In Seam Buttonholes

In Seam Buttonholesby Guest Sewer, Billie Burk

Once again, I simply had to share a technique, perfected by perhaps one of my most talented students.

Her work is impeccable! She not only has the capacity to think outside of the box, but is willing to share her discoveries. ~Sandra

Well-constructed bound buttonholes can add elegance and value to your garment – most of the time. But in certain cases, buttonholes may be a detraction and a distraction from the style lines of your garment or from particularly distinctive or large buttons. This is true, for example, when the line of buttons is diagonal or curved. Sometimes it is best not to interrupt the continuity of a print in the fabric by adding buttonholes. In such cases, an easy adjustment to your pattern will neatly solve the problem.

Find the “X”s on the pattern which mark the placement of buttons. Most often they are on the center front line 5/8 to 3/4 inches in from the finished edge of the right front. The line joining the “X”s will become a seam line. Add a seam allowance to it (3/8 ” is sufficient) and cut off or fold back the excess on the pattern. Make the same adjustment to the right front facing.

Next make a band to replace what has been eliminated. Its width will be TWICE the distance between the line of buttons and the finished edge PLUS 2 seam allowances. (You may wish to widen the band to accommodate extra large buttons). If your purpose is to maintain the integrity of a print, the band should be cut so that the design will match at the seam.

[If the finished edge is slightly curved, the band should be cut on the bias. If the curve is pronounced, the band has to be cut in two curved pieces which will be seamed at the finished edge. In this case, the width of each of the two bands will equal the distance between the button line and the finished edge PLUS 2 seam allowances.]

On the wrong side of the band,In Seam Buttonholes mark a “ladder” with the “rungs” perpendicular to the fold line which is the finished edge. The width of the rungs will depend on the size of the buttons.

With right sides together, pin one edge of the band to the right front and the other edge to the right front facing. Stitch between the rungs.

Follow the pattern instructions to finish the neckline and hemline. The buttonholes on the front will align with those on the facing. Only a few hand stitches will be required to unite the front to the facing at the openings.

NOTE: Vogue pattern 8163, Sandra Betzina’s swing coat, is a good example of this type of treatment for buttonholes.

Click here if you are intersted in purchasing V8163.