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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've talked a bit about my obsession with buttonholes here:
https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/vintage-singer-buttonhole-attachment-discovery-10167439

My latest project - a linen shirt for DH - had me do some more exploration.  I think the most technically difficult part in making a shirt is putting in those tiny tiny buttonholes right at the collar point.

I wanted to see if my Necchi Supernova had any improvements regarding buttonholes compared to my Singer buttonhole attachment (#121795 - the older one without templates).  In short,  the Necchi could not give me the adjustments I needed to make a very tiny, thin buttonhole that I needed for the collar point.  I did use my Necchi SN for the buttonholes for the rest of the shirt just to experience using this technique.  I much prefer either the Singer buttonhole attachment (either the template on non-template one).  Although the Necchi buttonholes are not too ugly and they don't have that awful square shape - each one is done manually and it's impossible to get the exact same size.  Plus the bight (width of stitch) and cutting space are not as customizable.  I think the Necchi would be great for a lot of applications where you just need to do one buttonhole and don't have a lot to match up.  In the older Necchi instruction book there is info on making two types of buttonholes - one the standard way and the second is a very lovely "rolled" effect using an 80- wt bobbin thread with a light bobbin tension and high upper tension.  This second way looked nice but I couldn't get the exact narrowness I was aiming for.

What worked for me for the collar buttonholes is a very fine thread (silk wt 50), lower bobbin tension, and very fine bight and cutting space adjustment.  I used tear-away stabilizer and spray starch to add stabilization to the tiny point; and needle was a size 12 microtex. The result is a fine buttonhole that almost mimics a hand-done one since the bobbin tension is light and one gets a slight rolled effect.

The best buttonholes, I think, can be done by adjusting tension, thread, needle accordingly along with the obvious of size, cutting space, and bight.  

The tiny buttonhole is the Singer one.  The others are all done by my Necchi SN using the buttonhole cam (shirt construction done on Singer 101):
collar buttonhole open.jpg  necchi buttonhole close.jpg  linen shirt done.jpg  linen shirt complete.jpg     



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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #2 
Reviewing the Singer instructions for buttonhole attachment 121795- they refer to what I was describing as "purl" buttonholes.  They do very much resemble hand-made buttonholes because due to the lower bobbin tension, the lockstitch is drawn to the top of the buttonhole stitch.  I also should mention that I get variation in results depending on the brand of needle - with the vintage singer needles seeming to work the best - is this crazy?  The Organ brand also is very consistent.  I don't notice any difference with general sewing with either my Singer 101 or Singer 15-91 with different needle brands - only experience this using the buttonhole attachment.

Anyway,  here's a better photo of the purl buttonhole from the shirt collar:

purl buttonhole.jpg 




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pgf

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have absolutely nothing to add.  But I love reading about your quest.  :-)
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Mrs. D

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Reply with quote  #4 
Beautiful work Chaly.  Perfection.
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you for sharing about buttonhole techniques. A gorgeous custom made shirt!
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
Thank you for sharing about buttonhole techniques. A gorgeous custom made shirt!


It's helpful for me also to document my techniques for future reference - and this is a great platform for me to consult - since I don't always put everything I do in my own personal notebook.  And then the info can be used by others as they may possibly explore these types of projects using the vintage machines and attachments.  I find there's reference material for using these tools but by far they are vintage and don't take into account contemporary uses- both projects and modern available materials (such as needle and thread types/brands, fabrics, etc.).

I would eventually like to compile all this info into one resource for myself and I've been asked to teach classes at ASG - so lot's always to do.  I'm thinking to start with a sew-along project and make it into some kind of online format. In this way, the participants can learn from each other and the results can be archived for future reference.
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #7 
While I have no doubt that Steve expects to keep this forum running for a very long time, relying on it as long-term storage might not be the best plan. :-)  I checked, and he forum is being archived, sporadically, at the Internet Project (archive.org), but I think without images, and possibly incomplete in other ways.

VSS is, indeed, an incredible resource!

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #8 
Excellent point, Paul.  It's always wise to have one's data in multiple locations.
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