The Art of the Buttonhole
Learn to sew beautiful, traditional buttonholes by hand in this free course.
Buttonholes are one of the most important parts of a fine coat or other garment, in that they serve both a decorative function — drawing the eye towards the details — and more importantly, prevent the garment from wear and tear over time as buttons are done and undone and stress is put on the clothing.
In this free course from Historical Tailoring Masterclasses, learn how to work your own buttonholes by hand with traditional techniques used by tailors for centuries.
The following material is covered over the four days of the class, both in written form with photographs, and with high-definition video:
- Buttonhole Layout
- Cutting the Buttonholes
- Preventing Fraying Buttonhole
- Gimp or Four-Cord
- The Buttonhole Stitch
If you need more than four days to finish your buttonholes, as most people do, don’t worry! You can login to the class at any time and continue right where you left off.
Through many years of sewing, this tutorial was the most clear and comprehensive instruction I have encountered. Beginning with listing the proper materials and tools, these modules walked through precise details to make preparation, layout, and construction result in exquisite keyhole buttonholes. The professional quality videos went even further to demonstrate technique in motion.
There were steps to make layout precise, yet faster. More steps showed how to secure edges to prevent fraying, make gimp for distinctive results, and stitch beautifully.
Just as playing tennis with someone more skillful improves one’s game, sewing with this instruction will improve anyone’s level of excellence.
I reproduce 18th century garments I only dabble in the 19th century, however, in saying this, awesome button holes have always been my down fall. When I saw your post about a workshop on button holes I said to myself, “that is exactly what I need”. Even though the button hole shape is slightly different I was positive that there would be enough similarities that I would be able to apply it to the century I specialize in, I was right. Your pictures, instruction, and video were so informative and bang on. You offer fabulous feedback on anything sent to you and tips on how to improve.
List of Supplies
Here are the necessary supplies you’ll need for the class.
- 1/8″ hollow hole punch (usually available at hardware stores).
- 1/2″ chisel.
- Flat wooden board.
- Small hammer.
- Silk buttonhole twist.
- Silk or cotton sewing thread.
- Two equally sized pieces of fabric, approximately 5″ by 12″.
- 5″ by 12″ linen.