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Critique my home made buttonhole

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bloke11, May 30, 2011.

  1. bloke11

    bloke11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Thought of making my own functional sleeve buttonholes, so I gave it a go. [​IMG] Made this using polyester thread, no gimp, keyhole cut using scissors. Cheated a little by sewing the buttonhole first using machine. I don't know if this is legitimate but I find that dampening the area with water before stitching helps tremendously. So is this passable or thrashable? Fire at will, gents.
     
  2. Maccimus

    Maccimus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    978
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Most people here can't sew a single button, not to mention a button hole.
    Well done!
     
  3. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Nice, Gimp will make a big difference like using oils instead of kids paint. You should aim for around 60 stitches around a small button hole.
     
  4. bloke11

    bloke11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    ^Thanks gentlemen, I'll try and do more stitches. Oh, again I cheated by drawing the outline of the buttonhole around first before sewing. Can't walk or sew in a straight line so can't help it. [​IMG]
     
  5. gj555

    gj555 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    I am so bad at precision tasks with my hands that I would not even be able to attempt this.

    Would I be wrong to presume that there is some "cheating" going on even for professionally made buttonholes?

    Speaking of buttonholes, what is the characteristic of a good buttonhole? What should we be looking for in respect of quality?

    Here is one from my latest jacket. How do I know if it is well crafted or not?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. gshen

    gshen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    897
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    SIN
    Inspired by Jeffreyd's blog posts, i tried making some milanese style buttonholes awhile ago. No time to practice more unfortunately! These were done with Gutermann silk twist and proper gimp:

    First two
    [​IMG]

    Next two (accidentally cut a thread!)
    [​IMG]

    Another two, better!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,981
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
  8. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    6,501
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    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    gorgeous!

    +1
     
  9. Ivar

    Ivar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    928
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    Jun 10, 2010
    Location:
    Stockholm
    These all look great! Would love to do the same to my non-functional buttonholes, but I can't sew for nothing. [​IMG]
     
  10. a tailor

    a tailor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,852
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    Thought of making my own functional sleeve buttonholes, so I gave it a go.

    [​IMG]

    Made this using polyester thread, no gimp, keyhole cut using scissors. Cheated a little by sewing the buttonhole first using machine. I don't know if this is legitimate but I find that dampening the area with water before stitching helps tremendously. So is this passable or thrashable?

    Fire at will, gents.


    bring the stitches closer together and your hired.
    use a blanket stitch instead of machine to hold everything together.
    try a simple bar tack at the end.
    you can buy buttonhole twist at any fabric store.
    use beeswax on the twist.
     
  11. a tailor

    a tailor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,852
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    Inspired by Jeffreyd's blog posts, i tried making some milanese style buttonholes awhile ago. No time to practice more unfortunately! These were done with Gutermann silk twist and proper gimp:

    First two
    [​IMG]

    Next two (accidentally cut a thread!)
    [​IMG]

    Another two, better!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    your doing great.
    do a small bar tack at the end. only about 5 or 6 coils at the most.

    when your finished.
    baste the button hole closed with about 3 stitches. and close the throat of the key hole
    with 3 more. then use a pen or pencil point and your fingers to shape the keyhole.
    then press the buttonhole first steam then no steam.
     
  12. inlandisland

    inlandisland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    557
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    OP - That looks pretty good - your stitches are nice and uniform. I'm just curious - when you say you used no gimp, do you mean you didn't use real gimp, or that you used nothing at all? (I think I see a thread running behind each stitch, but it's hard to tell).
     
  13. Benjamin E.

    Benjamin E. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    bloke11, it looks like you're getting the hang of it. Like a tailor said, you need to keep the stitches closer together. Gimp helps a lot. I used to make mine without and they were flat and lifeless. Since I don't have access to proper gimp, I twisted two heavy cotton threads together and it was a big improvement. It's not really cheating to sew it by machine at first; St. Andrews does this and they make beautiful buttonholes. Keep it up!

    gshen, the last two look really nice. From the picture of the white buttonhole on the blog, it looks like the purls are meant to be under the gimp, not to the side. That said, I've had a lot of trouble keeping the purls under the gimp, myself. It probably comes with practice. I'll try and get some pictures of my own up.
     
  14. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,443
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    OK but do NOT give up the day job.
     
  15. mktitsworth

    mktitsworth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,834
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Definitely better than anything I can do. Congrats.
     
  16. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    How long did they take you?
     
  17. bloke11

    bloke11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    bring the stitches closer together and your hired.
    use a blanket stitch instead of machine to hold everything together.
    try a simple bar tack at the end.
    you can buy buttonhole twist at any fabric store.
    use beeswax on the twist.


    What are the benefits of using a simple bartack over the one I did? I did mine with buttonhole stitches.

    OP - That looks pretty good - your stitches are nice and uniform. I'm just curious - when you say you used no gimp, do you mean you didn't use real gimp, or that you used nothing at all? (I think I see a thread running behind each stitch, but it's hard to tell).

    I used the same sewing thread to cord it.

    bloke11, it looks like you're getting the hang of it. Like a tailor said, you need to keep the stitches closer together. Gimp helps a lot. I used to make mine without and they were flat and lifeless. Since I don't have access to proper gimp, I twisted two heavy cotton threads together and it was a big improvement. It's not really cheating to sew it by machine at first; St. Andrews does this and they make beautiful buttonholes. Keep it up!

    gshen, the last two look really nice. From the picture of the white buttonhole on the blog, it looks like the purls are meant to be under the gimp, not to the side. That said, I've had a lot of trouble keeping the purls under the gimp, myself. It probably comes with practice. I'll try and get some pictures of my own up.


    Proper gimp is difficult to source here also. I'll try using double cotton thread. Thanks.

    Inspired by Jeffreyd's blog posts, i tried making some milanese style buttonholes awhile ago. No time to practice more unfortunately! These were done with Gutermann silk twist and proper gimp:

    I was inspired by your blog prior to making my own buttonholes, Gshen. [​IMG]
     
  18. Fishball

    Fishball Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,731
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Inspired by Jeffreyd's blog posts, i tried making some milanese style buttonholes awhile ago. No time to practice more unfortunately! These were done with Gutermann silk twist and proper gimp:

    First two
    [​IMG]

    Next two (accidentally cut a thread!)
    [​IMG]

    Another two, better!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Gshen,
    You sewn or your GF sewn the buttonholes?
    the last two look great!
    I should going to learn needlework too!
     
  19. gshen

    gshen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    897
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    SIN
    your doing great.
    do a small bar tack at the end. only about 5 or 6 coils at the most.

    when your finished.
    baste the button hole closed with about 3 stitches. and close the throat of the key hole
    with 3 more. then use a pen or pencil point and your fingers to shape the keyhole.
    then press the buttonhole first steam then no steam.


    Thank you for the pointers! I did a bar tack at the end in fact, with quite a few more coils than 5/6.. less is more perhaps? I remember having some trouble trying to cover up the end of the gimp which was fraying easily - wonder if you have any tips?

    gshen, the last two look really nice. From the picture of the white buttonhole on the blog, it looks like the purls are meant to be under the gimp, not to the side. That said, I've had a lot of trouble keeping the purls under the gimp, myself. It probably comes with practice. I'll try and get some pictures of my own up.

    I know what you mean! At the rounded end of the hole they seem to go under the gimp, but on the straight edges somehow they end up going to the side. I look forward to your pictures!

    How long did they take you?

    Me? Probably 45 minutes per buttonhole on average, including the time to prepare the threads, cut and baste the holes etc.

    Proper gimp is difficult to source here also. I'll try using double cotton thread. Thanks.

    I was inspired by your blog prior to making my own buttonholes, Gshen. [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Glad to be an inspiration. If you need some gimp, i have a ton that i'll probably never finish. PM me and i can arrange to send you some.

    Gshen,
    You sewn or your GF sewn the buttonholes?
    the last two look great!
    I should going to learn needlework too!


    Thanks - I'm proud to say that i did all the work myself!
     
  20. a tailor

    a tailor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,852
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    BLOKE 11.
    the purl stitches were not meant to be used for the bar tack. it makes a very bulky end.
    notice how the end of the buttonhole spreads open using a purl stitch finish.
     

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