TribLIVE

| Home


Weather Forecast
 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Fleece buttonholes and zippers can be a breeze

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By Janet G. Staats

Published: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2001

Buttonholes can be sewn on single or double layer fleece with ease.

Use a size 11 to 16 universal needle depending on the thickness of the fabric. The length and width of the stitch should be long and wide to prevent a lettuce effect on the buttonhole. The buttonhole areas should always be stabilized when sewing the buttonholes. When sewing through two layers of fabric a piece of interfacing can be inserted between the two layers of fleece at the buttonhole area to add stability.

I like to draw the marking for the buttonhole on a 2-inch square of Solvy for a more accurate buttonhole placement. Solvy also keeps the stitches from being buried in the fabric. The Solvy square can be adhered onto the fleece with a light spray of temporary spray adhesive or by pinning it to the fleece. In the areas where there is less stress on the garment you can simply straight or satin stitch a shape like a triangle or rectangle onto the garment and slit the center creating a buttonhole.

To add pizzazz to both a slit and a machine buttonhole use a contrasting color of fleece or a piece of ultrasuede. Sew the shape onto the fabric one-eighth of an inch away from the outer edge of the shaped fabric piece to secure in place. Sew one-eighth of an inch around the marked buttonhole line with matching thread and slit open if you are not using a buttonhole design from the machine.

For more stability on a single layer panel you can place a second layer of fleece on the back of the fabric with the stretch going in the opposite direction of the main panel. Sew the buttonhole in place with a piece of Solvy over the top layer as instructed above. The bottom layer can be trimmed after the buttonhole is sewn in place. When using a buttonhole foot it may have a guide for cording. You can use four-ply thread, number 8 pearl cotton or buttonhole twist for the cording. The cording will also help to stabilize the buttonhole.

For a bound buttonhole cut a 2-inch square of fabric and a piece of Solvy, which has the line marked for the buttonhole and place them on the fabric. Sew one-eighth of an inch around the marked line. Slit the center and clip at an angle to the corners. Turn the square through the hole and topstitch one-quarter of an inch around the buttonhole. You can sew again one-quarter of an inch from the last stitching line before trimming the excess fabric. The bound buttonhole is very sturdy and can be sewn from the back or the front side of the fabric depending on the desired effect you are trying to obtain.

Buttonholes placed along the neckline can be placed parallel on the seam line. The seam line is then opened to form the buttonhole.

Buttons are most secure and create less stress on fleece when a smaller button is attached to the back of a large button.

Zippers should be installed when the garment is still in the flat construction stage. My favorite way to place a zipper for a pocket is to use the bound buttonhole method above. The opening for the zipper is one-half inch wide by the length of the zipper from one stopper to the other. Place one-quarter inch Wonder Tape along the edges on the right side of the zipper and hand press in place under the opening. Baste and sew zipper in place. A thin layer of knit fabric other than fleece is OK to use for the bound zipper hole construction. Wonder Tape is ideal to use since it will not gum up the needle and washes away.

When placing a zipper down the front of a garment that is lined, baste the seam allowance closed, then baste or sew the zipper to the lining with the right side of the zipper facing the outside of the garment.

Place Wonder Tape along the edges of the front of the zipper and then hand press the front seam of the garment to the zipper, baste and stitch in place. Sew both sides in the same direction. If you start sewing from the top on the right side, then sew from the top on the left side.

When placing a zipper on an unlined garment baste the seam closed, apply Wonder Tape to the right side of the zipper and hand press in place along the seam allowance. Baste then stitch the zipper in place sewing both sides in the same direction. When the basting threads are removed you will have a zipper that lays flat without lumps.

Janet G. Staats is president of the American Sewing Guild, Pittsburgh Chapter. Questions or suggestions can be sent to her at 130 Carpenter Lane, North Huntingdon, PA 15642-1277 or via e-mail to staats@westol.com'>'>HREF='mailto:staats@westol.com'> staats@westol.com . For more information, visit her Web site at ' target='_new'>HREF='http://www.westol.com/~staats'> www.westol.com/~staats .

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates trade for Mets 1B Davis
  2. Pittsburgh-area students on the hunt for the perfect prom dress
  3. Crews search for Latrobe woman in Linn Run State Park
  4. Pirates notebook: Players show support for Franklin Regional
  5. Hempfield native, 22, publishes with local independent press
  6. Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
  7. Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
  8. Survivors in critical condition a day after fifth Armstrong County car crash victim dies
  9. Sculpture at Phipps links art and sustainability
  10. Pa. unemployment rate falls to lowest since 2008; 12,000 more enter workforce
  11. City Theatre cancels ‘Grounded’ through April 20
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.