Buttonhole Basics: How to sew buttonholes like a pro


Sewing buttonhole can be a difficult task, but if you have the machine that can support buttonhole electronic features can make the life whole lot easy for you.

Any machine which can sew a zigzag stitch can sew a buttonhole also. Low end machines offer 1 or 2 buttonhole style while the high end machines like singer 9960 can offer up to 13 styles of buttonholes.

 What is a buttonhole?

A buttonhole consists of two sides and two ends, sides keep the edges from raveling and edges keep the fabric from tearing when it spreads around the button.

When one end of the buttonhole of is round that is called keyhole buttonhole this provides space for shake backed button. Keyhole buttonhole can only be placed horizontally on the garment.

 Buttonhole test:

Before you sew a buttonhole on a fabric it is good idea to sew a test buttonhole on the same fabric with exactly the same number of layers. Test will allow you to have breathing space so you won’t make mistake on original garment. You will need to test the location, size and stretchiness of buttonhole stitches to be satisfactory before making final product.

You need to mark the buttonhole placement; pattern can come in handy for this. However you are allowed to change the placement of buttonhole on your garment to have different look.

 How to determine the exact distance between buttonholes:

First of all identifies the two end marks for extreme buttonholes. This will depends upon the size of your buttons and style. Once you know how far apart your two buttonholes will be, then you can position any measuring tool at the same distance.

There are varieties of measurement tools to ensure the equally distributed space between buttonholes like pre-mark tape which can be attached to the garment. This is particularly useful for beginners as you can sew the buttonhole right through it and then remove this tape afterwards.



How to fold, sew and press tucks

A tuck is a stitch fold in fabric usually sews in same pattern. Here is how to fold, sew and press tucks.

For each tuck plan a step times three one, two and three plus the width you want in between stitches lines and next fold which may varies, Here is the basic approximations for light weight fabric which is 1/16th inch and for heavy fabric it could be approximately 1/8th inch to accommodate the turn of cloth.


Mark each fold line the 1/16th inch or 1/8th inch depending on type of fabric using either a chalk, basting stick or fabric marker. Next press the crisp crease along the first mark tuck fold then sew the tuck use the sewing machine stitch plate as a guide generally one fourth to three eight deep tuck works well.

If you have to sew the extra wide tucks then you can either paste the tape on the stitch machine plate as a guide or you can use the cloth guide for same.  Both tape and cloth guide assist you in sewing the same distance form the fold each time you sew a tuck. In this way you can sew professionally looking same distance tucks every time you sew.

After you stitched press the tuck to the side then sew the next tuck in the same way and repeat until all the tucks are sewn.  When you sewn all of the tucks press them with iron form fabric’s right side hold the material tight and glide the iron in the same direction of the tucks.

Here is the tip sew some perpendicular lines along the tucks to hold the layers of fabrics together while you assemble the garment.

Sew the tucks before you cut the pattern piece and remove the perpendicular basting after the garment finished. This is how you can make beautiful straight tucks every time you sew.

Finished tuck can look like this:

finished tucks



Which machine should you buy? Singer 9960 vs. Brother Cs6000i

There are several benefits for the Singer 9960 and the Brother Cs6000i that you should look over before making a decision as to which machine you should buy. We will take a look at the benefits of both as well as some cons to give you the best idea for the machine you should buy.

singer 9960

The Singer 9960 offers 600 stitch patterns that are already programmed into the machine which is one of the attractive features of this machine. It also offers 13 automatic one-step button holes in addition to a buttonhole underplate. These features will assist you in giving your completed projects a professional look. The Singer 9960 is great for every level of sewer whether you are a beginner or a professional seamstress you will be able to complete projects in a quick and easy manner. Other features of the machine include being able to thread the needle in an easier fashion, being able to select the width and length of your stitches so that they are programmed automatically, and stitch editing capabilities.

The Singer 9960 offers a large display LCD screen that contains the stitch pattern, the length and width settings and even gives a recommendation as to which pressure foot you should use. The StayBright LED light is ideal for use on darker fabrics when sewing and will last for 100,000 hours. There are also built-in stretch stitches which is ideal for sewing on knitwear and super-stretch fabrics. Sewers also have the option of using the automatic locking stitch function which allows tying off of decorative stitches that have been used in order to prevent unraveling.

The Brother CS6000i also offers its own set of benefits such as being an embroidery machine as well as a sewing machine. This machine offers more of a computerized sewing approach. It offers 60 built in stitches with 7 varying styles of 1-step buttonholes. Other features of the Brother CS6000i include a quilting table, a hardcover and weighs only 16 pounds for easy travel.

brother cs6000i

  The work area on the Brother CS6000i offers a bright work area which is beneficial if you are working with darker fabrics and a free arm that is built into the machine for sewing sleeves and cuffs on sewing projects. The sewing speed of the machine is also adjustable which is ideal if you don’t want to use the pedal for every project that you’re working on. There is also an automatic needle threader in addition to a quick set drop in bobbin.

As you can see, there are many useful features for both of these machines. If you would prefer a bigger selection of stitches to choose from then the Singer 9960 is the machine that would better suit your needs. However, if you wanted less stitches but more options for embroidery, then the Brother CS6000i is the ideal sewing machine for you.

Both machines do offer automatic needle threading and drop-in bobbin winding which is a useful feature for any sewer as well as the backlight which allows the sewer to see better when working with darker fabrics.