|Bound buttonholes are a lovely method to add a decorative, professional touch to garments. But let me tell you, they take practice! I believe this one pictured was my fourth attempt for this tutorial. If you like the look of bound buttonholes, it’s worth practicing a bit before doing it on the “live garment”! Let’s walk through the steps.|
|You’ll probably have your buttonhole marked on the back of your fabric.|
|Also transfer the markings to the front by sticking pins to mark the end points and connecting with a line.|
|My buttonhole is 1″ long. You want to cut two strips of fabric that are the length of your buttonhole plus 1″. So mine are 2″ long. For the width, you can choose that based on your preference. Mine are cut 1″ wide. So 1″ by 2″.
Whatever width you’d like the final “binding” to be, multiply it by 4. My final bindings are 1/4″, so I cut it 1″ wide.
|Fold in half lengthwise and press.|
|Center and pin over the marked buttonhole, with the RAW edges facing inward and lined up on the buttonhole line.|
|Peek under and mark the end of the buttonhole on the top strips.|
|For the sewing, switch to a clear presser foot of some sort if you have one. It makes it easier to see what you’re doing and be precise.|
|A few steps above, you marked the ends of your buttonhole. Also mark halfway the width of your strips. Mine are 1″ wide, then folded to 1/2″, so my lines are 1/4″ from the edge. This forms a rectangle like this one.|
|You are only going to sew on the long edges, starting at the corners. Your goal is to start exactly at the same spot on either line and sew the EXACT same number of stitches on each side. You’ll want to count them, and it’s best to use a smaller stitch length. Sew very slowly and count. See next step, first.
|For precision, it might be better to secure your ends by setting your machine length to zero and stitching in place for a few stitches instead of trying to back up.For stitching this part, I set it to about 1.5, but since my machine is not digital, it was sort of hard to get precisely the same stitch length on each side after I moved it to zero and back. I did the best I could.
Hey, who drew with markers all over my sewing machine?! I think I have an idea …
|Mmmm-hmmmm. That’s what I thought.
|If you look at the back side of my buttonhole, you can see the stitching — barely. It’s hard to see. I think it’s pretty even when you compare the top line to the bottom line.|
|Now we need to slice open this line, but don’t do it till you read further. When you cut, move the flaps out of the way so you don’t cut them.|
|From the back, you see the shape I’m going to cut, which is part of the center line and then a little “V” at each end.Your “V” should extend JUST to the stitching and not touch the stitching, but be as close as possible. I used pencil on the back to draw this for more precision, since the blue fabric marker kind of spreads and gets thick.
Let me tell you this now, though: I regretted having such “short” triangles on the ends. It would work better if they were a bit deeper. You’ll see why later.
|Now turn the strips to the wrong side. I’ve done that on the right one here.|
|From the back now.|
|From the front before pressing or doing anything else. You see it taking shape!|
|From the wrong side, make sure your little triangles at the end are on this side. If you lift up the ends of the strips, you’ll see it there.|
|Now fold the triangle and the end of the strips away from the fabric like this.|
|Very carefully sew an even and straight line across. I marked the stitching from the previous step with pencil so I could be exact. This step is really important so that the end result looks good. This is where I wished my triangles were a little more substantial. See how small it is?
Repeat on other side.
|From the other side, if you sewed precisely and evenly, you should get a nice, even and perfectly rectangular buttonhole. I’m not truly thrilled with my bottom left corner, but it came out pretty good.|