buttons

Sunday Shopping


I signed up for Sew Colette, Part 2, starting this month with Hazel, and picked up some fabric but didn’t have the pattern yet.  So Sunday I treated myself to a little shopping spree at Hart’s Fabric cause I knew they carry Colette patterns.
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Sunday happened to be a warm day here in Santa Cruz, and I thought to myself, “Gosh, it sure would be nice if I owned some shorts that fit.”  And that’s how I ended up purchasing the Iris pattern, suiting fabric and buttons.

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Granted, suiting fabric is far from a summer favorite, but I just really liked this Calvin Klein pin-striped gray suiting.  It’s fairly light for being a suiting fabric, and it just doesn’t get that hot here on the coast.  So that’s right, I’m making summer shorts with a wool blend fabric.  (And if they are a success, I’m sure I’ll be running back to the store for some cotton!)

I spent way too much time picking out the buttons, and when I finally found some that suited my needs, I was disappointed they were $2 each!  Is that not a lot for a single button?!  Well I really liked them and couldn’t settle for second best, so I splurged on the 4 buttons for this pattern ;)  I’m not totally convinced I even want to use the button version of the pattern… so we’ll see how that goes.

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I’ve been wanting to make more blouses and thought I’d try my hand at the Violet pattern since I’m on a Colette roll at the moment.  I already had the rayon challis fabric, and it seemed like it would be great blouse material.  I originally was thinking of using it for a dress, but I know I’ll get more use out of separates.  (These buttons were a much more satisfying $.45/ea ;)

I didn’t get any sewing done this last weekend, but shopping was a lot of fun, and now I’m set to sew the next few weekends!

Tell me, what’s the best deal you ever got on buttons?  I think I need to start collecting…

Machined Buttons

I have yet to learn the technique of hand sewn button holes.  Honestly I’m just happy to get a decent looking button hole that’s functional from my machine.  I was feeling pretty proud of this set of button holes.
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So proud in fact, I decided I should let the machine sew the buttons on too!
Hand sewing buttons to a garment has always seemed like the right thing to do.  I never thought I needed a machine to do the job for me.  But after making my first button up blouse, I realized I’m really slow at hand sewing on buttons.  And they look a tad messy.

While flipping through my sewing machine manual, I noticed the instructions for sewing buttons on by machine.  Hmmm… so you can do that, huh?  (Sewing buttons by hand is so obvious, but how would I do them on a machine?!)  I decided to give it a try, just to learn something new and see how they turned out.

I always wondered what the little plastic plate that came with all the presser feet was for–now I know.
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The plastic piece snaps into place over the feed dogs so that you can sew in one place, without the fabric feeding through.

The special presser foot is designed to fit on top of a button, holding it securely in place.

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The process was so easy–first, using the straight stitch pattern, make a few anchoring stitches in the right side hole.  Next adjust the stitch pattern to zig zag, adjusting the width of the stitch pattern to fit into the left hole and stitch about 10 stitches back and forth.  Then go back to the straight stitch to send a few more anchoring stitches through to finish.  That’s it.
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So far I am happy with the results–the buttons look uniform, and it was much quicker (for me) to use the machine than to sew by hand.  Only time will tell how well the machined buttons hold up compared to hand stitched ones.

What method do you use?  Any tips and tricks for hand sewing would be appreciated; I intend to keep practicing both methods.

The garment shown here is my reversible skirt–details to come, just as soon as I can get pictures of both sides.