The Sewing Place

My new favourite presser foot

Vezelay

My new favourite presser foot
« on: January 28, 2018, 10:36:13 AM »
I've just used my Janome button sew on foot for the first time and I love it  0_0. It's been sitting in it's packaging in my drawer for so long I forgot I'd even bought it, so that was a nice surprise. After I'd sussed out via Youtube how to insert it (seriously) I had 6 perfect buttons on my shirt in the blink of an eye. Maybe you all already have such a foot and I'm the last to know (wouldn't surprise me) but if you haven't, I can highly recommend it. It's such a simple idea and I know you can use tape and such, but I found that a bit of a faff in the past. Don't even mention hand sewing!

My automatic buttonhole foot is sadly not as reliable. It managed 4 out of the 6 fine but the other two were uneven in different ways and were a pain to unpick and redo - seems to happen every time I use it, no idea why. Anyone else had this?

DementedFairy

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 11:45:15 AM »
I only sew buttons by hand- I don't like them done by machine because as soon as that thread comes loos, no button!

I dodged buttonholes for YEARS until I got my vintage Singer and found a buttonholer.  Perfect every time, I love it.
C'est moi!

Morgan

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 13:59:26 PM »
The button foot is great isn't it - ideal for shirt buttons and so quick.


Re the buttonhole foot - the short answer is, (as with all long feet) it is about keeping the buttonhole foot completely level throughout the stitching process.


just posting a summary of something I posted elsewhere about using a buttonhole foot.
It may or may not offer a clue about what might be happening with your buttonhole foot, but at least it may help you to suss out what will work for you.

Most machines with buttonhole functions (whether mechanical or computerised, 4 step or 1 step) can make decent and consistent buttonholes. 
However, even the most whizzy gizmo TOL computerised machine with umpteen buttonhole styles plus stabiliser plates etc. will make rubbish buttonholes if the user doesn't stabilise, keep the foot level, adjust the settings, make a careful thread choice and test on like for like (lumpy) samples. 

1. Stabilise the both the fabric and the long foot -
- fabric ... stabilise as needed to ensure a sufficient substrate for the stitches to form evenly and to bite and hold onto during wear and tear.
Use interfacing inside the fabric layers to make the fabric stable and on troublesome fabrics also use machine embroidery stabiliser (whichever type is suitable for the job) on the top, bottom or both.

- foot ... do what works to keep the long and wide foot completely level so that the fabric is moved correctly by the feed dogs from the start to end of the stitching.  Sometimes that is to use a stabiliser plate, other times it can be to level up as you would with a hump-jumper approach.  It's all about keeping that foot level so the feed dogs can work.
 The issue with any long and wide foot, including a buttonhole foot, is to keep the foot absolutely flat during the whole process so that the feed dog has exactly the same amount of traction on the fabric throughout.

On some machines it can help to increase the presser foot pressure when the buttonhole foot is attached.
Steps and lumps from seam allowances or textured fabric (even small ones) can tip the foot slightly and as soon as that happens the feed dog looses it's grip or traction which is why the fabric will then stall and feed unevenly.  As soon as the fabric movement stalls, the stitches are piled up into lumps.  Often the key is how to control and compensate for the different levels in the fabric that tip the foot even slightly.
Also if the machine isn't a flat bed, lift and support the fabric around the machine with books etc. so there is no drag against the foot or feed dogs.


2.  Test stitching -
Avoid the frustration trap of testing buttonholes on a flat sample of the fabric. If you are going to make buttonholes near seam allowances and edges then replicate the conditions on the test sample.
Stitching a buttonhole on a shirt placket and then stitching a buttonhole on a collar stand - the conditions are different so 2 different samples are needed so you know how to keep the foot level for the different conditions.  Also you can work the buttonhole from different directions - toward the edge or away from it by switching around the way you present the fabric to the machine
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 14:09:28 PM by Morgan »

Vezelay

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 18:07:14 PM »
Thanks Morgan, very informative post. I did notice recently that my machine rocks slightly as if the base is uneven -  I've no idea why but I'll investigate and correct somehow. I now wonder if that could be it. My first three and the fifth buttonhole were perfect (interfaced brushed cotton shirt placket) which is frustrating as the problem seems quite random. But I'll definitely bear your info in mind next time (for cuffs).

DF, you made me think - my 30 year old neglected Singer used to make nice 4-step buttonholes that didn't need to be unpicked (arghh!) and resewn, so that could be the answer.


Kenora

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 21:30:08 PM »
I've just used my Janome button sew on foot for the first time and I love it  0_0.

I have the Bernina button sewing on foot and I love that too - it's so quick and easy to use. I do agree with DF's point though about machine sewn threads coming loose so I always finish my buttons off by hand. It's still quicker than actually sewing them all on by hand.  :)
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

Lollipop

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 21:53:15 PM »
I have to sew loads of hooks and bars on tutus, would it work for them do you think??
Was Sewnanny

Morgan

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 23:06:00 PM »
Don't see why not Lollipop especially for the eyes - just need to set the zigzag width.
For attaching hooks, depending on the size of the hooks, it may help to use a hump jumper under the foot with the hook inside the open slot.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fe/5c/86/fe5c862de3738714e7cdef87b1c7ea9b.jpg




Sewing on buttons can be done with an ordinary zigzag foot, with the relevant width of zigzag, the stitch length set to 0 and the feed logs lowered.
Just use a bit of wondertape (washable) or magic tape (remove afterwards) to hold the piece in place before putting it under the foot.
Scroll down to sewing buttons with a machine










Kenora

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 23:46:20 PM »
I agree that you could use the foot to sew on hooks and eyes, Lollipop, although - as Morgan says - you could just use a zigzag stitch with an ordinary foot to sew them on. I never found this very easy with buttons though, as I couldn't ever get them to stay where I wanted them to - even using tape, but that might have been me being cackhanded.  :S
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

Roger

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 08:46:16 AM »
I discovered the button sewing foot for my machine not so long ago too... and was thinking of using for hook and eyes too.

I think with hooks you put a few stitches over the neck then push the holes toward the stitching and then sew in the holes. That stabilises the hook.

If anyone else does buttons and hooks on older machines, this is pretty precision work so test it with a few hand turns first to make sure the stitch width is correct otherwise it’s probably exploded needle or button time!  8)
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

Bobbinalong

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 10:21:05 AM »
To echo what Morgan says so well, I have found that the Janome buttonhole stabiliser plate makes sewing buttonholes on shirt collar stands and other uneven areas so much more reliable than it is without.  I am not a prolific sewer so have not used it a great deal, but I'm hoping the holding of breath and crossing of fingers that always accompanies the sewing of buttonholes will become a thing of the past  :)  I do find it a bit annoying however that as such a plate is needed for so many projects with buttonholes that the stabiliser plate is not included as part of the buttonhole foot. I didn't even know such a thing existed until a little while ago!

Ellabella

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 10:25:39 AM »
My problem with the Janine button foot is fitting the damn thing and the removing it when I've finished.

Is there a knack to this or am I just being even more cack handed than usual.

I assume we are talking about the little one with the blue plastic section.
Desperately trying to alliterate in North Yorkshire

Morgan

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 19:57:00 PM »
My problem with the Janine button foot is fitting the damn thing and the removing it when I've finished.
Is there a knack to this or am I just being even more cack handed than usual.
I assume we are talking about the little one with the blue plastic section.
There is a knack to the Janome button sewing foot - there are two attachment points - first hook it onto the back of the ankle and second lower the foot to engage the usual snap on hook. 
to remove the foot, press the red button to disengage the snap on hook then lift the bar on the back of the foot off the ankle and remove the foot toward the back of the machine.
See this video - shows 2 hole button
Sewing 4 hole buttons
Sewing on a ring
Attach other items


Singer button sewing foot - snap on 


Brother button sewing foot - snap on

Bernina Button Sewing foot No. 18

Vezelay

Re: My new favourite presser foot
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 20:32:11 PM »
I never even heard of a stabiliser plate before so just had a look. Not cheap are they, but doubtless one will find its way onto my next UK order somehow.

Ellabella, you're not alone. I needed a Youtube video to figure out how to insert it. Even fancied I must have bought the wrong model, but it's fine once you know.