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Fastenings - Types & It's Applications (Part Two)

Buttons

Although they are associated with clothing, many buttons are eminently suitable for soft furnishings. They are made from plastic, wool, leather and shell, or maybe fabric-covered.

Buttons can be both functional and decorative. They are not very strong, so use them where they will not receive a great deal of strain: bedlinen and scatter cushions are ideal.

Buttons with Shanks

1. Marking Up Mark up for buttons and buttonholes, and make holes. Check the button position through the hole, and secure a thread.

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2. Stitching On Sew on the button, making stitches through the hole in the shank. Make 12 to 14 such stitches before fastening off.

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Buttons with Holes

Sew parallel stitches over a pin under the button. Take out the pin. Wind the thread around the slack to form a shank. Fasten off on wrong side.

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Covering Buttons

1. Fitting Fabric Cut fabric to cover the button and overlap. Lay the button face down on the wrong side, and fold the fabric over the teeth.

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2. Securing Snap the back of the button into place. These buttons are sold in a variety of types and sizes. Read the instructions - they vary.

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Buttonholes

Position buttonholes and buttons very carefully to prevent openings from gaping. To give a buttonhole strength, make the fastening edge from a double thickness of the material and use a buttonhole stitch.

Many sewing machines have a special attachment for sewing buttonholes. For an unusual finish, you can use rouleau loops instead of buttonholes.

Machine-Sewn Buttonholes

1. Marking Up - Mark the centre of the buttonhole and align the button with the mark. Mark the width plus the thickness of the button, plus a little for oversewing the ends of the hole

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2. Cutting Out Sew buttonhole stitch along either side of the mark and across the ends. Cut a hole at the end of the mark with an unpicker or small, sharp scissors. Cut open the hole.

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Hand-Sewn Buttonholes

1. Cutting Hole Mark the position and length of the buttonhole as required with tailor's chalk or vanishing ink. Use an unpicker or small, sharp pair of scissors to cut open the length of the buttonhole.

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2. Starting Edge Thread a needle with buttonhole thread. Secure it at one end of the slit, if the hole is at a right angle to the edge, start at the end that will take the strain. Oversew across the end.

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3. Stitching Edges Working in buttonhole stitch, sew closely along one side of the buttonhole. At the far end, oversew again. Work along the second side, and fasten off.

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Button Loops

First, sew the buttons in place on one edge of the opening. Pin the rouleau strip in place along the other edge of the opening, folding it to form loops. Adjust the loops to fit the buttons, size and spacing. Tack and oversew the rouleau in place.

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Zips

Ideal for strength and invisibility, metal and plastic zips are available in a wide variety of weights, lengths, and colours. They are suitable for all but the most lightweight furnishings.

Metal zips are the strongest, but plastic zips are available in a wider range of colours and are also more flexible, although you must take care not to damage them when ironing.

Centred Zip

1. Positioning Select a zip for the fabric, taking wear and tear into consideration. Make sure that the zip is long enough for the task. Lay the zip on the seam line on the wrong side of the fabric, and mark the point where each line ends.

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2. Sewing In Pin, tack and sew the fabric pieces at both ends of the zip, starting at the fabric edges and stopping at the pin markers. Tack the opening for the zip between the pins closed along the seam line, and press the seam allowance open.

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3. Pinning Zip Lay the fabric right side down with the seam pressed open. Place the zip right side down on the tacked part of the seam. Make sure that it is placed centrally, with the teeth lying on the join. Pin and tack the zip in place.

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4. Sewing on Zip Turn the fabric right side up. Using the zip attachment on a sewing machine, sew through all the layers of fabric around the zip. Keep the stitching about 8 mm from the zip teeth. Remove the tacking stitches.

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Offset Zip

1. Tacking in Place Follow steps 1 and 2 for a centered zip. Place the zip on the tacked section, and set to one side so that the teeth are on the seam allowance. Pin and tack in place.

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2. Sewing on Zip Turn the fabric right side up. Using the zip attachment on a sewing machine, stitch through all the layers of fabric around the zip. Follow the tacking stitches cloesly.

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3. Finished Zip Take out the tacking stitches. An offset zip is less visible than a centered one, so this is a particularly useful way of hiding a zip that does not match the fabric.

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Lapped Zip at the End of a Seam

1. Placing Sew seam with allowances wider than the zip. Leave an opening for zip at seam end. Fold both allowances to one side. Lay fabric right side up, and fold back top piece. Pin, tack, and sew one side of the zip, right side up on the bottom allowance.

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2. Second Side Lay the top fabric piece over the zip, and line up the seam allowances. Turn the fabric pieces over. Pin and tack free edge of zip to free seam allowance. Turn right side up again, open zip, and sew along the tacked edge of zip.

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3. Finished Zip Seam allowances both lie to one side of seam, with the zip between them. The zip is completely concealed beneath the top seam allowance. This method is generally used for loose covers on chairs and sofas.

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Zip in a Piped Seam

1. Piped Side Lay one edge of the open zip right side down on the inside of the allowance of the piped edge. Pin, tack and sew 3 mm from the zip teeth, using the zip attachment on a sewing machine.

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2. Plain Side Close the zip. Turn back the seam allowances of both edges. Lay the unpiped edge on the zip to meet the piping. Pin, tack, and sew the zip in place.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Temoor Dar

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