For me, making a bound buttonhole is a little like making a souffle. They’re both out of the ordinary, and require preparation and care. And every time I make either a bound buttonhole or a souffle I feel a small sense of accomplishment.
This 1959 jacket calls for bound buttonholes. But it didn’t even occur to me to follow the pattern instructions.
Maybe this method does work, but probably not for my bulky, ravelly fabric.
Just as I have favorite souffle recipes, I have a favorite “recipe” for bound buttonholes. It comes from the book Jackets for Real People by Marta Alto, Susan Neall, and Pati Palmer and is also demonstrated by Marta on the Jackets for Real People DVD. I appreciate demos because there are never enough words or still pictures in a book to show every step.
I get good results when I follow the Organza Patch Method, but I always wonder whether I can pull this off again, in the particular fabric I’m working with. So yesterday afternoon I made some samples.
This button is shaped like a deep dish pie pan. I learned that it doesn’t need quite as wide a buttonhole as a thick button with straight sides.
I underlined my fashion fabric scrap the same as I will with the jacket front. Then I basted two vertical guidelines to show the end points of the buttonholes and horizontal guidelines for where the fabric will be slashed to create the buttonhole.
I cut a rectangle of organza on the bias a little wider and longer than the buttonhole, and centered it over the guidelines. Then I basted the rectangle in place.
The vertical guidelines represent the width of the buttonholes. The organza is basted in place. I stitched 1/8 inch on each side of the basted center line to form a box.
Seen from the wrong side, the stitched box. ( I fell short of the right guideline.)
I like to use a rotary cutter to start the slash in the very center. Then I switch to very sharp tailors’ scissors to cut the triangles right up to the corners.
The “window” seen from the right side. I always like this moment.
Make the lips for the buttonhole. Jackets for Real People recommends cutting them on the bias for plaids. I like to see a plaid through a window I’ve cut in stiff paper or an old business card to preview choices in color and pattern. Also, it’s just fun.
The diagonal lines on my preview window/template are aligned with the grain.
Rectangles cut for lips. I didn’t try to match to the window for this sample.
Baste two rectangles together, right sides together, through the center lengthwise. Press open.
Position the lips under the window. I find it tricky to do this perfectly evenly. You can see the organza sticking out slightly at this point.
Pinned and ready to be stitched.
Quoting from Jackets for Real People, “Fold back fashion fabric, exposing long sides. Stitch long sides, then ends.” I couldn’t capture this in a photograph. The demo on the DVD shows just what to do. Just know that the precision will pay off.
The third sample I tried looks nice. You have to look hard to see a tiny bit of organza on the right short end. I’m giving myself a passing grade.
Will it fit comfortably?
This is a little snug. It could work, but better to make the jacket buttonholes very slightly longer.
That’s enough accomplishment for today!