Buttonhole Sewing Class
Hello and welcome to my class on sewing professional and historically-accurate buttonholes! Over the next several days we will be going over each step of the buttonhole process in great detail.
Hand-tailored buttonholes are a thing of beauty, and in the hands of a skilled tailor, can make a coat stand out amongst others. Properly sewn, they will add a level of detail that you can be proud of, yet at the same time will sit unassumingly against the background of the coat. On the other hand, a badly-done buttonhole will absolutely ruin the look of a coat, so we will be practicing on some smaller scraps of fabric meant to imitate the front of a coat or waistcoat.
To the right is an example of an 1860s buttonhole found on a cotton waistcoat, pretty much unchanged from more modern buttonholes. With a bit of care and good instruction, there’s no reason why you can’t sew a comparable one on even your first try.
Here’s the schedule for this class.
Thursday, June 27: Prepare fabric samples, layout buttonholes.
Friday, June 28: Cut and secure buttonholes.
Saturday, June 29: Create and attach four-cord or gimp.
Sunday, June 30: Sew the buttonholes.
Plan on spending about 30 to 60 minutes each day working on the assignments, depending on your speed, and especially how many buttonholes you are working on. If you’re pressed for time, I’d work on only a couple of buttonholes and do the rest as you have time. Once you get the process down, you’ll be able to do a complete buttonhole in about 15 to 20 minutes.
This is the main page for the class, where you’ll find all of the specific lessons as they’re released. Below, and on every page in the class, you’ll find a support forum where you can ask any questions and post photos of your work.
- Tape Measure or Quilting Ruler
- Seam Gauge
- Small embroidery-type scissors
- Tailor’s Chalk
- 1/8″ Hollow Hole Punch (usually available at hardware stores).
- 1/2″ Chisel
- Flat Board (scraps are fine, you could go as small as a couple of inches square, used to punch open the buttonholes).
- **Buttonhole Punch (As an alternative to the hollow punch and chisel. Only worth it if you are making hundreds of buttonholes on a professional basis).
- Gutermann Silk Buttonhole Twist (available in 10 yard and 437 yard spools depending on the shop. Estimate 1 to 1.5 yards per buttonhole).
- **Gutermann Buttonhole Gimp (Gives a superior buttonhole, but you can make and use four-cord instead, which is probably the better option if you’re only making a few buttonholes).
- Sewing Thread (Something on the thin/fine side I like silk thread but cotton will work too).
- Two equally sized pieces of fabric, approximately 4 – 6″ by 10 – 12″. These will be sewn together to mimic a coat front for practice. Wool, linen, and silk are all good options.
- Linen (One piece to match the size of your fabric to act as a canvas).
Facebook Support Group
The forum isn’t quite working as I had hoped, so I’ve made a support group on Facebook for everyone. Most of you are probably already on Facebook anyway, but you can always email me for help if you’re not. After you request to join, I’ll add you as soon as I can!