Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Bound Buttonholes!

You didn’t think I was going to miss an opportunity to play with bound buttonholes, did you?!

I generally like to do these before construction of any kind begins.  This way there is less fabric to manipulate.  Rotating an almost-finished-garment 360 degrees through a sewing machine is not very much fun!  And if, heaven forbid, something terrible happens, only one piece has been destroyed (not an entire garment). 

Before working on the bodice, I made myself a test buttonhole.    

Hair canvas was basted to each bodice front as an interfacing.  

Next, buttonhole placement was marked in chalk on the wrong side and hand basted so it shows up on the right side (where bound buttonholes are applied).

This step always reminds me of the Dior 2005 Couture collection . . .

 and this Hermes dress from the 50s.

The same thing is done on the facings (although I faced those with silk organza).  And just for fun, I went ahead and started with the buttonhole windows on the facing before the actual bodice buttonholes for extra practice.  

There have been lots and lots of squares cut out.

And when I remember, I try to remove basting thread as soon as it is no longer necessary.

Everything looks like it matches up!

The same process is repeated on the bodice front.

More squares of fabric!

Pins hold the fabric squares in place over the organza window.

The one step that baffled me when I started messing around with bound buttonholes is securing the squares to the garment.  Push the fabric to one side to reveal those tiny triangles.  Secure by basting through the fabric, organza, and triangle.  This keeps everything from shifting about.

Because I always cut my squares with room to spare, I have to trim and grade them down where they overlap.  Then I like to catch-stitch the flaps to the interfacing (this helps to keep everything in place). 

Now it is time to start the bodice construction!  Well, actually, there are underarm gussets to contend with first . . .

[Britex has generously provided the fabric and sewing supplies for a dress I will be wearing to a formal event in October.  I will be sharing some of the steps and construction techniques with you as I work on this project over the next couple of months.]


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this process. I have learned so much from your photos

  2. What an amazing tutorial!! It's so very timely that you should do this as I was just reading up all about them yesterday on the internet. I'm also looking for one of those nifty button hole tools. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Excelent, great tutorial. Thank you