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Fabrics And Materials Fabrics And Materials The Workshop: Make Your Own Gear Projects Articles for Lightweight and Long Distance Hikers Message Board
Projects

French Seams

Knee Articulation

Hood Pattern

Installing Wrist Elastic

Down Underquilt

Mitten Pattern

Using Continuous Zipper

Titanium Solid Fuel Tablet Stove

Lightweight Backpack

Manual Buttonhole

Basic Seams for Homemade Gear Projects

How to load thread into the bobbin

How to Check and Adjust Thread Tension

Mesh Stuff Sack

Folding Wood Burning Pack Stove

0.5 oz V8 Stove

Cat Stove

Down Quilt

Make Your Own Silnylon Stuffsacks

Henry's Tarptent & Tarptent-for-2

Manual Buttonhole

Set the stitch length to be very close.  On my machine it is halfway between the "0" and "1".  Set the width dial to sew the right side of the buttonhole.  I mark the width dial of my machine with a piece of post-it note.  Stop with the needle down in the right side of the zigzag stitch (point A).
Raise the pressure foot and pivot the fabric 180 degrees.  Set the stitch width dial to the smallest setting, lower the pressure foot, and manually sew one stitch.  This stitch will move the zigzag into position to sew the bartack.
With the needle down and the presser foot up, set the width dial to the largest setting.  Lower the presser foot and sew 7 bartack stitches.  Stop with the needle down in the right side (point B).
Raise the presser foot and set the width dial to sew the second side of the button hole.  You may have marked this width with the piece of post-it note earlier.  Lower the presser foot and sew the second leg of the buttonhole until the length is the same as the first leg.  Stop with the needle down in the right side (point C).
Raise the presser foot and set the width dial to the widest setting.  Lower the presser foot and sew 7 stitches to sew the final bartack.  Raise the presser foot, remove the fabric, cut the thread, and tie the loose ends.  Use a seam ripper to cut the button hole slot.  

 

Notes
It takes practice to be able to make a decent manual buttonhole. Sew a dozen practice ones before you try one on your project.

Some machines have all sorts of fancy functions to sew things like buttonholes. You really don't need all these extras. If your machine has forward, reverse, and zigzag you've got everything you need to make excellent homemade gear.

Buttonholes are an excellent way to make the hole that the draw cord goes through in stuff sacks and other gear projects. I prefer them to metal grommets.