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Pondering buttonholes…

I have been pondering buttonholes…  but first let me tell you about one of the best Craftsy courses I have taken, Sew Better, Sew Faster, featuring a pattern from Islander Sewing Systems, Jacket Express #218.  (Not being paid to say this neither, just my opinion!)

I have taken about a dozen Craftsy courses – some free, some not. THIS Craftsy course is one of my favourites – and I only have two favourites so far, guess I’m a tough sell.

I have always wanted to make another jean jacket, this time not a BLUE jean jacket like the one I wore during Me Made May 2014.  My sister and I found this lovely fabric a while ago – an Annette Stretch Pique Print, 97% cotton 3% spandex. I pre washed it and it came out so soft.  So between that and the abstract flower design on the fabric, I love it.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Now I don’t want to go through the whole process step by step, but I thought I might give you some of the do’s and don’ts I discovered.

DO!  There are 19 pieces, make sure you cut on the right size line for each one because there are a lot of lines!  I think I messed up cutting out the most clearly marked piece – don’t know quite how I salvaged that one, but the fabric was very forgiving!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

DO!  When you cut out the fabric and interfacing, mine was fusible, make sure you haven’t cut out two right front facings – I did – good thing I had some of fabric and interfacing left over!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

DO! Use your 1/4″ seam foot and you blind hem foot for all the top stitching, if you have them.  It will be a lot easier and more uniform.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

The instructions were to topstitch two rows, one close to the edge of the jacket and one along the inside facing edge on the fronts and hem.  I wasn’t keen on doing that and just did my usual double row of topstitching.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

DO!  Watch the video, Ms. Pray has plenty of hints, and read the instruction booklet as you sew.  I made the pockets, gathering the edges as instructed, a new to me technique.  I ironed the pockets flat, then realized they were ironed with the wrong side in.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Their way was to put the pocket facing on the inside (obviously), instead of on the outside, so the right side would peek out from under the flap.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

DO!  Use the extra long marking lines and their easy instructions for welt pockets. Best I have ever made!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

After I ironed them, my welt pockets just melted into place like they belonged there.  DON’T get carried away with your topstitching and sew your pockets shut though!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

DO! the “Burrito” technique Ms. Pray demonstrates and describes.  An easy way to sew the back yoke to the front yoke.

DON’T run out of topstitching thread!  I did when I only had 2 more inches of topstitching left to do.  I panicked for a moment, then searched madly through my sewing supplies, then I found a spool of “Button and Craft” thread.  It was black so I gave it a shot.  I did that final 2 inches slowly and carefully, and it worked!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

And finally the buttons and the buttonholes..  I have never had my sewing machine behave so well – no … so beautifully – when sewing buttonholes.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

But when I finished all my buttonholes and hand sewed my buttons on, I had a nagging feeling that something was not quite right.  Then I realized it – all the button ups in my closet, handmade or RTW, all button up right over left.  I had finished my jean jacket left over right!

I checked the internet and learned a lot.  I found blogs on the subject from Tilly and the Buttons and The Cutting Class.  The Traditional way is right over left for women and left over right for men.  There are many explanations for this, but the most archaic explanation was – men were thought to dress themselves, so buttonholes were on the left to make it easy to button with the right hand.  Women were thought to be dressed by their servants, so buttonholes were on the right to make it easier for the servants to button.

This made me ponder my buttonholes… and, as I have an aversion to the archaic notion of “being dressed by servants”, I’m liking my new look!  I am very happy with my “New Favourite” Jean Jacket!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Happy Sewing! And to my fellow Canadian Sewists… Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

25 thoughts on “Pondering buttonholes…

  1. Thanks for all the tips, I too have bought that lesson, although I’ve watched the video and traced all the pieces I’ve yet to find my fabric.
    Yours looks fab, love your fabric choice 😀

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    • Thank you! Don’t you just hate it when you put something away “safe” and then can’t find it!! I love being able to watch videos on “how to”, especially if there are difficult parts or things I am not familiar with. It’s just my way of learning, I guess! Looking forward to seeing you jacket … when you find your fabric!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks great.
    You are right with the buttonhole thing and the reasons why. If I make for myself I will do right over left but I’m not too fussed. My mother on the other hand would not wear anything that had a left over right fastening.

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  3. That jean jacket is beautiful. I remember when you bought the fabric. When I read about not cutting out two right sides, it reminded me of the time when my daughter for Grade 9 sewing class had cut out 2 right pajama legs. We couldn’t figure out the problem until my husband came in and saw the pajama legs on the kitchen floor and said we had 2 right legs. We had to go out and buy more fabric. Great job on your jacket.

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    • Thank you! I spent YEARS sewing buttonholes on a zigzag machine… Up, across, down, across. Over and over! I used to practice with a sample of my fabric and then start somewhere on the garment that no one would see … Definitely not the top front ones! I still was picking out somme of them! Let’s say I was so happy to have a machine that does it all by itself!

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  4. Beautiful jacket and amazing topstitching! I had been looking at the craftsy courses and contemplating buying this one but I just wasn’t sure if it was worth it. Seems like it is! Personally I have never got the buttonhole thingie, so long as it does what its supposed to – left or right doesn’t matter :-).

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    • Thank you! If you are looking at this course specifically, double check the fit on your sleeves around the elbow. There might be too much fullness. I have taken many Craftsy courses and have a few favourites, so check for blogs, etc. before you buy, where sewists have done it already. Also if you become a free member they send sale emails, so if you are patient, you can get what you want for less! The buttonhole thing is just traditional, we should just do what we please! (Thanks for commenting, Hila!)

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  5. Your post is great, thank you for writing this up! I just bought this Craftsy class, the jackets were SO cute. And the pattern just arrived today. I’m cleaning up my sewing room before I attempt to open it up and lay it all out. 🙂 I’m an apple-shaped 2X/3X and have a hard time getting jean jackets that fit right. I love the idea of being able to make a bunch of them in different colors and patterns.

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