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26 October 2009 @ 11:49 am
Sewing Machine Help - Buttonhole Issues?  
This isn't *technically* corset-related, but you guys are all so awesome and helpful, so I figured I'd try it. I'll put it behind a cut, though, so you can scroll past as needed. ;-) And feel free to tell me to delete it if it's deemed to be TOO off-topic...

So my friend is having issues with her sewing machine, and I offered to troll my various LJ connections to see if I can help. She has a pretty new Singer 2273 Esteem II sewing machine, which has a "one-step" buttonhole foot and function. You set it to the buttonhole setting, put the button in the back of the buttonhole foot, line up the fabric, and push the pedal, and it does the rest. Unfortunately, it's not currently doing "the rest." It starts fine, gets up to the end of the side, starts doing the cap at the top, and then devolves into a huge tangled mess.

When she was experimenting with this the other night, she didn't actually have a button to use to make the test holes - could that be what's making it freak out? Because it doesn't have the reference to make the end at the right place? I don't really know how those buttonhole functions work - I've only just figured out how to do it on my machine, which I've had for like five years. LOL! That's what I get for mostly making corsets with grommets, not buttonholes...

She's making sure to hold the thread ends so that's not what's tangling, and doesn't think that she might've bumped or otherwise messed up the tension, as it was sewing perfectly well before she tried the buttonholes. And it starts out just fine... then goes all wonky.

Anyone have any suggestions? She's going to buy some more scrap fabric and buttons today to try it again with, but I figured I'd ask around and see if anyone has any suggestions. :-) She's got an awesome Victorian driving coat that's ALMOST done... And Halloween is fast approaching! She's also helping me with all my wedding sewing, some of which includes a corset, so it's relevant! I swear! :-)
Lillianlillielil on October 26th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
I have that problem sometimes with stretchy fabrics (even ones that are just a little stretchy). I have to manually guide the fabric through the "automatic" buttonhole function. I will usually make a few on a non-stretchy scrap so that I have a good sense of exactly how bit it will be for the button I'm using, and then will just eyeball it on the real fabric. I think what happens with mine is that the fabric + buttonhole cap becomes too thick to feed backwards under the foot, so it just tangles itself.

When all else fails, snaps with decorative buttons are always an option if you aren't too concerned about authenticity.
Katwanderingbastet on October 26th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I think she said she was trying it out on an old t-shirt, so that might've had something to do with it. She's gonna try it on the same fabric as the actual coat tonight, so we'll see if that helps.

Thanks! :)
Lillianlillielil on October 26th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that totally would not work on my machine. Try on a scrap of calico or something just to get the hang of it.
Ninedragonappartion on October 26th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I haven't had my coffee yet, but if I remember correctly: I have one of those Singer buttonholer attatchments for a Singer machine, and I believe it mentions one of the tensions has to be loose/slack.
Katwanderingbastet on October 26th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Hmmm! Interesting! I'll be sure to ask her to check that. Thanks! :)
vangy2 on October 26th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
I just have to ask: where did you get the Grinch and Treadle avatar?
Katwanderingbastet on October 26th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Treadle?
peaces_icons. :-) Lots of great stuff there!
vangy2 on October 26th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Treadle?
Thank you!
JY: Romepsyc2321 on October 26th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
Not having a button in the back of the foot (I've got a Singer with the same function) may be the problem (in combination with the stretch of the t-shirting). That said, if the tension isn't an issue doing the first side, it shouldn't affect the end cap.

Things to check - most important is definitely to see how it goes on a non-stretch fabric, with a button in he guide. If it still doesn't work, try altering the tension, I guess, or - mine has a marked stitch width for buttonholing, and it *has* to be that width, or it chucks a tantrum. Also a possible issue.

Good luck!
katexxxxxxkatexxxxxx on October 26th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
You MUST use a firm stabilizer when sewing buttoholes in knits.

Also, check the manual for a guide to balancing the buttonholes... Sometimes you get a nice little mechanism for that and just turn a small knob or screw.
benbes on December 21st, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
I will check it out and come up with an answer
i will look for your problem by checking the Singer 2273 Esteem II sewing machine reviews.
brother sewing machines
Rachel Anna GatissRachel Anna Gatiss on April 11th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Mine does the exact same!! I'd be grateful if you could tell me what your friend found worked for her
Katwanderingbastet on April 11th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
I believe the problem was solved by actually using a button. (Duh moment, really... LOL!) :)
Rachel Anna GatissRachel Anna Gatiss on April 11th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
You mean in the hole thin for the button on the back of the buttonhole foot?
Katwanderingbastet on April 11th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Rachel Anna GatissRachel Anna Gatiss on April 11th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Hm I have been doing that! I'm confused haa
Katwanderingbastet on April 11th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Don't know then, sorry! :(