Three ways to open a buttonhole

Discover the different ways to open a buttonhole for a clean look. Each uses a different tool and would work better for different fabrics.

I know a lot of people are afraid of buttonholes, but the truth for me is that I prefer to sew buttons and buttonholes rather than insert a zipper. There's something classic about buttons and buttonholes that can't be broken like a zipper or snaps.

I really like buttons and buttonholes on children's clothing because of the extra detail they add. I've been opening buttonholes the same way for years and years. More than a decade. I had learned a certain way to open buttonholes and I didn't know there were different ways.

I wanted to try different ways of opening a buttonhole and I found three that I preferred. These are the ones I will use in the future depending on my fabric and project.

Do you like to sew? Try one of these great sewing projects:

Comparison of three Cheyenne tunics // heatherhandmade.com

How to open a buttonhole

Each of these techniques is simple, but can be used when it works best for you. The best part of sewing is finding the way you like to do it.

open a buttonhole

Tips before you start:

  • Hold the fabric steady while opening the buttonhole
  • Use good lighting to see the points clearly
Cheyenne shirt sewing pattern combined views

1. Dritz seam ripper* And Glass Head Pins*

Insert a glass-headed pin into each side of the buttonhole to protect the edges from cuts. Starting in the middle of the buttonhole stitches, insert the seam ripper into the fabric. Push the seam ripper toward one side of the buttonhole cutting the fabric and you push.

Cut the other side as well. (Always use pins! If you think you won't cut the stitches, you will. I have!) Pull on the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean, completely open hole.

3 ways to open a buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

2. Fiskars fabric knife* And Glass Head Pins*

Insert a glass-headed pin into each side of the buttonhole to protect the edges from cuts. Starting in the middle, use the fabric knife to cut all the way to the end. Then cut the other side.

The knife uses a pulling motion while the seam ripper uses a pushing motion. You can use the tool that suits you best. Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean, completely open hole.

3 ways to open a buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

3. Fiskars fabric knife* And Cutting mat*

Place the cutting mat under the fabric with the buttonhole stitches. Place the buttonhole blade on one side and press until you feel the blade cut through the fabric.

Move the blade to the other end and press again to cut the fabric. Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean, completely open hole.

3 ways to open a buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

Materials

  • Sewn buttonhole that has not been opened

Tools

  • Seam ripper

  • Fiskars fabric knife

  • Cutting mat

Instructions

Dritz seam ripper* And Glass Head Pins*

  1. Insert a glass-headed pin into each side of the buttonhole to protect the edges from cuts. Starting in the middle, insert the seam ripper and cut the fabric.
  2. Cut the other side as well. (Always use pins! If you think you won't cut the stitches, you will. I did it!) Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean, completely open hole.

Fiskars fabric knife* And Glass Head Pins*

  1. Insert a glass-headed pin into each side of the buttonhole to protect the edges from cuts. Starting in the middle, use the fabric knife to cut all the way to the end. Then cut the other side.
  2. The knife uses a pulling motion while the seam ripper uses a pushing motion. You can use the tool that suits you best. Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean, completely open hole.

Fiskars fabric knife* And Cutting mat*

  1. Place the cutting mat under the fabric with the buttonhole stitches. Place the buttonhole blade on one side and press until you feel the blade cut through the fabric.
  2. Move the blade to the other end and press again to cut the fabric. Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean, completely open hole.

How much did you love this project?

Follow me on Pinterest to find out more and use the little pin button at the top of the post!

Have you tried all of these techniques? How do you like to open a buttonhole?

If you make anything using this tutorial, I'd love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and identify me!

Three ways to open a buttonhole


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