Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Koos Buttonhole....Almost!

Here you can see the back side of the strap coming out of the faced buttonhole. There are four of these on the top of the bag and they look pretty cool but.....mine are not like the pattern. Koos has a signature buttonhole that has been used  on other of his Vogue Patterns. It is three dimensional and reminds me of a butterfly.  Mine would have been quite decorative too, but in my sewing enthusiasm, I just kept on sewing and turned the facings and stitched the squares down literally unconsciously  . I was on auto pilot.  It looks pretty good but did not have that butterfly look as shown on the pattern. Ripping it all out was not an option.  So it stays.

First the edges of each buttonhole square were pressed in using a template and some steam. This is a 100% poly  fabric and therefore not anxious to hold a press. I have had very good luck pressing polies by steaming over the template, with a pressing cloth, and as I slide out the iron I literally slide in the wooden clapper. I rub the clapper back and forth, give it a chance to cool a bit than lift it away. The resulting fold is nice and crisp.
The sharp press then made the corners easy to miter. After mitering the edges were trimmed back and the squares were ready. They were sewn right side to wrong side of the bag top.  I used a 1.5 stitch length and stitched in the little box. The box was then cut open with the little triangles at the end like any bound buttonhole. Then the facing is turned to the outside. 
This is where my stream of consiousness kicked in and I pressed the squares and topstitched them down, totally forgetting to turn them into butterflies. The next bag, and there will be another soon, will have the butterfly BHs. 

Once turned to the right side they were pressed and topstitched around the edges. The straps were tucked in and stitched to the BH opening on the "wrong" side of the strap which is the inner edge of the BH hole. 

Next steps are constructing the bag bottom and then the sides. I think all the hard parts are done at this point and the rest of the construction will be pretty standard. I'll show  how I embellished the back in the next post....Bunny


  1. I know what you mean about being on auto pilot. I think that the better we are as sewists the more we don't follow directions and then we get surprised. But, honestly, it looks great and no one will know that it was designed differently. Looking forward to seeing the finished bag.

  2. lol! I've made lots of those buttonholes (on his long coat and the bag) so I was definitely surprised by that first pic until I read the text. Oh well, it still looks fabulous!

    1. By the way, I want to add one thing. I use this bag every day since I made it, so it's been getting some hard use. (It's really one of my favorite things I've made all year.) The *only* repair I've had to make has been on the handles. I followed the directions and sewed the handle in as instructed, but it has not been strong enough. I had to go in with a heavy thread and stitch (by hand) all the way around all four handle ends where they are inserted into the holes. I sewed around each one at least twice and it is now secure. Prior to that it was fraying and not holding up well. I did this repair right before I went to Taos at the end of September, so it was a few months after I'd been using it.

    2. Thanks so much for that info, Shams. I will go back and add some stitched "x"s before I close it up with the lining. Greatly appreciate the heads up.


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