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November 30

First Handworked Buttonhole Stitches

Firstly, let me state that I wish I had more images for you guys today with my recent finished objects but the weather has been so crappy in Chicago, I haven’t been able to go out of doors for pics.  Do you guys have any tips or suggestions to get decent indoor shots (lighting, etc.)?

Anyhow…. After completing my Linda Skirt, a project from my fall project board, as the final touch I decided that I wanted to stitch on my hook and eyes prettily.  I was inspired by the threads article by Susan Khalje about ‘sewing findings on securely‘ (findings being snaps, hooks, eyes, etc.) which I had tucked away on my pinterest tutorials board for easy access.

Similar to Sunni’s buttonhole tutorial, Susan Khalje uses the same basic buttonhole stitch to sew on her ‘findings’ with lovely results.  Since I have Colette’s Violet blouse to complete in my near future (only the buttonholes await) I decided to follow Susan’s guide as practice for my own buttonhole endeavor.

Here’s an image of Ms. Khalje’s beautiful buttonholes:

Isn’t it lovely; so pretty and tidy little green stitches.

My first and most prominent thought was how hard could it be?!  I hand-sew often, and what could be harder then sewing knots?!

Here’s my hooks using the buttonhole stitch on my Linda waistband:

Yeeeeeah…. much harder than I would ever have thought. hehehe  I’ll be the first to admit: I was really wrong!

My first one is at the far right, and I really don’t make much progress until the final eye at the far left.  I do have to say I’m quite impressed at my handiwork on that final eye, but the rest are truly awful!  They don’t even look close to any kind of buttonhole stitch one could make.  heh

Needless to say, I’m going to be making a practice buttonhole swatch before I stitch the real deal on my violet blouse.  And even then, I think I’ll work from the bottom up (ie least conspicuous).  I guess I now know why tailors say that it takes 999 handworked buttonholes to be a master at them.

  1. A.J.A. / Nov 30 2011

    I’ve tried this method out 5 or 6 times with hook and eye closures as well as snaps. The first time they looked just like your pic, but in a few tries they got a little tidier, and I’m sure you know, yours will too. It won’t take too long, either, and even if it does, it’ll still look better than the snarl knot of no method at all (mine used to look like a rat had gnawed on them :)!

  2. Lauren / Nov 30 2011

    yes! i saw that article about a year ago and it changed my life as far as my hooks & eyes are concerned. i used to hate sewing those things on (like everyone else), but now i just concentrate on making them pretty & sturdy… i actually really enjoy it now. seriously!

    keep practicing – the one on the left looks perfect to me :)

  3. Amanda D / Nov 30 2011

    Good work on the last leg of the buttonhole stitch, I’ll have to give that tutorial a try! And I’d also love to know how to do a good indoor shot. I feel like good editing software helps, even if it’s just something free like Piknik.

  4. Rachel / Nov 30 2011

    Saw some indoor photography tips on pinterest- they covered pieces of cardboard with foil- using it to reflect light. One under one at the side…

  5. Tasha / Nov 30 2011

    Well you definitely improved a lot by the last eye! This is about the same experience I had trying to do handwork buttonholes. Egads, mine looked awful! Although unlike you, I never did get them to a point where I’d even consider using them on the outside of a garment. ;P

    I don’t know if you have a DSLR or a point and click, but if you have a DSLR, you might investigate a Light Scoop (Google it to find the maker’s page). It was only about $25 and amazingly I can now take indoor photos even at night that have nice lighting! I read about it several months back on the Grosgrain blog and I love mine. It doesn’t work with all DSLRs but they’re upfront about which ones.

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