Have you ever had to sew a button hole that was longer than your buttonhole foot? The first time I had to do this, I was stumped. I searched the internet thinking I could buy a larger buttonhole foot to use, but couldn’t find one anywhere. I finally figured out how to do it so here it is.
Please note that all sewing machines sew buttonholes a bit differently, but this technique should work no matter what the machine. It works on my Singer, Brother and Janome. Although, this technique, is meant to be used for a machine that has an AUTOMATIC BUTTONHOLE option.
Mark your fabric. Using a fabric pencil, mark the appropriate length of your buttonhole at the appropriate location. I use a straight line and put small perpendicular lines at each end so it is clear where the line stops and starts.
Use a regular sewing foot or zigzag foot (make sure that this foot has space for a zig zag stitch).
Pull down the automatic buttonhole lever on the machine.
Place the fabric so the needle starts at the bottom of your marked buttonhole, making sure the excess lead thread is pulled to the side.
Put your presser foot down and begin sewing. Pay close attention to where you are on your marking. When you reach the end (top) of the marking, lightly tap the buttonhole lever with your finger. These levers are very sensitive, so be careful to keep your finger clear of it until you are ready for the machine to return.
Allow your machine to return to the bottom of the buttonhole and tap it again when it reaches the beginning point.
Now, depending on your machine, it may stitch a straight stitch first and the zig zag stitch afterwards or it may just start with a zig zag stitch so the number of times you will need to go back and forth will vary. It doesn’t really matter. Your finger is just acting as the “stop” that would be on the buttonhole foot. So each time you reach the end of your buttonhole, just tap until the buttonhole is complete!
Practice this a few times before doing it on your project so you can get a feel for how your machine works.
I hope this tip helps! I know it took me forever to figure it out, and it is so simple!