Saturday, July 13, 2013

Measuring a button for a buttonhole

Have you ever picked out a big juicy button for a sewing project? 

Have you then only measured the diameter of the button and ended up with a button hole that is too small for your chunky button? 

Fear not! There is a way to work out exactly how wide you need to make your button hole for chunky fat buttons. 
I recently read this technique in Couture Sewing techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer

Below are some buttons that require not only consideration of their width but also their height. 



If we only measure the diameter, this button is 2cm




If I sew a button hole only 2cm wide, it will be a bit tight and the fabric might end up stretching in order to force the button through leaving you with saggy button holes! (Oh the horror!)

So instead take a piece of ribbon or twill tape and wrap it the button like so...



Pin the tape closed tight against the button so it stays in the loop




Pop out the button and measure the width of the tape from fold to the pin.




The space required now for this tape is 2.5cm so we have gained an extra 5mm! 
It does make a difference!




Use this measurement for your projects and hopefully your buttons will slip through without damaging the hole

Have you used this method before? What other tricks do you try to get the right button hole width? 

Cat xo

20 comments:

  1. Great tip! Will definitely be using this technique.

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  2. I didn't know that good tip , Sew become a little more easy with all your advices Cat.

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  3. Though I cannot sew, this seems like such a great tip! I found it really interesting to read about. It is too frustrating trying to fit a button through a hole that is just that littlest bit too small, especially when it is on a sleeve and can only be done with one hand!

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    1. ugh! i have a blouse like that and i think they didn't use this technique! Plus its made in a rough kinda polyester so it grips to itself making it really tough.

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  4. You clever thing! I've done this so many times! x

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    1. You've done this before? That makes you the clever one! haha

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  5. That is so cool! Thanks for the tip.

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  6. Thanks for this. It's not a problem I've come across before, but no doubt I will eventually. This is great!

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    1. Thanks! I hope its useful to you one day!

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  7. Great tip! I've yet to make anything with button holes (I do have one dress with buttons on the cuff but I cheekily got the teacher at the sewing school I was at to do them for me!). I am actually in the middle of making a blouse so this tip was well timed! x

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    1. Oh buttonholes are fun but tedious to make. Wait till you have a project with bound buttonholes - that takes awhile!

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  8. Great tip! I will definitely be using this tip when making something with chunky buttons.

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  9. Wow, this is awesome!

    I have a button holer on my machine that you set the button in to get the correct measurement and it just goes about sewing the button hole the correct size but if I ever needed to know another way... sweet!

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    1. I have a buttonholer too but it never works properly and doesn't turn back once it hits the indicator. I think my sewing machine needs a service...

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  10. Thanks for all those little tips and tricks :) Just got my button hole sewing machine and I hope everything works out for my project! Hope I am lucky with my button sewing machine.
    Keep going, you are awesome!

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