Finishing that friggin’ UFO … (Part 2)

I apologize for not posting sooner.  I did continue working on my Sister’s shirt/jacket during the last week, the final chapter of my Sister’s Sewing Projects, although I am sure she will eventually think of something else for me to do!  I am using Simplicity 5455, a pattern from 2003.  I started it here using two wonderful fabrics, a solid blue and a white “newsprint floral”, both made of 97% cotton and 3% spandex.  Things were rolling along nicely … until they came to a dead stop!  Why?


Let’s just say I probably spent THREE nights doing the buttonholes.  Only 5 buttonholes, yet THREE nights!  I must be the only person who freaks when it comes to sewing buttonholes.  I spent the first night thinking about their placement and drawing them in.  Over and over again.  Then a good TV show came on and I quickly packed everything up.

Then I spent the second night staring at what I had drawn in.  I stared for so long I started seeing actual words and sentences in the so called “newsprint floral” fabric.  My fabric was speaking to me.  (Tell me you see it too.)  I wasn’t too sure what my fabric was saying though.  Probably “Finish this friggin’ thing.  Will ya?”  But a good TV show came on and I quickly packed it all away!  (Sound like avoidance issues to you?)

The third night came.  Am I the only person who thinks of having a good stiff drink before tackling a nasty task?  

For Pete’s sake!  My sewing machine has a buttonhole foot.  All I have to do is set the machine on “50”, put the fabric under the foot and step on the foot control.

Unfortunately I have visions of putting the fabric in crooked or to close to the edge or too far from the edge or even on the left side instead of the right – don’t laugh, I have done it!  And what if you have to remove all those zig zag stitches?  Then the next challenge is cutting the silly things open and doing it without cutting the zig zag stitching.  Just think about this… you want me to cut 5 holes in the fabulous shirt/jacket I have just made?

Yes, I am probably over-reacting.  So, down goes the good stiff drink and away I go, for good luck, starting with the bottom buttonhole as is my usual habit … and what the heck was I so nervous about anyway?

In case you’re curious, I like to pull my threads through to the wrong side with a needle and tie them off strongly and properly underneath.  Another old habit.

So there you have it.  The guts of my Sister’s shirt/jacket – inside out to show off facing and bias tape.  I tried to make it as nice on the inside as on the outside.

The contrasting collar with the “newsprint floral” fabric.

This is the best representation of the actual shade of blue this shirt/jacket is made of.

An all around look!

My Sister will be visiting soon.  I do like this shirt/jacket.  I think she is going to have to pry it out of my white knuckled-clutching fingers, I love it so much!  If she succeeds in getting it away from me,  I will just have to make one for myself!

Do you have a sewing technique that drives you to drinking?  Do share!  Don’t let me remain the only crazy one!

Happy Sewing!

42 thoughts on “Finishing that friggin’ UFO … (Part 2)

  1. Glad you spent the time to make the inside as nice as the outside because last week I went to the doctor and after my appointment while redressing i never noticed that I had put my vest on inside out. It is a lined vest I made years ago that I still love and wear. I was at work for 2 hours before I realized it was inside out when I tried to put something in the pocket. Your extra work will be displayed with pride. Thanks sis for the new duds. The jacket looks great.

    1. Cute story! 😃 Do you realize that you just doubled your vest’s usage by discovering it’s reversible! 😃👍 I had fun with the jacket in all honesty. You picked out some great fabrics and we found just the right pattern. I can’t wait until the summer. I see another Fun Fabric Shopping Trip in our future! 😘

  2. It’s interesting when you said you started with the bottom buttonhole. You know I’m not a Sewist but an Illustrator. I think part of the nerves has to do with creating art/clothes for someone else. If you make a mistake and it’s for yourself, no big deal, no one will know. But someone else….. Back to the bottom buttonhole, I’ve had those same nerves when doing a car illustration. I don’t have a bottom buttonhole but I do have areas of black and that’s where I start colouring first to build up my confidence. Your buttonholes look great and I blew up the photo. Your jacket looks great. I love that newspaper print. Way to go.

    1. Great comparison! I know it bothers me if I make something just a bit sloppy but most times I say no one is going to notice it, except picky old me. Your right, if I’m making it for someone else it’s a real OMG moment! Thanks for the vote of confidence! 😃

  3. Love the jacket and the detail with the newsprint fabric inside and out is superb! I know exactly what you mean about buttonholes, I think that’s what I’m dreading the most about my husband’s shirt too along with constant worry that it won’t fit properly and thus he won’t wear it after all my efforts. I do keep trying it on him and all seems good, but it’s making me nervous. I’m always nervous making for others. Oh yes I definitely saw words in the print too btw x

    1. Thank you! I actually practiced the buttonholes a few times with the fabric scraps – same thickness – to reassure myself. I then started with one that I thought no one would notice. I’m sure your husband’s shirts are going to be fine since you are taking so much care with them! I look forward to seeing them! Now I just wish there were enough words there to make sense, not just to tease me!

      1. I hope so re shirt and don’t stare to much at the print finding full sentences as it might effect your eyes! X

  4. What an absolutely beautiful jacket. I hope your sister appreciates that it was such a labour of love. It is so neat and lovely on the inside. Got to agree about button holes. They give me the willies. I still have a few garments left to finish that are completed apart from them. Xx

    1. Thank you! Oh my sister appreciates me sewing for her in the best way… She buys me fabric (gives me some money which I use for fabric only)! The best form of appreciation! Now get on those buttonholes! We know you can do it and want to see what you have made! 😃👍

  5. What a fun jacket! Your collar points are so nice and sharp and the inside is lovely too! Yes, buttonholes can be scary and measuring and chalking and laying the buttons on the lines and then going away to have a drink all add to the suspense…but…what I hate the most…and would pay someone else to do…I know it sounds silly after working on the entire wedding gown is…the blasted hook and eye at the top of the zipper. It is the most tedious and precise function of the whole project…too far apart and the zipper has a gap, too close and the zipper buckles. We are a funny breed we sewers. Thanks for sharing your project and I am sure your sister will get loads of compliments!

    1. Thank you! Kind words coming from you with your fabulous wedding dresses! I understand what you mean about those hooks. Mine always buckle or gap unless I take extra extra care with them. They are not a quick thing to sew on! Thank you for stopping by for a chat!

  6. beautiful! I feelya with buttonholes, I dodged making buttoned garments for a very, VERY long time [like 3o years or so] becasue I’ve never had a machine that makes nice ones. Now I have my vintage Singer buttonhole attachent you can’t stop me…and I love making piped or bound ones too. Now, welt pockets terrify me *shudder*

    1. I have vintage buttonholers for my Singer sewing machines, actually one for each Singer. Way too much vintage around my house! I haven’t tried it yet. I’m sure there is going to be a learning curve with that too! Now I made an Islander Sewing Systems Moto jacket with a Craftsy course once and they pretty much beat the welt pocket technique into me, yet still that final cut into the fabric is scary!

  7. I usually hesitate before button holes, too – even though I’ve done them dozens of times. My latest procrastination was waiting a few months to sew the collar to the collar stand on the Sewaholic Granville shirt. I had a problem with it before and was hoping I wouldn’t have the same problem (stuff being too long/not lining up). Well, last night I tackled it and it still needed adjusting and unpicking but now I’m done and can move onto finishing the darn thing! I hate having WIPs around!

    Cheers to finishing our UFOs!

    1. Thank you! I haven’t done that Sewaholic pattern yet although I think I do own one. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I do it. Thanks for the tip! It’s such a great feeling of accomplishment when we work through these things though, isn’t it!

      1. It’s a great pattern and results in the best fitting button-down I’ve ever had. I think I only saw one other person with a collar issue online, so I’m going to take my original pattern pieces out and compare them to my traced ones… there’s a chance I made the goof-up! If not, I at least made notes as to which tweaks to make for next time!

        I’m happy to say that I’ve completed my buttonholes, but now I’m procrastinating on cutting them and adding buttons, LOL!

        1. Yes, notes are always a good idea! Cutting into the fabric is always the most difficult thing to do at any stage.

  8. I am more hesitant now that I have a machine with an automatic buttonholer. What if it stops half way?? It has done that. But I have found my solution. Snaps! I highly recommend them. Such fun to rip a shirt/jacket open too, rather than having to undo one button at a time 🙂

    1. Yes! I am at a fashion show today and they use all sorts of fabric – some of which cannot hold a buttonhole – so they have snaps ( big and small) on everything! Apparently it is fashionable! 😃👍

      1. I’m not surprised. I’ve seen cool, large plastic ones apparently for knitted garments. But they need to be sewn on. I like the hammer-the-sh*t-out- of them kind.

  9. I also hate making buttonholes. it is the last step and you can ruin your garment. To avoid cutting through the zigzag I always put a pin at the end so I am safe not to cut in the fabric.

    1. Yes, I had heard of that – one of the things I can never remember to do! Thank you for the tip!

  10. This looks amazing – hope your sister appreciates it! I have been much more relaxed about buttonholes since I got my new machine which just gets on and does them automatically! Occasionally I have had to unpick one that went wrong but it isn’t as horrible as you might think – unless the fabric is very fine! Though having said that – I still don’t have any buttons or fastenings on my green coat as I was worried about ruining it trying to sew through the thick fabric – I just hold it closed when it is windy!


    1. We are funny with our perfectionist ways, aren’t we? It’s got to be right and we know which garments might give us trouble so I guess the hesitation is understandable!

  11. This looks lovely and I love the fabric combinations! I hate doing buttonholes also, I seem to always have one that looks off from the others. Perhaps I should try your techniques of starting at the bottom and having a stiff drink! 🙂

    1. Thank you! My sister has seen the photos and she is very happy with it! I had my best buttonholes once when they were hidden in a shirt placket. The kind where there is an extra folded flap over the buttonholes. Apparently when I know no one can see them I do a better job!

  12. Those are NICE buttonholes {-; And I am glad there are so many good TV shows to enjoy 😀

    1. Thanks! I guess alcohol and sewing does mix! And TV shows are always good (to avoid doing something else), you know! 🙄

  13. Love the jacket, especially the lovely contrasting collar.
    I love buttonholes – no fears at all, but I’m terrified of zips. I look for ways to avoid them, I watch YouTube tutorials but I really wish thay didn’t exist. So no, you’re not the only one.

    1. Oh that’s great that your scared of zips! I am not alone! 😂 thank you for the compliments and the comments. Isn’t the sewing community fabulous!

  14. You’re definitely not alone (as this comment thread is proving!). I wish there were some way that buttonholes didn’t have to be the last step in a project. Like you, I worry about accidentally ruining something I’ve sunk whole days of my life into. And I’m going to put bar tacks on the list, too, after spending four hours wrestling with a pair of jeans that my machine didn’t want to stitch all the way through.

    1. That’s true! If I could put them in first the hard part would be over. If I mess up I know I can cut a new bodice piece! I saw in a course they advised hammering the living day lights out of thick layers of jeans so they would go through your machine. So then that brings me to my fear of bashing my thumb/fingers! Sewing is a vicious cycle of fears and pain, I tell you! 😂

      1. Maybe we should swap to a risk-free hobby like backgammon..?

  15. Well, you’re a perfectionist, I’m not surprised the buttonholes are nerve wracking, but the end result looks great. Good on you!!!!

    1. Hahaha! I’m doing it to myself I guess! Thank you for the compliment!

  16. Your sister is a lucky lady.
    If you use a seam ripper to open your buttonholes a pin where you want to stop at each end prevents disasters. I had a few before I learned that trick. And get those vintage buttonhole attachments tried – they are beyond fabulous once you get to grips with them. Never again will you be put off by a buttonhole!

    1. Great tip, Thanks! Next project – my pants/trousers – will be done on one of my vintage machines. The one waistband buttonhole with be done with the vintage buttonholer attachment. I’ve got some learning to do!

      1. They are worth the time spent learning – you get fabulous buttonholes every time!

  17. Great looking jacket. I love the newsprint floral. I have a shirt made of a similar print cotton except mine has insects on it and the words are in French. (I think)

    Crazy story: For most of my sewing life I have sewn exclusively on my grandmother’s antique treadle sewing machine. (Actually it’s been mine since I was 18 but I always call it “my grandmother’s) Anyway, I had a buttonholer attachment for it which strangely only made buttonholes for the hardest to find sizes of buttons. It broke about 20 years ago and that was the best thing that ever happened to me sewing-wise because I had to learn how to make buttonholes by hand, found it’s actually easy and fun. Well, a couple of years ago after more than 30 years sewing on the treadle machine and never feeling any lack I suddenly decided I wanted a modern machine so I could do zigzag and other fancy stitches. So I got a new Singer and after a while decided I might as well try doing buttonholes on it. It didn’t go well and so far I haven’t felt motivated to try again so I’m still doing buttonholes by hand. I use the new machine mainly for sewing knits and still use the treadle machine more.

    1. Insects and French, hmm, interesting. I have a few Vintage Sewing Machines and I can’t stand keeping “stuff” lying around. I am fixing and refinishing them all (as much as I have the time for) and plan on trying them all out. We shall see which I settle with. I have my Aunt’s treadle machine now. They are beautiful! Unfortunately the cabinet and treadle need a lot of work. Moving the wheel by hand creates a lovely noise as the machine sews though – so I am sure I will never part with that one! Happy to hear you enjoy your machine!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close