Biting the (button-shaped) Bullet ~ Cynthia Rowley 2215

Writing an update on my 2015 Sewing Resolutions is still on my to-do list, but whilst I haven’t blogged about them for a while, they have definitely been playing on my mind.

I’m pretty ok with invisible zips, still fairly inexperienced with exposed ones, but until last week I had avoided all patterns that featured even one button.

Determined to conquer at least one of my fears during the summer hols, I routed this out of my stash – Cynthia Rowley 2215. I’ve got a pretty good success rate with her patterns, so View D seemed as good a bet as any to make this my first buttoned make, as well as somehow being less intimidating than a full blown shirt dress.

 I used some end of bolt fabric that I had sourced from The Stitchery, as I am now trying to make more autumn/winter appropriate garments, so I can continue to enjoy wearing them for a while yet. I still have a decent sized piece left over that I would like to think I could squeeze a vest top from.

 The darts went fine, albeit my second ever, the collar was surprisingly easy, and so all too quickly it was time to add the buttons. Eek. I used the pattern piece and cut through the lines on the button placket, enabling me to press my beloved Frixion pens through to the fabric to mark on the placement. I then tacked the buttons on, by hand.

The next morning I should have been getting ready to go a wedding, but, with only the buttons and hem remaining, I was just itching to finish my shirt. I had done a few practice button holes the night before on some scrap fabric, so was reasonably confident I knew what I needed to do. I started at the bottom, thinking any mistakes or glitches would be less noticeable down there. The first one (of six) went fine, the second missed off the last quarter of the button hole and the third stitched something about half the size it should have been. Hmph. I quickly looked up how to unpick a buttonhole – no knack required, incidentally, and unpicked number 2 and 3. After more test attempts and some fiddling with the button foot, I started again and sewed and snipped open all of the 6 buttonholes.
All that remained was to mark the placing of, then stitch on the buttons. I used my Frixion pens again, poking them through the button holes to mark where they should be placed. I did the top one by hand, which was fine, but then decided to read up on machine sewing buttons. I changed to a satin foot, measured the distance between the holes in the button and set the stitch length to match – in this case 4mm. I changed to zig-zag stitch, gritted my teeth, and went for it, AND IT WORKED!

   And took a few seconds, like less than a minute! It was quicker and easier, and more stable, than hand sewing on a button. I was amazed. I opted to sew a slightly different button at the top, because, why not?   
 What’s your greatest sewing-related fear? Are you planning to conquer it any time soon? I’m now working out what to tackle next, and though a shirt dress is the obvious choice, the possibilities are endless!


12 responses to “Biting the (button-shaped) Bullet ~ Cynthia Rowley 2215

  1. Well done! It’s funny how we put these things off isn’t it? I’ve only done button holes once, so they still scare me… Trousers were definitely my sticking point though, and I have made some progress in that area, though I’m far from conquering them…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely top. Well done for facing your biggest sewing fear – always makes the others shrink even more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. corrineappleby

    Excellent job! I don’t mind button holes, I’ve had a fair bit of practice at them now but I’ve never used the machine to sew on a button. I’m always slightly terrified that the needle will hit the button or that the thread will just unravel and the button falls off (like so many of my RTW clothes) and I will have to hand sew anyway. Well done with conquering your fears!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done on using the machine to sew the buttons on, nearly everything I sew seems to involve buttonholes but I always sew on the buttons on by hand, I must be brave and give it a go!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done on conquering your button phobia! They look really neat and professional. The pattern matching is great too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They buttonholes, and the shirt, look great! And good on you for tackling something challenging for you. My machine is a little temperamental with buttonholes so I’m always nervous when a pattern calls for them, they really suck to unpick! For me, sewing with jersey is something I still haven’t tried and really want to take the plunge but am nervous for some reason. Also, sewing related but not actual sewing is buying fabric online; I’m still reluctant to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 🙂 I’ve only made a couple of things with Jersey but as long as you change your needle and resign yourself to the fact that you’re not going to be able to press as you go, you’ll be fine. Try it and let me know how you get on ☺️


    • Also – I buy loads of fabric online, and it’s *mostly* just what I expected. It’s often far cheaper but I also like supporting local businesses and markets, so I guess a mixture is ideal. If you like Liberty try Kat’s Fabrics on eBay – they’re seconds but I can’t tell & at least you know what you’re buying. They’re around £11pm.


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