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Ways to sew on buttons

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by demeis, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Well-Known Member

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    Question for Mr. Kabbaz:

    How many buttons can you sew with 800yds of thread?
     
  2. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    Question for HitMan009: Will you share what you have been smoking? [​IMG]
     
  3. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Well-Known Member

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    Only here can one find exchanges like this.
     
  4. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, this is a question worthy of answering.... I picked up a spool of button thread and it is 800yds long. What have I been smokin? Those were back in the jolly good old days in college. The only smoke I have inhaled was from the burning exchanges in the black suit thread. [​IMG]
     
  5. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    Didn't realize you were serious. A spool of cotton glacÃ[​IMG] #24 is 220 yards long. It lasts us about 75 shirts at an average of 14 buttons per shirt. You must either have a VERY large spool or it is not cotton glacÃ[​IMG].

    Apologies for the implication.
     
  6. uriahheep

    uriahheep Well-Known Member

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    An average of 14 buttons per shirt? This is assuming a lot, but assuming an average of 6 or 7 buttons per shirt front, 1 collar button, 1 button on each cuff and 1 button on each sleeve placket this adds up to 11 or 12 buttons per shirt. Or do your clients more commonly request 2 buttons on each cuff and 2 collar buttons, adding up to 14-15 buttons for a shirt?
     
  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I've seen the 800 yard cotton glacee thread at specialty fabirc stores. Big, and sort of inpractical, I think. On a related note, I am thinking about purchasing an old school Singer. Alex, any recommendations? Also, what price range is reasonable for a reasonable machine?
     
  8. uriahheep

    uriahheep Well-Known Member

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    LAG, be sure to buy an industrial machine. The motors in industrial machines are usually much much better than those in home sewing machines and would be better suited for the work I'm guessing you would do with denim.

    Look at Pfaff.
     
  9. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    I would advise a Singer 95 (very old, but simple and strong as hell) or a Singer 491 (1970's-1980's). You might find a 95 for under $100. The 491 will go between $250-$350 if in decent condition. Given the choice I would go for a good 491.

    Anything newer (591) is too fast and the stitch is not as good.

    Yes, we figure at 14 buttons per shirt. Two per collar. Five for sleeves/cuffs(which averages out single and double button cuffs). Seven for front.

    EDIT:
    Pfaff is also an excellent machine. They aren't as prevalent at the used machine dealers, however. No Juki (except sergers), No Union Special unless you want double-needle chainstitch, No Consew, No Reece, NO NO NO Brother, No home machines.
     
  10. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Well-Known Member

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    Just for reference, I picked up this thread at http://www.sewtrue.com/Thread.html Went to the store in Manhattan though It's model number:TDU-24 Don't know if the price is good, but I thought so.... BTW, Where would one pick up an old sewing machine?
     
  11. uriahheep

    uriahheep Well-Known Member

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    Look high and low.
     
  12. uriahheep

    uriahheep Well-Known Member

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    Many custom shirtmakers use old sewing machines, maybe because they're often more antique than the sewing machines, [​IMG] but new high-quality sewing machines can be just as good or even better. The result doesn't just depend on the machine, it also depends heavily on the skill of the operator.
     
  13. uriahheep

    uriahheep Well-Known Member

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    Also look at Dürkopp Adler.
     
  14. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    Try craigslist.org. I found a couple of old Pfaffs just now in Seattle. For Singers, thrift stores seem to have them from time to time. I know of one store in the area that has about 6-10 sewing machines at any time.
     
  15. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    Do you have evidence to back up this claim?

    s/Antique Shirtmaker
     
  16. uriahheep

    uriahheep Well-Known Member

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    Just like a number of other things sartorial, it's somewhat subjective in nature. You may disagree, having used whatever machines you've been using for the very reasons that you liked them to begin with and still like them for. One shirtmaker whose services I've used has his small team of seamstresses using Pfaff machines. Another has his solo sempster(terminology?) using a Dürkopp Adler. Both makers have recent-model sewing machines. The evidence? The finished products. Both makers have the buttonholes beautifully done by hand. A maker I tried previously used a Pfaff lockstitch machine and a Brother buttonhole machine. The buttonholes came out well-made. Fortunately the rest of the shirt did too.
    So that's the full form of A. S. Kabbaz - Antique Shirtmaker Kabbaz? [​IMG] (in good-natured jest)
     

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