Darlene Cahill’s How To Sew French Seams & Buttonholes

Hi Sewing Friend,
August is that warm and wonderful month when we look ahead and start planning our Fall Fashion dreams!  Designers take center stage in the annual New York Fall Fashion week, Sept. 5-12.  We’ll be seeing  texture blocking with  furs, leathers, sequins and lace along with  high end details such as French Seams and Bound Buttonholes.
You can easily accomplish both of these luxury details and have the designer look for less using  your sewing machine! Here’s how:
FRENCH SEAMS: This  seam finish is used mostly on lightweight fabrics. The seam allowance is buried inside the seam so it’s a clean finish that will not fray.
Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing

  • Shorten the stitch length and sew a 1/4” seam with wrong sides together.
  • Carefully trim the seam to 1/8“.
  • Press the seam allowance to the inside by rolling the seam between your fingers.
  • Now stitch a new 1/4” seam encasing the 1/8” seam allowance. Perfection!

Darlene Cahill SewingYou’ll notice Bound buttonholes standing out on a garment because the inside edges are finished with tiny strips of material rather than thread. This clean look doesn’t fray and can either blend in with the garment as a subtle detail or contrast as you see in the photo.  If you have a computerized machine that has the rectangle option listed with the buttonholes then you’re half way there! All you need to mark is the starting point since the foot and the built-in stitch does the rest of the work for you! Different models move their buttonhole stitches in different directions so always practice first on a scrap of the same materials!

Darlene Cahill SewingPrepare the base fabric with interfacing (front facing) . Place an interfaced piece (matching or contrasting fabric approx 2″ x 3″ ) directly over where you want the buttonhole with right sides together.
Thread the machine, Place the button in the foot’s sliding carrier. Attach the buttonhole foot, pull down the sidebar lever and position it toward the back of the space on the left side of the foot, lower the foot, select the rectangle bound buttonhole option and stitch. Machines with this feature usually lock the stitches at the end. Make sure to back tack or lockstitch if you’re doing the small rectangle manually.  Remove from machine.

Darlene Cahill SewingMake a tiny Y incision at both corners and down the center of the rectangle’s space being careful not to cut through any stitching. Pull the small piece through the hole to the backside and fold each long side to make a visible fabric line halfway through the opening. PRESS in place.

Topstitch in the ditch to hold the pressed and folded pieces in place.
Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing Darlene Cahill Sewing

Mark  the facing directly over the buttonhole and slash the opening. Roll the edges under and press. Pin in place over the backside of the buttonhole and slip stitch to secure the facing directly over the backside of the bound buttonhole.
Congratulations, You Did it…Designer elegance!
See you next month for National Month of Sewing!
Sept 4th………. 9am & 4pm
Sept 5th………. 6am & 2pm
Sept 11th ……..7am & 1pm
Sept 12th ……. 5am
Sept 21st ……..4am, 11am, & 3pm
Sept 26th ……..5am, 10am, &4pm
Sept 27th………4am
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