Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bound Buttonholes

I'm just about finished with the jacket I started on Tuesday night.
A little topstitching, the hem and I'll be finished. At least that's one thing out of my to do drawer!!
What I thought I would share with you today is how I did the bound buttonhole that I put in my jacket. There are a number of ways to do bound buttonholes. I really like this method for coats, sometimes jackets, but primarily coats as the fabric can be rather heavy. 
I made a rather large buttonhole as I want it to be more than just a buttonhole, I would like for it to be an accent. There is only one buttonhole in the jacket.
 I used a rather large vintage button as well.
The method I am going to share today works great if you would like to do a buttonhole that has a decorative shape. For this reason I would use this method in a jacket.
To make the buttonhole, you will need a piece of lightweight matching fabric to back your buttonhole, although this is not always necessary. I used the fashion fabric to back the buttonhole that I put in my jacket. If you are using this method on a jacket, I would recommend using a lightweight fabric to back the buttonhole, and it should match your fashion fabric. For the example I used a contrasting fabric so you could see what I did.  
Measure the size of your button to determine the length of your buttonhole. This buttonhole can be any width you chose it to be, especially if you want it to be an accent to your garment. Generally though, the bound buttonhole is about 1/4" to 3/8" wide. Mark this rectangle shape on your fabric and sew in the rectangle shape as you see above.
Clip the buttonhole open. It is important to be precise. Cut down the middle to just about 1/2" from the ends and then cut to the corners being careful not to cut through the corners. Here is the tricky part, you really need to cut right to the corner so that when you turn the fabric it turns and does not leave a pucker at the corner.
 Turn the fabric and press.
Now you will have a lined rectangular shape. You can see a bit of the contrasting fabric I used as I wasn't as precise about my ironing as I should have been. Sorry about that!
Now cut 2 pieces of fabric for the lips of the buttonholes that are approximately 2 1/2" square.
Place 1 square on top of the other and sew a basting stitch down the center.
Fold the 2 sides back and press.
 Line up the center line of your buttonhole lips with the center of your rectangle.
 Pull one side back and pin the lining fabric to the lip fabric.
 Fold back the other side and pin that side in place as well.
 Now turn the buttonhole over and check to see if the stitching line is still in the middle. If not, adjust.
 Stitch down the long side of the buttonhole. You will be stitching through all layers.
 Turn and stitch the other side.
Check to make sure that there was no shifting while you were stitching down the long sides of your buttonhole. It's much easier to adjust at this point rather than later.
 Now fold back the ends and stitch down the small triangles that are at either end.

The buttonhole is finished. As I said above, I didn't press my facing fabric as well as I should have so you can see a bit of it along the edge. If this matched the fashion fabric, you would not be able to see this.
 The back of the buttonhole. Pull out the center basting thread and your buttonhole will open.
I have found this method to be fairly mistake proof when it comes to bound buttonholes. I hope you give it a try as I think that if you've never tried this method, you will really enjoy it.
Good luck, and if you have any questions, please feel free to shoot off an email and I will do my best to help.
Next week I will show you a lovely way to finish off the back of your bound buttonhole.

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  1. Wow, this takes the mystery out of these kinds of buttonholes. Great photos , very clear instructions! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Oh, this is so timely Rhonda! I'm going to do bound buttonholes on a top I'm making this weekend and I've just starting reading up on them. Thanks for this post! And please keep your fingers crossed for me this weekend as I tackle bound buttonholes for the first time.

  3. Thanks so much Rhonda for this!!! Thank you for sharing the details.

  4. Wow, is right. I read a similar article only yesterday about this method. Thanks for reinforcing the process.

  5. Your buttonhole turned out perfectly! Thanks for the detailed instructions...

  6. I "pinned" this to pinterest. Thank you for such clear directions and great photos!

  7. I had a nice a-ha! moment when I read this - thank you ever so much!I will definitely try this for my next button holes.

  8. Excellent tutorial thanks Rhonda!!

  9. great tut'- now what is that highly strokable fabric in the 2nd picture???

    1. It's actually an upholstery fabric. I think it was a resale shop find. I just love it. BTW, I just realized something, I fly for Pilots n Paws and you are PrttynPnk. Two of my favorite things are PnP!!!!!

  10. Rhonda, very clear instructions, thank you very much.