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Buttonhole disaster

2011 June 27
by elizabeth_admin

I know what you’re thinking: “There were no buttons on that vintage shift dress she showed us yesterday?!”  Well, you’re right, there weren’t any.  I’ve shifted gears again on you my friends.

I’m talking about Haley’s birthday dress. Here’s a sneak peek of New Look 6016 and a closeup of my crazy buttonhole.


As you have probably already figured out, despite placing pins at either end of the buttonhole, my seam ripper decided that my buttonhole needed to be longer.  Much longer than I had sewn it.  I tried bar tacking at the end several times, but it didn’t work.  Then I tried decorative stitches.  But it wasn’t until I basted a tiny patch on the back of the buttonhole that the decorative stitches “took”.  It still looks crazy bad though.  I might have to find some trim to cover it up somehow.  Any suggestions? 

Oh and the way the dress is worn, the button will not cover up that portion of the button hole.  Of course.  *sigh*

As you can see, I used bias tape on the armscyes per the pattern directions.  I love this finish!  Super easy and no stupid facings!  The yoke is self lined for a very clean finish on the inside.  But you will hear the entire review later when I send off the gift and get the requisite picture of the dress on little Haley.


On a personal note, I am freaking out right now because I am going out dancing tonight with some girlfriends.  Dancing.  As in trying to make my 3 left feet do something rhythmical.  As in wearing cute going out clothes of which I have none.  As in dancing after not having danced in the last 20 years kind of dancing (read early 90’s here folks).  I don’t even know what house music is!  I haven’t listened to the radio in over 9 years.  Who the heck is Katy Perry anyway?  Lady Gaga who???  I am terrified people.  TERRIFIED!

I have no idea what I’m going to wear tonight.  A disguise or a paper bag is looking pretty good about now.  Now where are those spanx?

15 Responses leave one →
  1. SusieR permalink*
    June 27, 2011

    Have you thought about just getting a larger button? Kids love large, fun buttons…

    Regarding dancing tonight, where whatever you will, but dance like you just don’t care; you will have GOBS more fun!


  2. June 27, 2011

    Oh no! I’ve done this! I think going with a bigger button is your best bet too. As for dancing – you’ll look great I’m quite sure. I haven’t danced in years either. Pull out Dirty Dancing and learn a few new moves! He he! I’m sure it will be FUN! xoxo, Sunni

  3. June 27, 2011

    My heart goes out to you on this one, but I do know how you feel. As much as I sew, there is always an occasion that arises for which I have nothing that fits it. You’ll do fine with dancing, it’s just for fun.

  4. June 27, 2011

    My vote is to rescue the buttonhole itself – by sewing some narrow matching ric-rac (the pale blue maybe?) around. Just straight-stitch, or even large handstitching in a contrasting darker-blue thread down the centre to make it stand out 🙂 You could ric-rac both sides of the button hole even!

  5. June 27, 2011

    How about a grosgrain ribbon loop tacked on each end of the button loop? So it sort of looks like there is a ribbon underneath the button.

    I don’t think it looks that bad though!

  6. June 27, 2011

    Ok, this is not going to be the most helpful comment you receive about the dancing, but from experience, as someone who can’t dance even the tiniest bit, alcohol is your friend. Once you have a couple of drinks, you won’t care if you have nothing to wear or know the music or anything else!

  7. June 27, 2011

    I don’t have suggestions for the buttonhole, as you have tried the things that I would do. The only thing I can think of is using a cord to create a corded buttonhole and handstitch it. I’ve never done this but after reading descriptions on the web, it looks like it might work.

    Re: dancing. relax and have fun. In terms of looking cool remember that more is less and move your feet to the bass line in them music.

    Rose in SV

  8. June 27, 2011

    Arrrgh, we’ve all done this! One good trick, to go along with the “pins at each end” is to insert your seam ripper at the end of the buttonhole, and move it toward the middle, stopping half way. Then go to the other end, and do the same thing. If you run over, hopefully, you’ll only go a little bit past the center line, and not all the way to the end. Or beyond!

    • Miriam in KS permalink
      June 27, 2011

      Here is another option for cutting buttonholes. Fold your buttonhole in half so you can snip a small hole in the middle lengthwise portion of the buttonhole with small scissors. Unfold and using the scissors, carefully cut to each end.

      I started cutting buttonholes in this manner because I too, would rip right through the end bartack with a seam ripper!

      I don’t have any other suggestions for rescuing it however! Good Luck! And cute fabric!

  9. Pat permalink
    June 28, 2011

    After many seam ripper and scissor incidents with the perfect buttonhole I turned to a chisel. I haven’t had a problem since.

  10. visitor permalink
    June 28, 2011

    This is why I get my buttonholes done at Jonathan Embroidery in New York. It’s something like two bucks a button. You mark it they make it.

    It doesn’t look that bad, especially for a kid’s dress. I also like the ideas of:

    –Using a bigger button.
    –Turning it into a hand sewn corded buttonhole (or a welted buttonhole).

  11. June 29, 2011

    I hate making buttonholes. My suggestion is to remove the button, thread very fine ribbon through the holes on the button making a bow (this hopefully will cover your mistake) then attach the button to the garment by sewing the ribbon at the base of the button. This worked a long time again when I was making children’s garments.

  12. June 29, 2011

    What about using some of the bias trim to trim around the button hole? My motto is if it’s supposed to be invisible, and I can’t make it so, then I make it an intentional feature 🙂

  13. June 30, 2011

    I would probably just go round the buttonhole again by hand – btw I use an artists scalpel knife to cut my buttonholes open or I am sure I would be slicing them all over the place! Have fun out dancing!

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