Sunday, September 26, 2010
Button, Button, Who's got the button???
But this buttonhole thing...............Accckkkk! Between yesterday and today I have focused six and a half hours trying to work out the correct buttonhole for this garment and making samples. I have tested techniques, sewing machines, all sorts of threads, interfacings, etc. My inspiration is the article by Claire Schaeffer in Great Sewn Clothes. There is a lovely red boucle Chanel jacket with a great shot of the buttonholes. There is also a detailed sidebar tutorial of the technique to make them. The plan was to make hand wrought BHs on the outside and bound BHs in the lining behind as per the article. After lots of sampling here is what I decided:
Technique: After doing a hand wrought BH as prescribed by Schaeffer, I decided to follow my Aussie friend Lexie's advice. This meant I would do a machine made buttonhole and work the hand stitched one on top. I also did the buttonhole stitch the way I learned, not Schaeffer's. She does a figure eight loop with her needle where as I pick up a single loop. I don't see any difference and will use the method I know.
Machine: The competitors were my ten year old Pfaff and my 35 year old Kenmore. The goal was to make an eyelet style buttonhole. The clear and final winner was the Kenmore Behemoth. Here are the Pfaff eyelet buttonholes. Pfaff puts what I would call a tadpole's ass on the end and they are just awful no matter what other factors were considered.
Here are the Kenmore eyelets. You are seeing these on the back of the boucle with interfacing. They are really nearly invisible on the fashion fabric.
Threads: The best results came from using a fine 60 weight cotton thread for the machine buttonhole. Then I worked the hand buttonhole on top in silk buttonhole thread.
All of the machine buttonholes are made and waiting for their hand worked BHs on top. The hours are adding up. So far the tally is 29.5 hours. None of those hours include muslin making and fitting.
A big thank you to my Aussie friend Lexie. I wish she had a blog so you could see her work. Instead I will link you to her latest impeccable creation.
Trims are up next and while I have the components, which I needed for measuring, I am going to try a few different options with them. More to come...Bunny