I will jump right into a project with ten or twelve bound buttonholes, but ask me to use a machine to make a buttonhole and you are going to have to drag me kicking and screaming all the way. In an attempt to get over this ridiculous paranoia, I decided to stretch my sewing skills and give my machine (and myself) a chance.
I tried using my Bernina machine to make buttonholes for this project a few years ago, and it was a failure. Thank goodness they did not show . . . I managed to tear through one while ripping it open with the sharp tool that came with the machine and looks like a seam ripper, and the other never reversed itself while being stitched so I tried to use a manual setting and fix the mess with not much success. The buttonhole foot has been banished from the sewing room ever since.
After a couple of practice runs this past weekend, I had a decent buttonhole that could be duplicated. Hooray! Time to try my new buttonhole cutter set! The brand new cutter is not sharp, and attempting to cut through a mid-weight cotton did not work at all. The Bernina instruction guide suggests using a hammer, so I tried that. The hammer created a slight tear so I used some sharp scissors to complete the opening.
On the third try, this is what happened.
So much for my brand new buttonhole cutter kit. I posted some of these images on Instagram and had some very helpful suggestions which leads me to believe I got a dud.
Just for kicks, I tried out the eyelet punch that comes with the kit. And it works great. So I am going to blame this one on bad tools, not user error (which is generally my first assumption).
I know I have heard of using Fray Check to keep all of the raw bits from shredding once the buttonhole is cut open. Does anyone do that? Does it make the buttonhole too stiff?
While doing some internet research, I came across a suggestion to pin across the bar tack before cutting or ripping the buttonhole open which seems like an excellent suggestion that I am going to try. I would love to hear any other tips or tricks from any machine buttonhole experts out there!