sewingmachines

Can Sewing Machine Sew Buttons?

Can Sewing Machine Sew Buttons?
Written by Boozer

It is possible but the question often arises as to which sewing machine to choose, below 100 euros . And it must be said that Lidl’s Silvercrest machine does its job very well (for the price). It is therefore the ideal machine for this tutorial. Moreover, don’t forget that we have already made several video tutorials about it here and there . But note that on any mechanical machine, the procedure will be basically the same.

Finally, a quick note to clarify that Lidl’s Silvercrest sewing machine is not known for making the most beautiful buttonholes (Why? You will see below…). But rest assured, I found interesting settings that will overcome the deficiencies of the machine. And who knows, you may have the same problem on a machine from another brand? You follow me ? Here we go !

Step 1: Measure the button and transfer the dimensions to the fabric

Before sewing the actual buttonhole on the machine, you must first know which buttonhole size you are going to sew! To do this, you must measure the width of the button you are going to sew, not forgetting to add the thickness of the button to your calculation (otherwise your buttonhole will lack ease and the button will hardly fit). In our example, the button measures 2.5 cm. We will therefore add its thickness (2mm) to our line for ease. Which will give 2.7 mm.

We will therefore transfer to our fabric, at the place where we want to make a buttonhole, a line of 2.7 cm with a pen (erasable is better than to do, I have already told you about frixion markers fineliner? A snap and the ink fades, isn’t that great?).

Please note, before continuing, there is an important piece of information to know: do not forget to reinforce your button placket by using a light stabilizer, because if your fabric is too thin, the very tight stitch of the buttonhole may cause unsightly folds or even the needle could dig into the fabric and block the seam. That being said, we continue.

Sewing a buttonhole on a mechanical machine is done in 4 steps. Each side of the buttonhole must be sewn one after the other. An electronic machine, on the other hand, will make the entire buttonhole at once, all by itself, like a large one. Rest assured, it is not that complicated, nor as long as it seems.

We will start by installing our buttonhole foot on the machine. And we adjust the cursor so that the line we have just drawn is entirely inside. When you descend the needle, you must make sure that it falls on the line you have drawn. Neither too much before, nor too much after, otherwise your buttonhole will not be the right size.

In this way, you install your fabric and lower the presser foot. Everything is blocked, ready to sew!

Step 2: Attaching the buttonhole foot

The buttonhole on a mechanical machine is carried out in 4 stages. Each side of the buttonhole must be sewn one after the other. An electronic machine, on the other hand, will make the entire buttonhole at once, all by itself, like a large one. Rest assured, it is not that complicated, nor as long as it seems.

We will start by installing our buttonhole foot on the machine. And we adjust the cursor so that the line we have just drawn is entirely inside. When you descend the needle, you must make sure that it falls on the line you have drawn. Neither too much before, nor too much after, otherwise your buttonhole will not be the right size.

In this way, you install your fabric and lower the presser foot. Everything is blocked, ready to sew!

sew a buttonhole in 4 steps
LIDL sewing machine buttonhole (6)

Step 3: sew the buttonhole on your sewing machine

As we said previously, the machine changeover is done in 4 stages. All mechanical machines work broadly the same, so refer to your owner’s manual for specifics. Here are the buttons of the silvercrest sewing machine that we are going to use.

sewing a buttonhole on the LIDL sewing machine (7)

Here we see that:

  • Step 1 is the sewing on the right side of the buttonhole.

  • Steps 2 and 4 are on the same button and correspond respectively to the bottom and top seam of the buttonhole

  • Step 3 is the sewing on the left side of the buttonhole

We will therefore respect the order of these steps, by turning the knob as the desired step progresses.

Good news, once the foot is installed, nothing should be touched. The machine will do the work on its own, you just have to check that the fabric starts out straight and that you start / stop on the top and bottom lines (so visibly).

From there, I’ll show you the settings I make with the silvercrest sewing machine, and if you’re using a different machine, you’ll need to do some testing to find your settings. Note that the width of the zig zag stitch is adjustable, if you want a more or less thick buttonhole. And similarly, the stitch spacing is flexible too, whether you want an airy or tight zig zag.

Let me show you an example: on the right a stitch width 3 and on the left a stitch width 5. We can see that the buttonhole on the right is thicker. I always adjust to a width 4 that I find ideal, but each has their own preferences. And I set the stitch length to 0.5 which is the minimum with the Silvercrest sewing machine.

sewing machine buttonhole

So once you’re in place, you start with number 1.

Here is the result (be careful in any case you do not take the work out of your machine before the end of the buttonhole. Here we did it for the needs of the tutorial):

LIDL sewing machine buttonhole (11)

Then we sew the bottom: I advise you to do only 3-4 stitches. Otherwise it risks giving an unsightly buttonhole border (too thick), without being more solid (ditto for step 4 of the blow).

sewing a lidl buttonhole

We continue with the left side: n ° 3: the seam will be done “back” by itself and go up to the top of our buttonhole.

LIDL sewing machine buttonhole (13)

Your buttonhole is finished! You just have to take out your work and cut the threads. We will then open the buttonhole because as it is, a button obviously cannot pass!

TIP for successfully sewing your buttonhole with Lidl’s Silvercrest

Now is the time to tell you about the small downside of Lidl’s Silvercrest sewing machine. I find that the zig zag is not tight enough, even if we put it on 0.5 (which is the minimum). As in the following photo:

sew a buttonhole in 4 steps
silevrcrest machine buttonhole

You can no longer narrow the stitch spacing so much and if you try to go below it, the zig zag is not really tight and you risk treading water.

So I have a little technique: when your buttonhole is finished, do not touch anything, do not take out your work and iron on lengths 1 and 3 without ends 2 and 4. So your zig zag will fill in correctly. This is a good compromise, even if the zig zag is less regular, once opened no more difference will be visible and your buttonhole will be more solid. Here is what it looks like:

Step 4: Last step: We open the buttonhole!

Attention… Many of our students cried at this stage! If you have the misfortune to cut too hard, you will cut your buttonhole and it will be unrecoverable. We will therefore come and secure each end with a pin. We can then open with the uncovered, (but even so be very careful, do not rely too much on the safety of the needle, be careful). We then cut the small unsightly threads here and there, and your buttonhole is finished!

Are you proud? You can !

One last tip:

Do not confuse speed and haste, to work in peace and not in haste. Take the time to do a test on a piece of fabric to find all the correct settings. Buttonholes can be corrected with uncovered, but this is particularly tricky. So take your time, because it would be a shame to ruin all your work because of it!

Here are the girls, I think I gave you all the advice to make pretty solid buttonholes, with the Silvercrest sewing machine and with any mechanical machine, by extension.

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Boozer

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