i’m totally stalled on a current project for a dear friend thanks to my utter failure to make reasonable buttonholes. note to self: surprise people, never promise stuff in advance, it makes you look bad :facepalm:

trouble is, the buttonholes on my machine are unreliable (or at least i can’t make them work reliably). i wonder if something’s come misaligned because the rows of stitching seem very tight, and i ended up slicing through the side threads on my last couple of sets :

i tried topstitching thread, with a heavy needle and reduced tension, but the tension’s clearly still awry cos i’m getting nasty - and unpredictable - snarls

on the back

i tried bound buttonholes using my magic doofer, but i’m not having much luck at getting them a) the same size or b) reliably tight, rather than gaping. to say nothing of the unholy mess it makes of the wrong side:

and i’m sure bodgingly hand sewing the backs isn’t supposed to be the answer?

i even tried hand sewing, for that bespoke look :D and whilst i think the front has a certain rough charm (this was my first try), the back is hideous :

and so i'm beginning to think that the very first buttonholes i did, with regular thread on the machine, are actually the best of a bad bunch. i briefly considered whether i could get a vintage buttonholer to work on my machine, in case that would be any better, but i think it's probably lunacy. i did however get a tip from this recent tutorial (thanks susan!) to try two passes, one with a longer and the other with a shorter stitch length. i like the way this looks on the samples, so i'll have a go, knocking down the density accordingly. and then i'll just have to have a very steady hand indeed when i open them. gulp.

i mentioned to a (non-sewing) friend that i'd been battling with buttonholes all morning. she looked aghast and asked if i was really that much of a perfectionist that i cared how the buttonholes looked. i admitted somewhat shamefaced that yes, yes i was, but i was rather taken aback by her horror. please someone out there reassure me you understand ...

in other news, i'm off to see the quilts next week. i expect to return full of renewed inspiration, with another million projects i just have to start right now this minute :roll: