Thursday, January 14, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Lori, Gwen, Cindy, Carla, Julie, Petra, Patsijean, Webfrau, Alison, Faye, Mary, Gaylen, Meredith, Summerset, Claire and Sanhan for talking back to my confession last Friday! I asked how people open their buttonholes.

Ten people use a dedicated tool called a buttonhole cutter or chisel (see picture above).

Okay, since when is there a dedicated tool for opening buttonholes?!?! I feel I have been denied, critical, need-to-know information! What other cool tools are you guys using that I have never heard of? ;)

Other approaches included:
- Seam ripper (regular or surgical): 3
- Xacto knife or other retractable razor blade: 3
- Tiny snips or needlework scissors: 3
- Combination of seam ripper and tiny snips: 1

As usual, I also got some excellent tips:

Webfrau folds the buttonhole in half and uses tiny needlework scissors to start the hole.

Petra uses a seam ripper, but she works from each end to the middle, rather than from the middle to the ends.

Faye sews all of her buttonholes twice, and she loves the way those look.

The “tip of the day” award goes to Gwen, who recommended applying fray check to the inside of the buttonhole (both sides) with the head of a pin (Alison uses q-tips) before opening it. Some others (3) do this too, but lots of people commented that it was a new idea and they were going to adopt it posthaste.

And a couple of people recommended using fray check on the back side of buttons, to prevent them from coming off down the line.

Speaking of fray check, Meredith hinted that she has quite a story that ends with the moral of “Don’t apply fray check directly from the bottle!” if we are interested in hearing it. Count me in! So, Meredith, why not?

Gwen also suggested using colored markers if the interfacing shows around the inside edges of the buttonhole.

Finally, Sanhan, I hope you did not inadvertently doom your next buttonhole by mentioning your success to date! Knock on wood! ;)

Thanks again to everyone! I’m always surprised by how seemingly minor questions can bring forth so much good advice! :)


Shannon said...

I meant to post this on your original post about this, but forgot. My aunt taught me to stick the tip of the seam ripper back up through the fabric at the end of the button hole, so you cannot accidentally rip through the end.

meredithp said...

I don't have a specific story that I remember details. I just vaguely remember (30+ years ago!) when I first encountered Fray Chek, someone mentioning not to apply it directly. And of course, I didn't see why (I was young) and may have globbed it all over something. My guess is that I used a lot of rubbing alcohol (not really a solution) and kept that item buttoned? I just know any time I use Fray Chek now, I put it on scrap objects (paper, magazines, cardboard) and an enormous amount comes out, and I go "dink dink dink" to apply it with a pin. Sound effects help :-)

As to when I got my first (and only) buttonhole cutter, it was when I got my Bernina 930. Buttonholes were SO narrow, scissors where too big. That was around 1980. God, I'm old!