Lynn’s Easy-Peasy Bound Buttonholes
In the process of making the Duster Coat, Vintage Pattern Lending Library #0402, I needed four large buttonholes. As I was custom-tailoring the coat, I decided on bound buttonholes. I found several different sets of instructions on how to make them, but in the end created my own simplified method. I’d like to share it with you.
Mark the center front line on the garment. Then draw a line parallel to it, and on the straight of grain, 1/8” away, toward the center seam allowance, and extending 2” above and below the buttonhole area. This is line A-B. Determine the length of your buttonhole, and draw a line parallel to A-B that distance toward the side seam. We will call this line C-D.
Mark your buttonhole positions, like ladder rungs, between the two lines, then mark lines ¼” above and below each buttonhole line. These lines should extend 1” on either side of A-B and C-D. Using contrasting thread, baste lines A-B and C-D, and also each crossing line that is above and below the buttonhole line. Also, baste the buttonhole line. (This will make is easier to determine where to cut the buttonholes, when we’re ready for that step.)
I used self-fabric for my buttonhole binding, but you could use a contrast. Heavy-weight fabric is more difficult to manipulate, so be forewarned. Cut your buttonhole binding 1-1/2” long (on the straight grain) and the width of your buttonhole plus 1”. Mark the binding ½” away from each cross grain edge.
Place the binding strip on top of the basting, right sides together and matching the marked lines with the cross line basting (above and below the buttonhole) on the garment. Pin and baste the strip to the garment along both lines.
Press one edge of the binding strip at the basting line, toward the buttonhole mark, wrong sides together. This creates a fold that is the finished edge of your binding. Pin and/or baste in place. Stitch 1/8” away from the folded edge of the binding between lines A-B and C-D, being careful to stay between the lines. Trim the selvedge edge to 1/8”. Repeat for the other half of the buttonhole.
Remove the basting holding the binding fold in place at the pressed edge. Cut through the center of the buttonhole and the binding strip along the basted line, stopping 3/8” from each end. Angle cut to, but not through the stitching at each corner, angling the cut to create a triangle at each end. Turn the binding down and through the buttonhole and finger press into place.
Fold the garment away from the triangle on the back of the garment and stitch through all layers, securing the ends of the buttonhole.
Hope you find this useful next time you need a bound or tailored buttonhole!