Thanks to the fabulous Hallie Larkin, over at Sign of the Golden Scissors, I’ve worked up enough courage to try wrapped buttonholes for my Snowshill riding habit jacket. The originals were pieces of vellum wrapped in metallic threads, then couched onto the garment, to decorate the buttonholes. Sometimes those buttonholes were functional, sometimes not. Check out Hallie’s articles on the subject here, here, and here.
|Wrapped buttonholes on a similar riding habit at The Met|
I used slices of a folder, just a typical cardstock folder that we used to have in school, measured out and cut into strips about 3 inches long, and 1/8 inch wide. I notched the ends ever so slightly, and started the wrap by taping the end of the metallic thread to the backside.
Then I wrapped and wrapped, just pulling the metallic thread off the spool as I went, until I got to the end, then drew the thread through the tiny notch, and taped the end again to the backside. This whole process takes time, and I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with arthritis or problems with their hands or wrists, because it does stress them. :-
To apply the wraps, I couched them onto the buttonholes. The first attempt, I couched the wraps on, then tried to cut the buttonhole, but that was utter chaos, and didn’t work. You have to make the buttonholes FIRST, then apply the decoration. I used a Sulky brand shiny silver thread, very thin, to couch.
I haven’t dealt with the ends yet, and as Hallie points out in her post, they are problematic. It will take some clever embroidery over the top, in the metallic threads.
They look very nice when done. I seem to have issues getting buttonholes on straight, but the nice thing is that if need be, these can be easily taken off and re-applied. They add some structure to the buttonholes as well as beauty, too, so you don’t have a floppy front edge. I think they will be worth the work in the end (she says now, with, like, 17 more of these to go…)