“ Brand: Singer „
My lot are all very weird sizes. OK mainly one child in particular.
My step daughter isn't fat.... far from it. She has a few problems. Anyway, store bought clothes wise, we have to buy her age 12 clothes, but she's got short legs and I always have to shorten them 3 - 4 inches then they look daft etc so I just make her clothes now as I can tailor them.
One of the most intricate things to need to do when tailoring clothes is button holing. I hate button holing. Well I used too.
Memories of being 7 and my Nan sitting me in-front of her Janome and using the setting was daunting... it also wasn't always foolproof.
When I got lucky on Ebay a couple of years back with a Singer 185k lowshank straight stitch, a friend of mine dragged me through ebay for the attachments (which I am now only missing one lol) and the best, and my most favouritest (is that a word?) attachment EVER is the Singer buttonholer.
I simply open a plate, slip in a template... attach to the machine, put on the thought plate cover, thread and within 30 seconds..... a professional strong buttonhole is sewn just waiting to have the centre opened up.
I have used mine so many times now its silly. I just completed a pattern for a school skirt for my step daughter that specifically needed 2 button holes in the front.
Addicted? Yeah I need Singers anonymous desperately now....
The attachment cost me around $30 including postage to the UK.... if you see more templates... let me know!!!
So there I am, happily sewing straight seam, after straight seam. At long last, I hold the garment up, and look satisfied at the garment I have all but finished. The shirt collar is perfect, the sleeves set in just so, the cuffs straight, the hems even, and all the seams pressed flat beautifully. The pocket is on straight and the top stitching detail spot on. Now if I could just button it! But buttoning a shirt requires two things. One is a set of buttons. The second thing is buttonholes. Sure, I could mark the buttonhole spaces with chalk, and then spend ages doing hand worked buttonholes, agonising over every small hand stitch lest it spoil the look of my otherwise beautiful garment. Or I could take my straight stitch sewing machine, remove the foot, and attach one of these beauties and be done with the whole affair in under 10 minutes, including the time to hand sew on a few buttons!
Being a sensible sort, I of course elect to use the gadget. And what a gadget it is too. Simply by placing this in where a sewing foot normally goes (after changing the sole plate as well so the feed dogs won't move the fabric), and popping in a cam that corresponds to the size of the button I wish to use, I can simply start up my straight stitch machine and have professional looking buttonholes zigzag their way into existence without further ado from myself. Yep, zigzag. Like the zigzag attachment that does the fancy stitch work, this gizmo, which upon close inspection is VERY similar in design, follows the shape of the cam and moves the fabric along, going back and forth to make small zigzags that overlap each other to make a buttonhole. Once sewn, you simply use sharp embroidery scissors or a seam ripper, and cut the fabric within the stitched buttonhole opening.
Knowing where to place the fabric so that the buttonholer makes the buttonhole in just the right place is also very simple. You simply use tailor's chalk to mark where you want the buttonholes, in the same height or width (depending on which way up or across you want the buttonhole) as teh proposed hole, and turn the fabric so that the lines are vertical to you. Pull a little ratchet handle on the right so that the "foot" part of the attachment is at its closest position to you. Now line up the top of a buttonhole chalk mark with the second row from the top lines painted within the "foot", lower the presser foot, and start the machine. It does all the rest.
Selecting the correct cam is dead easy too. The size of the openings are marked on the back of the cams, so you simply match that up with the size of your button.The cams that come supplied are for flat round buttons, but you can buy additional cams that were sold as accessories for it. These will make small round holes (stitched eyelets) for rounded pearl type buttons and lacings, as well as keyhole shapes for a designer look and which are fantastic for toggles on duffle style coats.
Caring for the buttonholer is pretty easy too. Like all mechanical gadgets, it does need looking after, so you cannot simply use it and toss it aside til later without performing the occasional light piece of maintenance. It is the simplest sort of maintenance and nothing to be frightened of at all. Simply check it over for lint and dust, and oil it in the areas pointed to in the booklet to keep the mechanical bits moving freely, and all shall be well. If you sew a lot as I now do, you will want to oil it once a month, and I do this with the indicated sewing machine oil on the same day I oil my sewing machine. Also be careful to never put it away without a cam inside it so that its innards don't get rattled about and inadvertently damaged, and it is best to always keep it and its cams in its provided box or case. Some are in cardboard boxes, and others come in plastic snap closing heavy duty plastic cases of varying designs according to actual manufacture date and which range of machine they were offering it with. Earlier versions will be in a cardboard box, later ones in snap fastening cases, and even later ones in cases that are space age in design with a distinct Jetsons feel.
These were made between the 1940's and the mid to late 1960's, whereupon machines generally came with built in buttonholers, so you will have to look for one via the second hand market. They produce a much nicer buttonhole with a particularly fine hand finished look seen on the professionally tailored clothes, so are still in popular demand by persons with such low shank modernish machines who are in the know. So while you might be lucky and pick up one for under £5, be prepared to spend up to £20 plus another £12 for shipping from abroad, as the demand for these means it is more likely to be obtained where there are more readily available, and that would be in the US and Canada. More people, so more machines; more machines, so more accessories and attachments still floating about! EBay is one such place to look, but another good bet, and one that will ensure a fair, set cost with a working and undamaged model, would be online shops that specialise in vintage sewing machines and accessories, such as the Singer Featherweight site operated here in the UK by expert Graham Forsdyke (http://www.singer-featherweight.com/), Vintage Singer Sewing (http://www.vintagesingersewing.com/catalog/), and others. Despite their age, they perform as perfectly as the day they were made as long as cared for, thanks to their exceptionally fine design, and will help you get just the right finishing touches you need on the project you are finishing.