest point of the buttonhole to the edge of the garment.

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Aug 26, 2012, 10.20 AMby GloriaAR

      Hi Katie
      Thank you for your speedy reply. You are right I did not seam the test piece and I will try that.
      Is there a recommended distance from the seam edges to start a buttonhole or is it trial and error? I did look closely at my test pieces and there was still a over stitching but progress did happen.

    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Aug 26, 2012, 03.22 PMby katexxxxxx

      It’s a matter of aesthetics, so experiment and see what looks right. :)

  • Missing

    Aug 26, 2012, 04.01 PMby tzyg0nka

    Over 40 years ago I used a buttonhole attachment with my straight stitch machine, and it worked very well. However if your fabric is very heavy, it won’t work, and you will have to make the buttonholes by hand. If you can still find one of these attachments that fit your current machine, they do make better buttonholes than the average modern machine with a 4 step buttonhole. You might be able to find one on ebay.

    1 Reply
    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Aug 27, 2012, 08.48 AMby katexxxxxx

      If you keep your machine propely adjusted, a 4 step mechanical or a 1 step electronic buttonhole will be much neater and stronger than those old gadgets. They are fun, but do not make sell-to-cusomer quality buttonholes. I have several of them as well as both mechanical and electronic swing needle machines, and have tested them side by side.

      A machine WILL make good buttonholes on thicker fabrics if you have a machine with a choice of buttonhole styles. Hand worked buttonholes done well look fantastic on suits and historic garments, but they certainly take a lot of practice to get even!

  • Missing

    Aug 27, 2012, 01.39 PMby tzyg0nka

    Electronic machines with one step buttonholes definitely make better buttonholes than the gadgets. Machines with 4 step buttonholes ordinarily have only one style buttonhole and also cannot be set to go over the stitching twice. A good attachment will do better. I am still wearing a jacket I made over 40 years ago with buttonholes made with a gadget and they are professional looking

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Aug 27, 2012, 03.01 PMby GloriaAR

      This does sound an interesting gadget indeed. I was looking last night at all of my project that have buttonholes and each garment has rotten buttonholes. It does put me off trying with the machine.
      I did resort to handmade yesterday and they were neater and flatter, this probes at least it is not just me.
      Thanks for your help. Glo

    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Aug 27, 2012, 03.02 PMby katexxxxxx

      " Machines with 4 step buttonholes ordinarily have only one style buttonhole and also cannot be set to go over the stitching twice."

      I never knew that! I’ve done it several times without a problem…

    • This is a question
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