Bound Button Hole Practice

Also known as, damn – I’m very proud of myself!

You all know I was swapping out regular old button holes for the glitz and glam slightly couture bound buttonhole.  There is no way on this earth that I was going to hack holes in my gorgeous wool and cashmere blend fabric without testing this brand new to me technique out first.

I’ve had Karen’s Bound Buttonhole eBook since she launched it.  I bought it as it was a technique I wanted to try out ‘some day’ and because I love reading her blog and wanted to support her self-published effort.  Being completely frank, without that little eBook there is no way this would have turned out as beautifully as it has.  If you haven’t done so already, buy her book. It will stand you in excellent stead when you want to use this technique.

Bound Buttonholes 1

Because the Milano Cape pattern by Papercut isn’t designed with bound button holes in mind, there aren’t any markings to help other than where to make a button hole.  So I needed to determine the width of the button hole myself.  Using the notes in Karen’s book I measured the width and depth of my button and added a smidge to determine how wide it should be.  I included the shank in my measurements and I’m not sure that I should have done.  Anyone with more experience than my one button hole have any advice on this?!

Even though this was just a practice I carefully thread basted my lines after marking them with chalk to make things easier (and whilst I photographed that step I haven’t included it in my collages – doh!).  I did deviate from the prescribed welt size as I wanted something chunkier.  Instead of cutting them 2cm wide (making each lip 0.5cm) I cut them 4cm wide so that each lip was 1cm.  I like these proportions better.

Other than that, I did exactly as I was told and I am seriously happy with the outcome.  To say this practice run has increased my confidence by a billion miles is an understatement.  I now know that my buttons will fit, that the fabric presses beautifully (and smells like wet dog whilst doing so – wool, I do love you!) and that I can totally and utterly make eight of these bad boys in the real thing (eek!).

Bound Buttonholes 2

Little win, big happy!

I’ve also got to recommend the button covering service I used.  I posted the cheque, order form and fabric at 22:00 on a Tuesday night and when I came home on the THURSDAY they were on my doorstep!  It cost me £8.00 to have ten of these dual dome buttons made which to me is an absolute steal.  In short, if you’re in the UK and want the most beautifully covered fabric buttons then I can’t recommend www.buttoncovering.co.uk enough.

Next step in Mission Milano is pre-treat what feels like miles of wool/cashmere fabric which I’m too chicken to lob in the tumble dryer with a wet towel!  Anyone got any film or series recommendations that I can watch whilst I steam a mother load of fabric?!

And… Have you heard the By Hand London news? They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to start printing fabric! I’ve made a pledge… It’d be great if you can help too. You all know that I have some serious love for those patterns (2 more rides and Flora is mine!).

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The Plans of an Ambitious Seamstress, Wife and Mother Will Often go Awry!

I had such plans for this weekend, sewing wise.  And I achieved very little of it.  Here’s what I was planning to do:

Pre-wash satin butterfly fabric for Pendrell blouse
Fine tune the Pendrell pattern after making adjustments to the muslin I made an eon ago
Cut out Pendrell x 2 for a bit of production line sewing
Grade Beignet pattern
Pre-wash Beignet fabric
Choose a fabric for the facing as the main fabric is quite heavy / thick and pre-wash that
Attach waist to circle skirt

Nothing huge, just lots of little bits.  It didn’t get done as we went out for the day on Saturday to Bewilderwood which is local to us and great for the boy, and then yesterday was catching up with the housework followed by being in bed at 7:30pm.  I’m so rock n’ roll!

The only thing I did manage was pre-washing the butterfly satin fabric.  At about 5pm last night.  I’m not sure what the fabric is made from, although I suspect cotton or cotton/rayon.  It went through on a 40′ wash and has survived, anyway!

Really dark blue fabric and teal buttons for Beignet

And I’ve managed to get the main fabric into the washing machine this morning for Beignet.  I think its a fabric called moleskin, it’s cotton (well it said pre-wash as per cotton on it, it was from  the sample rail at my local fabric store) and has a brushed look to it.  Clare Schaeffer’s fabric sewing guide doesn’t provide a lot of information on it other than referring you to the velvet section?!

The buttons are from my stash and are a dark teal colour.  Do you think this will work or should I invest in some navy ones?  I’ll line it in navy, but fancy a contrast for the facings, in a lighter weight fabric.  Is that living a little too dangerously, or if I go for a dark teal would that work?  Also, I’m considering bound buttonholes – have I totally lost the plot?!  It’d be a good workout for the buttonhole tool…  Anyone who’s already made this pattern have any words of wisdom?

Anyway, this evening I hope to get the waistband onto my circle skirt so that I can leave it to hang for a couple of days (to let the bias in the fabric to settle down) before I embark on the epic amount of sewing that will be involved in the hem!  And whilst it hangs I may be able to get on with some of the things I didn’t get round to this weekend?

Oh. WOW!

Image from Casey's Blog

OK, the start of my week was pretty Meh.  I’ve been back to the hospital to see the consultant about the Prolactinoma and it’s as rubbish as ever and the drugs are here to stay for a considerable while longer.  Then at lunch time I had two visits from companies we’re in dispute with regarding damage to our kitchen floor (that was laid in June) which was caused when our washing machine (that was less than 4 months old) broke and was subsequntly repaired.  To put it mildy I felt pretty down in the dumps yesterday, verging on sorry for myself and pretty close to tearful.

And then I got an email.  From Casey.  Yep, THAT Casey.  Of Casey’s Elegant Musings.  Just to say that I’d won the Dritz Bound Buttonhole tool from the giveaway she held on her blog.

This was a beautiful ray of sunshine in a very very grey day.

And today, in my feeder, this has popped up from Colette!  I love Colette patterns anyway (must start to sew some of the ones lurking in my stash…) and this is due out in November, so it’s on the birthday list…  You can pre-order from Amazon (US and UK), but I’m resisting at the moment as I’m really hoping that with some very unsubtle hinting I’ll be presented with a copy of my very own…

I’m still toying with the idea of the Rooibos Sew Along, but it will have to be a catch up rather than keeping pace.  I STILL haven’t started my Lonsdale!