Bound Buttonholes

WILD Wednesday is back and this week we are learning about Bound Buttonholes. This has so far been the single most confusing lesson from the Woman’s Institute Library of Dressmaking, and was made even more confusing by referencing welted pockets, which we haven’t done yet, because we are still on buttonholes.

But here’s the rough draft. In addition to your jacket (or vest, or blouse, or dress, or whatever you are making that requires this nightmare), you need the binding piece of fabric. The binding piece should be marked in the same way as the main piece. Now, if you are doing the whole thing by hand, you can probably forego the basting stitch in favor of stitching the binding piece to the main piece. If, however, you intend to use your machine to actually stitch the binding down, then baste the binding in place so it doesn’t slip around as you stitch. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT catch the back facing piece in any of this. The back facing should be free from the organza/front piece/binding. The back gets cut and finished separately for aesthetic reasons.

Stay stitching.

Stay stitching.

I myself did NOT make the connection between hand stitching and not needing basting stitches, so here I remove the basting stitches. Next you CAREFULLY cut open the slit most of the way, stopping the cuts about 1/8” from the short end of the buttonhole, where you cut to the corners in stead. Pull the binding through to the back, like so:

This is so awful I was sure I was doing it wrong.

This is so awful I was sure I was doing it wrong.

Note that the facing piece is NOT caught in any of these stitches. Once you have pulled the binding through, return to the front side and carefully roll/tease the binding on either side of the slit. Baste these two sides together and carefully stitch in the ditch around the edge of the binding. Have a shot of whiskey, at this point, you’ve earned it.

Once you have stitched your binding in place, turn the piece over and carefully cut away the excess binding.

Carefully cut away to approximately 1/4” to 1/2” from buttonhole all around.

Carefully cut away to approximately 1/4” to 1/2” from buttonhole all around.

Next, pull the back facing over and cut the slit in back in the same manner as for front, meaning two Y’s connected at the center line. CAREFULLY roll the edges slightly under and stitch in place as you go.

Have another shot of whiskey, once you cut open the basting on front, you’re done!

Have another shot of whiskey, once you cut open the basting on front, you’re done!

So apparently, buttonholes are not my thing. I prefer the line it up on the machine and push a button kind of buttonhole. For the video escapade of the above badly written instructions, follow the link:

WILD Wednesday means more buttonholes, this week BOUND buttonholes. I hate buttonholes. Lucky for me, this is the LAST buttonhole I have to make that doesn't involve touching a button on my Baby Lock.