There are (and probably always will be) two sewing skills that I will struggle with for my entire sewing career. I may have become much better at executing this skills, however, I don’t think I will ever get over the stress associated with them. What are these most painful parts of my sewing? Well, they are zippers and buttonholes. I don’t like them. I don’t enjoy them. And they most definitely are something that I wish I could avoid. However, I can’t and I have come to a tentative peace agreement with them, and am working hard to gain more confidence. So in a step to get over my fear, I have decided to create a whole post on one of these areas….the buttonhole.
Despite my personal feelings about them, buttonholes have longed been used to add interest to gowns in addition to their more practical use of closing up the garment. When I first began sewing, and began my struggle with buttonholes on the machine, I thought it would be easier to learn to hand sew them. While it was a bit less stressful, it was a painfully long process and only looked appropriate on gowns that were pre-sewing machine (1850’s and back.) So when I upgraded to my current machine, I was delighted to find that it came with a button foot that mechanically inserted the buttonhole. While I was no longer left to keep an eye on the length and width of the stitch, I still found it tricky to keep the foot from not bunching up the fabric or going sideways. Practice and time has solved most of these issues, and I am happier with the finished product…mostly! 🙂
Last year, I put my newly found confidence to work when I created an 1880’s blue gown which featured velvet buttons down the front. I think I sweated through that process for a good 40 minutes!
Despite my short comings, I still love the look of buttons in different shapes and sizes!
Here are some of my favorite examples!
I love the graduated size of the buttons down the front of this 1860’s gown.
I can’t imagine the time that went in to creating this front panel with all the buttons. I can’t quite tell if the buttons are just sewn on, or there they are poking out through buttonholes. Either way, this 1870’s gown is awesome!
Another example of various button sizes on the bottom half of this 1880’s gown.
I adore the brown gown with the buttons that go all the way down one side.
While not as daunting as the above example, I love the bling these buttons add this this evening gown from the 1900’s.
This pattern for a 1930’s dress, shows the appeal of buttons and angles.
I love every single thing about this 1950’s dress!! Every single piece!!!
This 1950’s wrap gets an extra helping of fun from the unique placement of buttons!
So whether you are a buttonhole master, or, like me, working your way to apprenticeship, I hope you appreciate the appeal they can offer!