I've been practicing with the bound buttonhole tool by Dritz. I can certainly say this does make bound button holes easier and I think the main reason for usage is that the lips of the buttonhole do look more aligned. It really is a nifty tool. You can no longer buy this in the shops but you can still find them on ebay. They do take a little getting used to and I still feel like I need to make a couple more before I put one on the dress I am making but this tool is certainly worth it. You do have to be exact with your stitch length but once you get used to how it works, I'm sure these bound button holes go quite quickly.
There is a tutorial here on how to make bound buttoholes using this tool.
Some tips I've learned:
1. You use the tool on the face side of the fabric.
2. You need to stitch as close to the metal as possible but be aware of the metal while stitching or you'll loose a needle (don't ask me how I know this:).
3. You need to be aware that the two rows of stitching that you create should be perfectly parallel. Or your bound button hole might look like the picture to the right.
4. It is also important to make the little triangle cut to each side and stitch this down to create the rectangular effect.
5. You certainly should use some kind of stabilizer on these and you may even consider a method to stop the square edges from fraying behind the fabric.
These are my trial bound buttonholes. I was trying to decide if I'd like a contrasting color to the buttonhole. I don't quite think this red is what I'm looking for. I was hoping for a red silk. I used to dye fabrics and wouldn't you know it of all the mounds of fabrics I've dyed I don't have red silk.
The pattern on the fabric below that you see is the fabric for my lastest sewing adventure. I originally thought it would be a different fabric but I didn't have quite enough to make it so I choose this fabric instead.
The bound buttonholes below aren't in exact alignment vertically because I didn't match the stitch length exactly. It's amazing what one stitch off can create on these bound buttonholes. There are also two bound buttonholes on the LHS fabric but they are difficult to see do to them being the same fabric pattern.
I also wanted to share this fabric I recently picked up. It was listed as 50s. I think it could quite make a nice circle skirt. I'm hoping I have enough of it (3 yards).
I don't know about you, but this is where I'd like to be right now.