Monday, 26 January 2015
A Dress for Meg - 9 - Positioning the Buttons and Buttonholes
Finally, the last instalment showing the steps in making Meg's dress. Here it is, finished, before I delivered it to her and she proudly tried it on for size.
The last thing to do before the hem was the buttons and buttonholes. On this photo you can see how the gathers of the skirt are kept clear of the overlap.
To stiffen and strengthen the overlap I use a strip of calico, which fits snugly into the fold down the front edges. The edge of the dress fabric is then folded about a quarter of an inch over the calico and machine stitched into place.
The seam attaching the skirt to the bodice has been constructed so that the raw edges are enclosed. This gives a certain amount of bulk, which needs to be trimmed , as shown here. There are a few tacking stitches to hold the raw seam allowances together.
When the overlap is folded down and ironed the raw edges are hidden.
The next step is to mark where the buttons are buttonholes are to be placed. Because the buttons are five eighths of an inch wide, I have done a line of machine stitching, with the longest stitch length, five eighths of an inch from the folded edge. This needs to be done down both sides of the dress so that both the buttons and the buttonholes are the same distance from the folded edge.
I started with the top buttonhole, placed at right angles to the edge. To plot the position of the buttonhole, I pinned a button through one its holes so that the pin went through the line of stitching. This gave me the reference point for the buttonhole, the pin marking where the end of the inside of the buttonhole needed to be.
Then it was time to get busy with the buttonholer.
Here is the completed buttonhole on the finished dress. The threads going through the right hand hole of the button correspond with the position of the pin in the previous photo.
All the other buttonholes were stitched parallel to the edge. Here is one of the buttonholes, shown before I had neatened the tail ends of thread. The white machine stitching runs down the middle of the buttonhole.
And here is the same buttonhole, with the white machine stitching removed and now all nicely fastened up, once the dress is completed.
Just to keep the overlap in place, after the buttonholes and buttons had all been done, I put in a few stitches by hand through the seam allowance at the bottom of the bodice.
Finally, I did the hem, gave the dress a good thorough ironing, and it was ready for Meg!
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