I love machine embroidered buttonholes! Why? Control. Machine embroidered buttonholes give me total control over the length of the buttonhole and the placement. Starting with a digital file guarantees perfect duplicates since I don’t have to guide the fabric under the foot.
So let’s take a look at how easy it is to create custom buttonholes in Perfect Embroidery Pro.
Once you update your software you’ll find a new icon on the top tool bar, a button (it’s easy to update, just say yes when the New Update available window appears).
Click on the drop down menu to access five completely customizable buttonholes, keyhole, round1, round2, standard narrow and standard.
Select your favorite and click the mouse on the screen. Your first buttonhole appears. I chose keyhole – that hard-to-mimic classic buttonhole!
With the buttonhole selected, click on the Properties box to access the height and density settings. After measuring the diameter of your actual button, add a small amount (such as .10 of an inch) for the length of the buttonhole. Enter that measurement in the height box and click apply.
Naturally, you must make a test buttonhole on the same fabric as the final garment. Include the identical interfacing, facing or lining on the sample. You can’t cheat here – it’s the only way to guarantee positive results and this is when you’ll tweak the length if necessary.
Hoop crisp or lightweight tear-away stabilizer as it tears cleanly. Once hooped, draw a straight line down the length of the hoop to use as an alignment mark for the garment edge. Spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive.
Advance to the first stitch to see what end of the buttonhole will stitch first. You want to stitch the end closest to the edge first and sew away from the edge. The fabric will not bulge next to the seam if you do this (a frequent occurrence in manual buttonholes). Rotate or mirror image the design if necessary. Stitch the test version.
Remove from the hoop and tear away the stabilizer. Use a seam ripper or a chisel and wood block to open the buttonhole. If using the seam ripper method, insert a pin at one end of the stitch to avoid slicing beyond the buttonhole.
Or place the buttonhole over a wood block, and insert the chisel into the space between the satin stitching. Press down to cut the fabric. Insert the button into the hole checking for ease. If the button slides in freely, you’re all set. If not, go back to Perfect Embroidery Pro and adjust the buttonhole.
Once you’re satisfied with the buttonhole, it’s time to stitch it on the garment. Measure the distance from the garment edge to the end of the buttonhole. For pleasing proportions, it’s best to leave a space between the end of the buttonhole and the garment edge that is half the diameter of the button. For the 2” buttonhole, move the end of the design 1” from the garment edge. Stitch the design.
Buttonhole Placement: It can be challenging to determine evenly-spaced buttonhole placement. For garments, mark the widest point of the bust and the top of the garment. Fold the garment, meeting the top mark to the bust mark. Place a third mark at the fold. You now have the positions for the top three buttons. Measure the distance between two buttons. Use that measurement to mark the remainder of the buttons below the bust point.
Fuzzy Fibers: Place a piece of fusible web (protective paper removed) over the buttonhole area. Stitch the buttonhole. Tear away the excess fusible web. Press the buttonhole with a hot steam iron to melt the fusible web into the satin stitches. Once cooled, cut open the buttonhole. The fusible web will tame the fuzzy fibers.
Other great updates this month include smoother icons, the Monogram, Motif and Applique buttons are now found under the Text designs icon and the lasso button is now under the Select Tool. All of these improvements streamline the screen – you’ll be comfortable in no time!
Enjoy January’s update!