Friday, September 23, 2011

In Seam Buttonholes in Progress

Hope there's sunshine where you live because all week long it's been grey and humid and rainy here.  Not enough light to take good pictures of the dark grey jacket/capelet so I'll just share some of the in seam buttonhole details.
Earlier in the week I cleaned out my enormous button stash.  Three of the Walmart Matchbox car storage bins were filled with buttons as well as another overflowing basket....and still I had to usually go out and buy just the right button for a project.  I have stopped stashing buttons and have now organized the ones I think I might use in the future and am selling the bundles of remaining buttons as a group on craigslist.  I'm down to just two of those storage bins, hooray.

This Vogue pattern 8674 calls for five 1" buttons for view B.  I only have four of these vintage 1 1/4" buttons but I can make it work.  The mother of pearl gleam looks lovely against the dull, nubby grey wool.  I don't like collars too close to my neck  (I seldom ever wear a turtleneck) so the four buttons will work just fine for the body of the jacket.  But they are big, bigger than I like to use with a standard machine made buttonhole.  Maybe four bound buttonholes.... and I seriously considered doing that....for a while at least.  But this fabric is thick and I'm not that good at bound buttonholes yet and I wanted to get this project done and....and.... and.  You get the picture, I didn't want to make those bound buttonholes.  Snaps, yes, that's always a good answer especially since they are on RTW everywhere.  I have two sets of beautiful large decorative snaps from M&J Trim in NYC....but only purchased three and I really want the four closures.

Then you wonderful  bloggers came to my rescue.  Carolyn's post  Diary of a Sewing Fanatic referenced Barbara's post Cat Fur Studio post  about the CJ jacket.  I had already read it and liked the double collar but this time the "in seam buttonholes" just jumped off the page.

Now I had to re-engineer the front and lining patterns.  It took me a day to figure out how to 
a) widen the front for the larger button 
b) eliminate the "lined to the edge" front seam and make a turned back self-facing 
Seam added and 1" opening marked for buttons.  Red marker means "Add SA when cutting pieces from fashion fabric"

c) mark the pattern for the in seam buttonholes 
d) adjust the lining with the accompanying in seam buttonholes on the back.  
Seam sewn with thin fabric selvedge for stabilizing the seam....repeat four times
As I've mentioned before, this is where a low grade in HS Geometry comes back to haunt me.  I'm slow at figuring out these details correctly but patience is ultimately a virtue.  
front edge of jacket with buttonhole
from the jacket back, buttonhole 

two seam allowances anchored together for stability
I also consulted my sewing reference library for some assistance.  Claire Shaeffer's 1994 "Fabric Sewing Guide" has a very short segment on in seam buttonholes on pg. 308.  After figuring this procedure out on my own, my third Google search found this very helpful explanation.  In seam buttonhole instructions at Power Sewing by Sandra Betzina  
But what did I do incorrectly?  After figuring out all of these new details, I ended up reversing the button and buttonholes sides to the jacket. Hmmmmm.... Those four buttons are looking good but they will feel a little awkward each time I button them.  Luckily, no major issue for me....but easy to see why I'm not a fashion designer.
Next pics, the finished jacket.  


  1. It's grey, humid, and rainy here, too. Time to sew something bright I think. I laughed reading about your reversing the button and buttonhole sides because I could see myself there! Thanks for the link to in seam buttonholes. I look forward to seeing the finished jacket.

  2. In seam buttonholes, what a good idea! I hope you rediscovered some treasures when you sorted your buttons.

  3. I love buttons! I always collect them too, thinking I will use them up...and yet i always find an excuse to go out and get new ones for each project! I think I have an addiction! :D

  4. Beautiful buttons! And what a great idea to make in seam buttonholes. Reversing the button/buttonhole side is exactly the kind of thing I would do - there's a lot to think about and keep track of when sewing - especially when going 'off pattern'!

  5. In seam button holes, this is a marvellous idea!! Thank you so much for posting that link... (and thank you for your kind well-wishes too)


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