I used to think that it was always frustrating is to sew a whole garment and have it messed up by wonky buttonholes. Raise your hand if you’ve experienced the same thing! #DIYanxiety

But that my friend is in the past! Because today I’ll show you how you can create every time neat and perfect buttonholes for your projects.


There’s quite a few ways to create buttonholes. You can do it by hand, use your machine manually with very close zigzag stitches or if you’re lucky, you have an automatic function with a special (and a bit) scary foot. This last option is the one we’ll be talking about today.

So, if you have an automatic function on your machine, this is what your buttonhole attachement should look like. For the following steps, I’ll be using my machine and explaining this type of buttonholes. Normally, your machine should work approximately the same. However, if in doubt, go check your manual, it’s your best friend in this case! 😉


The absolute best thing to do when planning buttonholes on a project is to do a test on a scrap of fabric. Seriously, even if you’ve done this a thousand times, testing the process with the fabric you’re currently using and the intended button is the best thing you can do to ensure neat buttonholes.

The other thing would be to always make sure your buttonhole placement is interfaced. This makes all the difference, especially if you’re using fine or stretch fabric. So when doing the test, remember to interface your scrap too.


Just so you know where to begin, mark the placement and edge of the buttonhole.


Next, take your button and place it at the back of the sewing foot. You should be able to widen this back part, place the button inside and tightening it so it stays flat and in place.


Then place the attachement on your machine just like you would a normal foot. Notice that the needle thread goes under the foot too.


Now, this step is the one you don’t want to forget! There should be a little lever at the back of your sewing machine. Pull it down as far as it’ll go and you’re all set!


The only thing missing is for you to select a buttonhole style. As you’re starting with a test, this would be the perfect opportunity to test a few different styles or play around with contrasting thread color and see what you like best.


Now is the time to place your test fabric under the foot and center it on your mark. This would be a great time to note where your machine starts to sew so you can accurately center your buttonhole on your project later.

Then take a deep breath and start to sew. If all goes well, your machine should do the job on its own, no need for you to help or guide it. Easy, right?


Well, that’s what happen when I did my first test! Turns out I didn’t pull the lever down all the way and the machine didn’t know where or when to stop. That’s the perfect exemple of why a test run is so crucial!


After fixing the problem, here’s the result, perfect and neat buttonholes and in less than 2 minutes! 🙂


The last step is the most fun one: open the buttonhole. To do so, use your seam ripper. Think also about protecting the edges of your work with pins, that way you won’t cut accidentally through the threads.


See how that was easy! Now you can try them out with your buttons.


Once the test completed, you have lots of newly acquired knowledge from it that you can use. For exemple, the final size of your buttonhole will help you place them more accurately on your garment. This is especially useful if you’re not using the exact same button size as your pattern.



Here’s my final buttonhole for the Emily Culottes I’m currently sewing. I can’t wait to finish them and wear them, they are going to be so useful this summer!


Hope you liked this little How-To! See you next week for a new one and hopefully a pair of finished culottes! 🙂