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.
I haven't seen the movie W.E. but it is now in my Netflix queue. I can't tell you how I came across the image of this wonderful stripe dress but all I can say is how wonderful it is! I've been really enthralled by all the details needed to construct this amazing dress. It is really nice to know that this dress, even though made for this period movie, was constructed in the modern day. This dress was based upon a Balenciaga design of the Wallis Simpson time period. Oh my! How magical is this dress? How wonderfully designed and lined up are the the stripes on this dress? Even the back is artistically assembled. This dress is amazing!!!!
I've been hard at work figuring out form and fit on my first muslin. The other two vintage patterns I've worked on, I didn't do a muslin first. It really is a lot of extra work but I do think if you want the proper fit and you are not an expert seamstress you can learn a lot from creating a muslin.
I've already made quite a bit of adjustments already to this muslin and I do believe I need to make some more. I think the major adjustment that I am thinking of making, is not actually doing this as a dress but as a two piece. I'm not getting the proper fit, I'd like from the skirt and I figure if I separate them I can get more of a better fit because this pattern requires you to sew down the top to the skirt so if it isn't exact you get some pleats and tucks where you might not want them. So if you need to make some adjustments to the skirt you also have to make them to the top, and vice versa.
Working with a vintage pattern:
I'm glad I copied the instructions, especially being a novice. The original instructions were a bit fragile.
I bought Swedish Tracing Paper. I quite like it and is very handy for the smaller pieces. I do think for larger pieces it may be a bit of an extra expense and regular tissue paper may be handy. The Swedish Tracing Paper is a bit more durable and you could certainly skip the muslin stage and just work with this, if you so desired. But, I just used it for the smaller pieces.
Things I've adjusted because I have a muslin:
-Brought in the middle of the blouse, brought in the skirt
-Learned that I should be exact with distance on pleats for top bust area because of symmetry
-I'll stabilize the neck facing area
-Skirt area is most tricky with fit I'll have to adjust this more but will probably wait as I think the drape of the material is having an effect.
-May add decorative trim to blouse
-Be aware of the curved edge and width of the top collar accent
Things still to do:
Learn a bound buttonhole
Learn to finish edges with seam bindings
Learn to do side zipper (Or if separated this could prove to be easier to add zippers too)
Things that were not as difficult as I thought:
Sleeve area has gone in nicely, although I will have to make some adjustments to one of the caps to realign. I love the idea of having organza as a stabilizer in the cap area. The muslin fabric I am working with is actually a very light weight cotton so there really isn't any drape effect.
This muslin is by far not perfect I don't like the the way the skirt lays into the blouse, but this I can correct. So, was my muslin successful? I'd say yes, because I've been able to make adjustments that will make it so much easier when I migrate to the actual dress.
Dress Pattern I am working on is to the left.
I thought it was an interesting effect to pleat the sleeve area.