Tag Archives: buttonholer


Springy coat---now with collar!

So yesterday I took the opportunity afforded by my kids’ last day off school to sew shamelessly. I caught up on the RTW Tailoring sewalong. I washed most of my new finds. I played with my buttonholer, and I traced out Simplicity 6023.

Springy Coat---cuff

It is by dint of great restraint that I am not showing you full, modeled shots of my springy coat, as I am loving it. But I am determined to retain some elements of surprise, so you will have to subsist on teasers for the moment. The sleeves went in well, although my princess seams don’t line up with the sleeve seams as well as I’d hoped (sniffle). There was a bit more ease to the sleeve cap than I might have liked, although it wasn’t a problem with this particular fabric. Denim would be another story, I’m sure. I love my buttons, too. I forgot to add a hanging-loop and my label before sewing in the facing, maybe I will just have to do that by hand…

The buttonholer is fun to play with. I sat down and read through the manual. I oiled in the spots that said “oil”. I twiddled with the adjustment knob until I figured out how to crank the template around (not without some moments where I was convinced it was broken and/or seized. But, with much reference to the manual and a little bit of blind faith—it works! Gorgeously.


Now I want more templates. 😉 The keyhole template is 1 1/4″ long and I stitched it at the widest available width. The little tiny buttonhole on the right is 1cm long (the smallest template that came with) and stitched on the narrowest option. Both of these are stitched along the seam of a scrap of denim left from some child’s pants that became shorts; they’re stitched along the seam, so through four layers of denim plus serging. For some reason I really want the eyelet template, now. There’s a video of the same sort of thing on youtube here, by the inimitable BrianSews. You can see the Greist starting about 1:00 in. I initially thought the stitch-length was a bit long for my liking, but you just keep going around and around your buttonhole until it looks the way you want. Fun!


I decided, after much wringing of hands, that Simplicity 6023 would be next up (it’s still a little too cold to think about wearing the runner-up, McCall’s 3415.) Unfortunately, when I started trying to lay out my pattern, I realized that my fabric is only 45″ wide—which means I’m about a metre short (especially since I’d been wanting to do some of the plaid on the bias). D’oh! I think I can do it by using a contrast fabric for the collar, yoke, and cuffs. I have some black stretch linen that’s about the right weight and stretch (the plaid has stretch, too) but it’s earmarked for a shirt for the ungrateful hubby, and I don’t think I have enough to do both. So I’ll check at Fabricland to see if I can get any more. If only I’d realized this last weekend during the 50% off sale… I also need a zipper and dark knit interfacing.

As to the pattern itself, I pulled out the pieces from Simplicity 5728 (apparently 1973 was a good year for Simplicity—both these patterns are from it), which, as you may recall, fit me remarkably well for being a size 11 Junior Petite. Now, 11JP has the same bust measurement as Misses’ 12 (and is a measurement I can reach with a good, padded bra), but is drafted for someone considerably shorter. Despite that, it fit me amazingly well through the upper body, although I added a generous amount of length to the sleeves and skirt.

More Jacket fun!

Upon comparing the tweaked 5728 pieces to the Misses’ 12 6023, I think I can get much the same fit just by reducing the length through the armscye by about 2cm. I also did the same little swayback adjustment. If these are my “standard” Simplicity adjustments, I’m excited, as it will give me more confidence going forward with, say, Simplicity 66o2, which also walked home with me from the thrift store on the weekend. Doesn’t that look like fun? (my camera ate the photo I took of my envelope, so I nabbed this one from the Vintage Pattern Wiki entry—my pattern is in fact a size 12. I have some robin’s egg blue stretch corduroy that I think strongly wants to become this jacket—and possibly the entire ensemble.

It is just possible that I might be a jacketoholic.

Oh, in other good news, the missing fabrics I was moaning about have re-surfaced. They were stuffed in various boxes in the kids’ playroom (which is adjacent to my “sewing room”). The fact that my children, who had tidied the playroom days before I discovered the absences, denied any knowledge of the contents of their toyboxes continues to rankle.



Filed under Sewing


Five days of blog silence, haven’t done that in a while. I don’t think I even went dead that long at Christmas…

Dashing home is always hectic, and for whatever reason this time was even more so—but despite a lack of both sewing and blogging, there was no shortage of sewing-related talk and, more to the point, fabric shopping. In particular, thrift-store fabric shopping. My mom took me to her favourite little thrift-shop, which seems to have a particularly large fabric section (not sure if the fact that it’s run by Mennonites plays a role in this or not…)

Thrift store fabrics

And, well, I went a little overboard. BUT, I stuck to my “palette” and came away with mostly springy colours, mostly in lengths that should be large enough to make at least some of my dresses. Of course there were a couple of heavier plaids that snuck in, but I did resist the 4m of lavender coating/upholstry fabric (virtually identical weave, though not colour, to the stuff I’m making my springy coat out of… otherwise I’m sure it would be with me now. I’m actually kinda regretting letting that go… I might have to send my mom back for it…)

More patterns than are good for me (but at $.50/each, how can you resist?)

They also have an entire pattern-cabinet, which I dug through meticulously, and came home with probably more patterns than I should have. But I was good! No more dresses! There are a few more skirts than is probably wise, though, and I won’t get into the jackets yet…

But aside from all that yumminess (which I can’t think too much about as I have to catch up on my coat and do a couple of other things before I can think about ANYTHING else… I’ll rhapsodize in more detail later), I have to show you the bestest of all finds.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but everything I know about thrifting I learned from my mommy. She was thrifting back in the 70s when you actually could find real antiques for a buck or two at a yard sale…

And a few weeks ago, she found me a Greist buttonholer attachment.

The Buttonholer

I haven’t actually used it yet. It’s possible it’s completely non-functional. But it’s pristine, still in its box, with five templates, manual, feed-dog cover—and it fits on my machine!

Buttonholer contents

And it cost her  $1.99.

’nuff said.


Filed under Sewing