Buttonholes are a small but important detail in a groom’s wedding attire. While most buttonholes are simply a tiny hole in the fabric with a button sewn on top, many different types of buttonhole designs can be used to add a bit of personality and style to the groom’s look.
1. The Standard Buttonhole
The standard buttonhole is the most basic type of buttonhole and is simply a small hole in the fabric with a button sewn on top. This type of buttonhole is typically used on shirts and other garments that do not have a lot of extra fabric or embellishments.
- Insert the needle into the fabric where you want the buttonhole to start, about 1/4 inch (6 mm) from the edge of the fabric.
- Insert the needle into the fabric again, this time about 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the first stitch.
- Continue inserting the needle and pulling it through the fabric, ensuring that each stitch is about 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the previous stitch.
- When you reach the point where you want the buttonhole to end, insert the needle into the fabric one last time and pull it through to the back of the fabric.
- To finish the buttonhole, make a small stitch in the back of the fabric (this will be hidden when the buttonhole is finished). Then, insert the needle into the fabric at the beginning of the buttonhole and make another small stitch.
2. The French Buttonhole
The French buttonhole, or boutonnière, is a classic accessory that can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. So whether you’re attending a formal event or want to add a pop of color to your look, this timeless piece is the perfect way to do it.
While the buttonhole is typically worn on the left lapel, it can also be placed on the right side. If you’re wearing a boutonnière on your right lapel, it should face the opposite direction from your left lapel buttonhole.
- To wear a French buttonhole, start by putting on the jacket or blazer you’ll be wearing. Then, take the boutonnière and pin it to your lapel. Make sure the pin goes through all layers of fabric to stay securely in place.
- Once you’ve pinned the boutonnière, you can adjust it to sit at the desired height. Typically, the boutonnière should be placed just below the notch in your lapel.
- Once you’re happy with the placement of your boutonnière, you can go about your day! Just be sure to take extra care not to pull or snag the delicate flower when removing your jacket.
3. The Pick-Stitch Buttonhole
The pick-stitch buttonhole is similar to the French buttonhole, but instead of stitching around the edge of the slit, tiny stitches are used to create a design within the slit itself. This type of buttonhole is often used on formal wear and can be intricate.
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to sew perfect pick-stitch buttonholes every time.
- Cut two pieces of interfacing, one for the front of the shirt and one for the back. The interfacing should be slightly smaller than the finished buttonhole.
- Mark the placement of the buttonholes on the front of the shirt using a pencil or chalk. Make sure the marks are evenly spaced and centered over the buttonhole openings.
- Place the interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric, aligning the raw edges. Use a spray adhesive to secure the interfacing in place.
- Using a buttonhole foot, sew around the perimeter of each mark, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each stitch.
- Cut the opening of the buttonholes open with a sharp pair of scissors.
4. The Blind Buttonhole
The blind buttonhole is another type of buttonhole often used in formal wear. This type of buttonhole is created by first making a small slit in the fabric, then stitching around the edge of the slit to create a small border. A button is then sewn on top of the slit, but the thread is not visible from the front of the garment.
This type of finish is often used on garments made from delicate or expensive fabrics, as it minimizes the risk of damage to the fabric. It is also a good choice for garments that will be worn often, as it is less likely to come undone than other types of finishes.
- To create a Blind Buttonhole, first mark the placement of the hole on the wrong side of the fabric. Then, using a sharp needle and matching thread, sew a small running stitch around the perimeter of the marked area. Be sure to leave a long tail of thread at the beginning and end of the stitching.
- Next, carefully cut away the center of the marked area, careful not to cut the stitches. Pull the thread gently to gather the raw edges of the fabric, and then tie the two ends of the thread together.
- Finally, use a needle and thread to reinforce the holes’ stitches and trim any excess thread. Your Blind Buttonhole is now complete!
5. The Bound Buttonhole
The bound buttonhole is similar to the blind buttonhole, but instead of stitching around the edge of the slit, a strip of fabric is used to create a border. This buttonhole type is often used on higher-end garments and can be intricate.
- Mark the placement of the buttonhole on the wrong side of the fabric.
- Cut a strip of fabric twice the width of the finished buttonhole and long enough to go around the perimeter of the marked area.
- Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.
- Center the strip over the marked area and pin it in place.
- Using a buttonhole foot, sew around the perimeter of the marked area, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each stitch.
- Cut the opening of the buttonhole open with a sharp pair of scissors.
- Fold the raw edges of the fabric strip under and press.
- Topstitch around the perimeter of the buttonhole to secure the fabric strip in place.
Your bound buttonhole is now complete!