On Bound Buttonholes & Hong Kong finish

Work in progress

Work in progress

Bound button holes.  Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no doubt they look good!  I am part-way through making this Butterick pattern from the late 50s, early 60s.  There is no date on the pattern anywhere so an exact year is out.  The fabric is a silk blend & lovely to work with.

I wanted to make a feature of the buttonholes on the jacket this time, the fabric is interesting enough & I’d found 3 perfect “of the time” buttons in a local antiques store.  First up I needed to check how the fabric behaved being folded, how much fraying there’d be, & how wide to make the lips.  “Lips”?  What is the correct terminology for those bits anyway?  I’ve always called them lips, but I suppose there is a better word out there!  🙂

Testing the buttonholes

Testing the buttonholes

Two tests, the bottom buttonhole was un-interfaced.  It stretched like mad when stitching, making the lips more around & therefore not line up properly when the hole was cut & the lips turned through.  The top one was interfaced, but on the bias.  Also didn’t work, although there was now more bulk in the lips, which I prefered.  So I went with interfacing the lips on the straight to reduce the tendency of the fabric to stretch.  I also basted those little blighters within a millimetre of their little lives!  Stitching progress was SLOW, but totally worth it!

The finished product...

The finished product…

Phew!  They lined up, they didn’t stretch – Success!!  😀  The fabric is lovely, but….  Those little squares love to slip against eachother when the stitches all face the same way!  I needed loads of pins & no small amount of patience!

Inside, the back of the bound buttonholes.  This will be hidden by the facing.

Inside, the back of the bound buttonholes. This will be hidden by the facing.

The jacket is unlined & I hate having raw edges on display.  The best thing for it is to bind all the edges.  I love a Hong Kong finish, especially when it gives you the chance to use a contrast or print fabric.  I looked everywhere for a coppery lining to use in this jacket, to no avail.  Beige just looked washed out.  In the end I settled on this slightly darker colour.  It’s kinda chestnut, but dark.  I quite like it!

Honk Kong finish on the centre back seam

Honk Kong finish on the centre back seam

I cut strips 3cm wide & stitched about 6-7mm from the seam edge.  It looks great now that the jacket is a little more put together!  All the raw edges are going to get this treatment, including the sleeve hem & the edges of the facings.

butterick 9563So this is where I am up to.  I need to interface & sew the collar, interface & sew the facings, trim the facings with the Hong Kong finish & then sew all those elements to the jacket.  then do the hem on the sleeves & sew on the buttons.  I recon I’ll be finished soon!

Have you tried bound buttonholes?  What seam finishes do you use, or do you rely on your overlockers?


12 responses to “On Bound Buttonholes & Hong Kong finish

  1. I go on a holiday from the internet and wowowow when I get back something wonderful has arrived. Lovely buttonholes (I am always in awe of your wonderful stitching Anne) and I am going to have a good old read back through your lovely new site.

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