Darling Ranges dress sewalong: closures

You guys!! This is our last step!! After we finish up all these buttonholes and buttons then we’re done and dusted! That deserves a whoooop whooop or something :)

Ready to get started? I’ve got a few tricks and tips to show  you!

I think one of the hard things about buttons and buttonholes is making sure that they line up correctly and are properly spaced.

There is a button placement guide in your pattern, but don’t forget you can change the placements however you’d like! Make the buttons further apart, closer together, however you’d like – it’s really up to you!

Whenever I’m getting set up to make buttonholes i like to plan them all out with pins first. I place a pin at the beginning and end of each buttonholes, and measure out to make sure they’re properly spaced.

Once you’ve sewn up your buttonholes you can open them up using a buttonhole cutter or a seam ripper.

Now onto the buttons!

When I first released this dress as part of my Fall 2010 apparel collection – i very quickly realised i’d have to come up with some good tricks for sewing buttons quickly, otherwise i was going to drown in handsewing hundreds of buttons! That’s how i came up with these nifty tricks – that have literally saved my life. (was that too dramatic?) You may need to practice and do some tweaking to find what works for your exact machine, but i promise this will change your attitude about sewing buttons.

Trick #1 

To get your buttons lined up perfectly with your buttonholes, match up your plackets how they will be when you are done. Then pin through the buttonholes making sure you catch only the placket at the back (the one that will have buttons on it) otherwise known as the placket on the left side of the dress :)

Push the pins so that the pin heads are right up against the fabric, and facing upwards towards the top of the dress. Now as you lift up the right placket the pins will be left on the left placket marking the perfect spots for all your buttons!

Trick #2

Hand sewing buttons can be a bastard if you have heaps to do. This is how i saw all my buttons on now!

Remove  your foot from your sewing machine (i’m sure someone will or has invented a foot for this, but i honestly can’t find one). So you’re just left with the stand.

Use scotch tape to tape your button over the spot you marked previously, and remove the pin.

Set your machine to zig zag stitch, and zero stitch length (this is important!!). Since each machine is different, you will have to play around with the width to find out what width stitch will neatly go through each hole in your button. On my machine “3” works perfectly, so if you have an Elna – start there!

Now sew!!!! Yep, right through the scotch tape. Isn’t this amazing? Your machine is sewing your button on for you (seriously this excites me so much every time i do it, don’t you laugh hehe) Pull of the tape

And now you have a perfectly sewn button in like 20% of the time it would have taken to handsew!

Do you still hate buttons and buttonholes? Because i have an idea for you :) Even though the pattern calls for buttons, you can get a bit creative and do something else like snaps / press studs. I did that on a dress i made a few years ago and i love how easy it is to put on (and it took 5 minutes to attach the snaps)

So guess what?? That’s it!! You’ve finished your Darling Ranges dress!! Yay! How did you go??

Don’t forget that time is running out to use our discount code! Once i show my finished dresses next week then the code will expire – till then don’t forget to enter SEWALONG at checkout to get 15% off!

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  1. says

    First of all: OH MY GOD I HAVE AN ELNA TOO! I’m a dork, but I have never seen another Elna apart from mine. :)
    Secondly: the scotch tape + zig zag stitch will change my sewing life.
    I usually sew buttons by hand, I thread the needle with two long double strands of thread, so I only need to stich the button a couple of times.

  2. says

    Wow! Why have I never thought of the button zig zag thing! I am definitely going to try this!
    I’ve just found your blog and have really enjoyed this series.
    I’m looking forward to hearing you moving adventures and how things go – I’m from down-under too, although living in the UK :)

  3. Kez says

    Thanks so much for doing this sew a long, Megan! I am a few steps behind, but will for sure be referencing these posts as I keep going…they have already been super helpful. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou!

  4. Alison - UK says

    I’m way behind too but enjoying it all. Thanks so much. You are a great teacher. I will send a photo of the completed dress – probably in late May!