Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Singer Buttonholer Attachment

Today I made a "duster", a light cotton robe, for Lena, the mother of my dear friend Anna. It is completely finished with the exception of the closure. Given that Lena is 86 and has some arthritis in her hands, I thought big, chunky buttons would be the easiest. I toyed with snaps and a zipper, but I am feeling the buttons more.

My Janome makes an ok buttonhole, but I thought this the perfect opportunity to try out my Singer Buttonholer Attachment. It comes in a sturdy green case that snaps closed. The case has slots for the buttonhole dies at each corner, with one die being loaded into the attachment.

The Buttonholer came with an instruction manual, but if you own a Buttonholer and need a manual, they are readily available online. Some, but not all, manuals describe using the attachment for embroidery. But that is a project for another day. :-)


I made a few examples, then read through the entire manual. My Buttonholer came with a manual, but I also have the manual downloaded as a pdf from the Internet - and loaded into "iBooks' on my iPad. It's so much easier to read this way.

In reading through the manual, I learned how to make corded buttonholes using the attachment, as well as a technique to make your buttonhole look more like it is hand sewn. Cool, huh?

Here are some basic samples:


The plaid seersucker is the lightweight cotton I used to make Lena's duster. To practice buttonholes, I layered the facing fabric, interfacing, and fashion fabric, since this is how I will be sewing the actual buttonholes. The fabric on the right is a stable fleece scrap. I labeled the settings next to the buttonholes for future reference. I want to try the corded buttonhole - just need to dig up some cord.

I'll post the duster when I finish the buttons & buttonholes. I don't have enough large buttons, so it means a trip to the fabric store.

It feels good to be home and sewing. My sweet daughter and I have been in Cleveland, OH and Erie, PA over spring break. We had appointments in Cleveland and visited friends & family in Erie. My daughter came home all braced up. Sadly, she has two spinal fractures, and will be in a torso brace for four months. She also came home in two "boot" style braces to immobilize her ankles. Those will be worn shorter term, but in both cases, we are trying to avoid surgery. The torso brace is not comfortable in Florida heat, but hopefully it will do it's job.  She has a good sense of humor about it all, and occasionally breaks out into 'the robot'.  I don't know if I would be so agreeable if I were in her shoes.

We had planned a few days at the beach, but nixed those plans because of my daughter's 'exoskeleton'.  I never mind hanging out at home.  I have enough fabric to keep me entertained!

What is your preferred way to make buttonholes?  It seems like it is one of those things some people loathe.  I guess I am in the "I don't mind them" camp.  And now I like them even more with my newly discovered, old toy!  Which camp are you in?

Keep sewing!

Andrea

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