When using sewing machines to create beautiful handmade garments, everything is in the small details. Although it may seem like professional-looking buttonholes would be difficult to make, they are actually quite easy. By using the right equipment, like the Janome 2212 or other Janome sewing machines and a simple attachment, most sewists should be able to make awesome buttonholes for all of their projects.

Install the Required Attachment or Foot

Today, most sewing machines come with a buttonhome attachment of some type; for those that don't, similar attachments can be purchased. There are a variety of these attachments available and they all work basically the same way. The main difference is how they are controlled by the machine’s computer, whether done manually, using the gears in the foot, or electronically. Sewers must start off by removing the universal foot, then putting on the buttonhole foot and switching to the machine’s buttonhole function.

Mark the Buttonhole Position

There are various techniques to appropriately measure the spaces for buttonholes so they come out even. The method chosen should be the one that works best for each individual project. After installing the attachment or foot onto a Janome 2212, set the button down on the fabric where it needs to be positioned and mark that spot. Mark the top and bottom with two horizontal lines on the fabric using a fabric marker or tailor's chalk. Then connect the two marks in the middle with a vertical line. This is the guideline for stitching the buttonhole, beginning and ending at the two intersecting points.

Set the Buttonhole Length

After marking where the stitching must be done, set the required length according to the size of the button. Measure the button to obtain its gauge, then adjust the buttonhole length either manually or electronically, depending upon the machine and how the attachment must be adjusted.

Stabilize the Fabric

Cut a piece of tear away stabilizer to fit over the back of the marked area and a piece of wash away stabilizer to fit over the front of the marked area. Stabilizer will help Janome sewing machines make secure, close stitches without damaging the fabric.

Sew the Buttonhole

Now it is time to sew. With the fabric and stabilizer in place, line up everything under the foot and then set the needle where the first marked lines intersect. Begin to slowly stitch, making a few stitches at the top of the hole and then allowing the attachment or foot to stitch one side of the hole and then the other. Make a few more stitches at the bottom of the buttonhole. The stitches done at the top and bottom will stabilize and prevent it from tearing open. Once the entire opening has been sewn, finish it off by lifting the needle and snipping long tails on the threads.

Finish the Buttonhole

Carefully pull away the two stabilizers, then open up the fabric between the two rows of stitches. This can be easily done with a sharp seam ripper, buttonhole cutter, Exacto knife, or some other sharp blade. Position a pin at the top and bottom of the rows of stitching to prevent cutting too far, then open up the fabric. The button should slip through snugly, but easily.

Buttonholes may seem intimidating; however, with careful measuring and a little practice, almost anyone can make these closures by using Janome sewing machines. Newer machines such as the Janome 2212 come with more advanced features that make creating details like buttonholes even easier. Even the most basic sewing machines available today usually accept the necessary attachments or presser feet, helping those who sew make professional-looking buttonholes on all of their projects!

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