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Topic: Fully-Automatic Buttonhole?  (Read 1357 times)
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« on: May 08, 2010 05:37:04 AM »

So in advertisements for sewing machines, I keep seeing "automatic buttonhole" and "fully automatic buttonhole" options. What does this mean?


« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010 05:01:08 PM »

These machines come with a buttonhole foot like this one:

You set your button in a slot in the foot and the machine sews all the stitches (bottom, top, sides) automatically as the foot moves along. It will usually stitch the bottom side then moves up one side until it senses the button's size and then it continues to stitch the top before moving down the final side to close the buttonhole off. Some fancier machines have fine computer sensors in their buttonhole foot, but most are just a piece of plastic or metal and function mechanically.

You don't have as much control getting an automatic buttonhole made, but it usually is easier. I have machines that have "one step" automated buttonholes, and I have another machine that has a 6-step mechanical buttonhole. Honestly I prefer the 6-step machine but I just enjoy the process of choosing when to do each step with a dial but this also means I have to measure my button size and make appropriate guides instead of just plopping in the button into the foot.

« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010 05:09:01 PM »

Here are two videos done by a guy on another sewing forum I frequent on buttonholers from vintage machines. It's essentially the same technology, and there are some great up-close shots. You can click on part 2 in Youtube after you watch the first part.


Edited to add: The vintage buttonholers have the different metal templates for different types of buttonholes. These days w/ the computerized machines it's all built in so you have one main buttonhole foot and the buttonhole styles are chosen by you on the machine. Most lower end machines will offer one kind of buttonhole but if you are a garment sewer and want more options like a keyhole and one for knits, you will usually have to pay more for the feature. The beauty of these vintage buttonhole feet are that they are usually cheap (Ebay) and come with numerous templates.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010 05:22:24 PM by ming » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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