Friday, July 5, 2013

Buttonholes - Featherweight Style

Picture the scene . . . I had almost completed the first shirt for Mr. SDSC, and all I needed to do was add the button and buttonholes.  I checked out how to make the buttonholes on my Pfaff 2020 Tiptronic machine.  Put some test fabric under the foot and voila.  What a nightmare.  I was so disappointed.  Despite an intertubes search, I could not find any top-tips, and the manual was sadly lacking.  I considered chatting up Mr. SDSC and seeing how he felt about me spending @$1000 on a new machine that would make fancy smancy buttonholes, then thought how I would prefer to spend it on fabric instead, and so I dragged out my lovely Singer Featherweight.

It is in really good condition, and I knew it would work with my singer buttonhole attachment:


I just love how it all fits into the space age container.  This attachment cost about $25 and made perfect buttonholes on the shirt.

OK, so maybe it is a little hard to see white buttonholes on white stripey fabric with white buttons, but I am trying!

All-in-all I am thilled with these buttonholes - the time it took to set up this machine and buttonholer took only a few minutes - and will use this set up in future.  I know that I am lucky to have more than one machine, but it makes you realize why professional dressmakers (and non-professionals as well) have dedicated machines for different processes.  It is also interesting that a machine that it over 60yrs old and a buttonholer of about the same age still make perfect buttonholes.  I love my Pfaff in so many ways, but buttonholes are not its speciality!

What about you?  Do you have any equipment/notions that you find are far superior to their modern day counterparts?


  1. My mom has a featherweight machine along with that exact buttonhole case. I have been lusting after this machine for years. The sad part about it is that she doesn't use it...ever. Maybe, maybe I can pry it away!!

  2. I inherited my mom's Featherweight (actually she gave it to me while she was alive, with the disclaimer that I had to do all her sewing for her. I was happy to return the favor after all she had done for me.) Anyway, I love the buttonholes so much- I have the keyhole ones too. (Sorry, can't remember the word for the little inserts that choose your buttonhole size and shape!)

  3. I have my mom's 1947 Featherweight and the buttonholer (mine is green)along with the cams. I love that machine though I don't get it out often.

  4. Such a smart idea to pull out your other machine.. And looks like the buttonholes are perfect. Happy sewing.

  5. I also have a 'back up' machine, a basic electric Singer inherited from my Grandma. It seems a lot sturdier than my (expensive) modern all-singing, all-dancing machine. Buttonholes on modern machines must be a 'thing' - I really struggle with getting them to look right, but on the old Singer with the four step buttonhole, they seem to be perfect every time. Weird!

  6. I make ALL my buttonholes on one of my vintage Singers - the modern marvel doesn't even come close to the quality :) Thumbs up on your decision! :D

  7. Maybe I need one of the these machines to inspire me to finish my hubby's shirt... all it needs is the collar added and the button holes and add the buttons and it will be finished. I've promised him I'll finish it this weekend... so I'd better stick to my promise lol


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