Bound Buttonholes and Matelassé

matelasse taffeta bound buttonholes

I’m working on another matelassé jacket, and kinda sorta wanted to do bound buttonholes.  I used a crinkle polyester taffeta, stabilized with fusible interfacing, as the contrast binding and the facing on the centre front pieces of the jacket.

crinkle taffeta facing

The matelassé is a gold/olive green/black weave in I guess what you would call a ‘patchwork’ pattern. The gold crinkle taffeta was the best match from my stash.

Vogue 8600 buttonholes

Can I just tell you that I decided to make bound buttonholes after the facing and collar was attached?  I had planned to go the lazy machine-stitched buttonhole route, but after a series of trials on scraps, decided bound buttonholes would look the best.  Instead of a straight-forward set of buttonholes, this became a fiddling-redo-rip-out-redo game, but I’m happy with the results.

What’s the best make-it-unnecessarily-difficult-extra-work decision you’ve ever made on a project?

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Vogue 8626: front

Vogue 8626 front interfacing (502x800)I interfaced the centre front pieces with horsehair cut on the straight grain, with the side fronts interfaced with bias interfacing.  Here’s a pic of the bound buttonholes.  I’m pretty darn proud of them, I must say.  I measure and re-measured and measured again, and they are as close to perfect as I could hope for.  *grin*Vogue 8626 buttonholesThe facing is underlined with silk organza, and I used silk organza patches to face the buttonhole facings. front facingAnd here’s the front facing, fell-stitched in place.bound buttonhole facing

Burda 7579

B 7579 side

This is the finished jacket that I did my bound buttonholes for, based on Burda 7579.  I made it up on request out of the most lovely wool.  It was a perfect marriage of fabric and pattern, let me tell you.  A complete and utter pleasure to sew.  The suit has a matching pencil skirt, quite pegged, with a CB hemline slit, which I pulled from a vintage Lagerfeld pattern in my stash.  It’s a beautiful ensemble and fits perfectly (although I can’t say that for Vintage Judy in these photos).

B 7579 welts pocketThe jacket has been shortened by about 2 inches.  I was a bit worried about the proportion/placement of the pockets, which also have flaps, on the shorter version but it’s working nicely when the flaps are tucked in.   So I’m leaving them tucked in.  I did the pocket welts on the bias for consistency’s sake since the buttonholes are bias, too, never mind that they just looked waaaay better done on the bias that either straight or cross grain.  The picture below is before shortening the jacket.

welt pocketsThe jacket doesn’t fit Vintage Judy well at all as very evident in this photo, and it desperately needs to be pressed, but isn’t the back belt a nice detail?  The buttons were quite heavy, so I tacked them through all layers to support them.  I raised the collar stand by 5/8″ to order because it needed to sit a bit higher, and re-drafted the collar shape itself so that it could be tacked and stand up.B 7579 back

As you all know, if you’ve been reading posts lately, I am not a patternmaker or tweaker or draper or any such “er” (although I can sew reasonably well, even if I do say so myself) and the little change to this collar put me into a problem-solving line-drawing tailspin for a bit.  And then I leafed through the September Vogue and found this lovely little Chanel number.chanel 2012 jacketWhich gave me visual directions for my little change on the collar.  B 7579 collarIt worked nicely and was easy to do (thank God!).  And, if I can ever get my sewing queue organized, gave me an idea for an almost identical tweed in my stash….  But haven’t you heard that before?  I have loads of pattern/fabric marriages to make official, but never get around to 99% of them…..

Tutorial: Facing Bound Buttonholes

I thought I’d complete the tutorial on organza patch buttonholes with a post on facing them.facing patchesCarefully mark the placement of the buttonholes and on the RIGHT side of the facing fabric, baste organza patches through the centre of the buttonhole marking.  Be precise with your measuring and marking!  You want the facing to line up perfectly with the perfectly bound buttonholes you’ve made.stitched facingCarefully measure the width and length of the openings required in the facing.  I made mine 4mm wide and 2mm longer than the actual buttonholes.  Even such a small amount as 1mm makes a difference in the facing openings, as they need to be free and clear of the buttonhole itself.

Then interface around the area of the buttonholes if you’re interfacing the facing.  On this jacket, I was using interfacing in the facing, although I may not always.DSCN0558Precisely slash the buttonhole openingsslashes and turn the organza strips to the wrong side of the facing.  This is identical to the way the openings are bound by organza before stitching the edges of the buttonholes into place.pull organza throughPress and/or hand baste in place. This is what your facing should look like3 buttonholes

Stitch the facing to the garment front, turn, and hand stitch each opening to its respective buttonhole.  I use a tiny fell stitch as it’s quick and a strong stitch.  Inside view of the completed facing.IMG_4026And there you have beautiful buttonholes!IMG_4027

Tutorial: Bound Buttonholes – Organza Patch Method

*picture heavy post*  I thought I’d post a tute on the method I used for the bound buttonholes I’m using on the jacket-on-request.  The wool I’m using is a beautiful black, taupe, grey and white suit weight wool, and it loves to unravel.  Problem!  This method is perfect for ravelly fabrics and it’s the easiest method I’ve found to make identical near-perfect bound buttonholes.  Sherry of pattern, scissors, cloth has posted an identical tutorial with a bulky mohair fabric.  But I’ll confess I have a fear of doing finicky details like bound buttonholes on finer fabrics like suiting and thought I’d post this anyways.

measurementMark and measure your buttonholes accurately.  Mine will be 6mm wide.   Cut squares of silk organza 1.5 inches wider and longer than your intended buttonhole.organza squares

On the RIGHT side, centre the organza patches over the buttonhole markings and baste through the centre of the buttonhole. Measure and measure again to ensure accuracy! basted organza squares From the WRONG side, carefully stitch along your markings using a very small stitch.  Begin and end in the middle of the buttonhole, not at a corner.stitching Measure and measure again for accuracy!measure again

Remove the centre basting…remove basting

… and slash through the centre of the buttonhole to within 3mm of the ends, clipping diagonally to the corners.  Eck-zact-ly to the corners, because one unsnipped thread will throw off the symmetry of the corners.slash

Pull the organza patches through to the wrong sidepull organza through

Press flat so the edges are clean.R side

Here’s my finished three openings.3 buttonholesAnd from the wrong side, it looks neat and tidy, too!wrong sideCut TWO squares of fabric for each buttonhole and baste them down the middle.  This will form the edges of the buttonhole opening. I wanted mine to form chevrons, so I basted them diagonally.stitched diagonally Press them open. pressed open   Align the centre of the basted squares so that they line up through the centre of the buttonhole opening.aligning placement Pin or hand tack into place along the long edges.pin bastingFrom the wrong side, stitch across on end of the buttonhole through all thicknesses, keeping the front free.  Extend the stitching 1/4 inch past the buttonhole.  Check after stitching each end to ensure accuracy.

stitch endsTurn back the organza patch and stitch along the top and bottom sides of the buttonholes.stitch sides Finished buttonhole from the front.finished And the back, prior to trimming threads and excess fabric.finished wrong side Here’s my three buttonholes.finished 3 And the inside view.reverse The middle one is uneven, as you can see from the back…middle …and the front.  So I will redo this one.middle uneven And now it’s acceptable!new middle

Organza Patch Wins

I’ve been sewing off and on since my last post, mostly because of life and getting ready for fall.  Can you believe that summer is almost over and school begins next Tuesday?  Wow.  My summer flew by, and mostly without much sewing!
I want to thank each of you for your comments on the muslin for the navy gown.  I have decided that I will make the back a mirror image of the front.  After the fitting, a couple of changes were decided:  narrower cuffs, roomier sleeves and a more pronounced boatneck.  I am making another muslin for next week.  But in the meantime, I’m working on the jacket for the suit-on-request, and have spent the last couple of hours playing around with buttonholes.
After trying multiples of what my Vogue Sewing book calls the five-line-patch method, I gave up.  You can see a fabulous and beautiful pictorial of the exact same method posted by Sherry.  I could not – repeat five times – could not – get mine to work.  PERIOD.
So I tried the organza patch method, pictured above over the instructions in the Vogue Sewing book.
Pretty.  And perfect.  And I’m liking the chevrons.