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When Your Button Doesn't fit in The Foot!

I revisited Vogue1986 Claude Montanna Vogue Designer top and decided to use some large buttons I had in my collection. The last time I made this top was in the days before machines had the luxury of sensor buttonholes


 Many computerised machines have instructions that don't use the auto setting, so check your manual.

Janome sell a foot specially for making long buttonholes, it's also brilliant for those tricky, bulky places like collar bands.

These instructions work for one of my Janome machines, that starts with a bar tack, reverses up one side before straight stitching back to the beginning, then stitching the second side, finally bar tacking. Some machines create buttonholes in a slightly different order, but the principle will be the same. Do some practice buttonholes to see when you need to touch the buttonhole sensor.

So, how do you make a buttonhole when the button doesn't fit in the buttonhole foot?


A large buttonhole will need stabilising, especially when using knit fabrics. So prepare your fabric with a suitable interfacing between the layers.

Measure the diameter(the widest part) of your button and add 5mm. This will be the length of the buttonhole.

Mark the exact position and size of the buttonhole on your fabric.

I've used chalk. There are many ways you can do this:

* thread tracing is accurate, but the thread can be difficult to remove

* water or air soluble marker are great, but check they really do disappear from your fabric before drawing on the right side of it

* the same applies to Frixion pens

* tear away stabilisers can be good as you can draw on them, but getting the exact position on the fabric can be tricky.

Use your applique/embroidery foot and select the sensor buttonhole.

Most importantly pull down the buttonhole sensor that is positioned to the left of the presser foot, however its essential not to touch this or allow the fabric to bunch up against it.

Place your fabric under the foot, carefully lower the needle to check it is starting stitching exactly on the horizontal line.


Start machining the first side of the buttonhole and stop when the needle reaches the second horizontal line. Push the buttonhole sensor lever away from you. Continue stitching. The Janome does a straight stitch back to the starting point. Stop at the first horizontal line. 

Pull the buttonhole sensore foot towards you. Stitching again makes the second side of the buttonhole.


Stop level with the end of the first line of zig zag stitching, push the sensor away from you and stitch the final bar tack.



One supersized buttonhole!

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