How to Make a Buttonhole on a Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Janome, Pfaff or Viking & a bartack buttonhole

on June 26 | in Sewing + Quilting Tips, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 70 Comments

Natalie, Sarah, San, Georgia, Kris & Gabrielle created buttonhole tutorials for you, specific to their sewing machine brand’s quirks and procedures. This continues our exploration of buttonholes & buttonhole tips for Sewing Machine Month. We realize there is often even more variation between sewing machine models by the same manufacturer, but we hope this gives you a good starting place for confidence/info in conjunction with the owner’s manual for your machine. If your machine is missing from the list, you could always do a how-to on your blog and add the URL below (Singer, anyone?!). Please feel free to add your experiences, expertise, advice and/or thoughts in the comments. Find introductions for today’s contributors here (lots of fun blogs to explore!), and enjoy their buttonhole tutorials too:

Baby Lock Buttonhole by Natalie from VegetablogBartack Buttonhole by San from The4Rs

Bernina Buttonhole by Sally from Sew Sally

Brother Buttonhole by Georgia from Puking Pastilles

Janome Buttonhole by Sarah from indywriter

Pfaff Buttonhole by Gabrielle at Bee Wise Bags

Viking Buttonhole by Kris from Summer at Grandma’s House

Join us for Sewing Machine Month! Enter to win this week’s prize package from our Sewing Machine Month sponsor: Husqvarna/Viking. Comment on any post this week for your chance to win the General Sewing Package (over $150 retail value), or you might win one of four $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!.
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70 Responses to How to Make a Buttonhole on a Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Janome, Pfaff or Viking & a bartack buttonhole

  1. You rescued me, and helped one of my students with this tutorial. We were in the middle of a sewing lesson, when we had to do buttonholes on my student’s Bernina. I’ve used a lot of machines, and made buttonholes too, but the Bernina had me stumped as to how to adjust/determine the size of the buttonhole. We typed our request into google, and got your tutorial! Thanks for a wonderful tutorial;0)
    As I find time, I’ll be searching your site for more useful information, and will refer sewing enthusiasts here. Kudos!

  2. Emily says:

    I have a Brother machine as well but mine does not do the automatic buttonhole. I have the 4-step buttonhole that requires that you change the dial from a,b,c to d at each step. My problem is the stitches are crazy loose! it doesn’t seem to be related to the stitch tension for regular stitches. Anyone have any insight? I have made buttonholes on other machines without this issue.

  3. Robyn says:

    I’ve also got a buttonhole tutorial for Bernina posted here on my blog. Enjoy!

  4. caroline says:

    I was just looking through these for the first time and thought that you missed the opportunity to show how to make buttonholes using a button-holer attachment for old machines. There are a few of us out there with machines of that vintage who keep it all old-school. In comparing the button holes I get from my button-holer to those from my mom’s fancy computerized machine, I actually now have gotten to the point where I prefer the wacky old attachment!

  5. Laura says:

    Thanks for this info. I have made buttonholes, but these instructions really do help.

  6. What a great collection of tutorials for the different machines. Thanks!

  7. Michal says:

    great tutorial collection, thanks!

  8. Bethany says:

    Wow, this is so great! Thank you!

  9. lynn whelan says:

    I can’t wait to check this out.
    I am so hoping you have this planned for installing zippers too, as these are both things that hold me back from attemping many project!!!

    thank you SO much,

  10. AmyLi says:

    Thank you for the information. I have a brother and I had try to use it to make a buttonhole but it didn’t turn out well. Now I’m going back to try it again with this tutorial.

  11. Makes everything look easier than i thought. Thanks for the tutorials!

  12. Ginny says:

    Thanks for the information. Awesome!

  13. Dawn W. says:

    Why do buttonholes always seem so intimidating – especially right before you start them? Thanks for the tutorial!

  14. By LuLu says:

    I love love love that there is now more specific directions for my Brother! That’s the same foot I have and until today I had NO clue how to use it!!! Thanks again Sew Mama, Sew!!

  15. Marsel says:

    I could have used this the first time I used my machine for a buttonhole and ended up making it in the wrong direction!!! 🙂 Great idea for a tutorial.

  16. YAY! sewing machine month is THE BEST!! i am learning sooo much!

  17. scenelady says:

    Great tutorial! just what I needed

  18. Jennifer says:

    Great info! I’m replacing my dinky Brother with my grandmother’s Bernina–maybe I can finally figure out buttonholes!

  19. lina says:

    Would love a Singer tutorial too!!! 🙂

  20. Amanda says:

    THANK YOU for these tutorials! Just what I needed 🙂

  21. susan says:

    Unfortunately my Brother is much more basic and has a different foot. I think I will still try it on my own.

  22. angel says:

    Passing on this post to my Mom! Would also love to see a Singer tute. One day I’ll upgrade…

  23. Sara says:

    What a great idea! Thanks!!

  24. Renee E says:

    Thanks Georgia, I checked out her tutorial. It really isn’t as intimidating as it seems. Once you get the hang of it it really is pretty easy!
    Thanks ladies!

  25. amy says:

    Great info! I used to always pull out my old Kenmore to do buttonholes because I didn’t know how to do them on my Bernina! Thanks!

  26. Lindsey S says:

    thank you gabrielle for the pfaff tutorial, this will help me immensely!!

  27. Stephanie Wehrman says:

    Thanks, I am learning a lot this month!

  28. alison says:

    Thanks for the tutorials!

  29. Mare says:

    I can’t wait to pass this along to my friends! Thanks!

  30. Ann S says:

    Thanks for the Viking tut!

  31. sheri howard says:

    That is a beautiful button hole!! I always admire and love a good button hole…weird, I know!

  32. april says:

    I previously owned a Kenmore, which I ended up upgrading to another model Kenmore due to some issues (and a total breakdown in customer service…nother story) one of which was the buttonhole. On this flukey failure of a machine the buttonholer was a huge cause of hairpulling.

    When I upgraded, I didnt try to buttonhole for months becuase I was afraid the same issues would plague me. They so did NOT! There is nothing more beautiful than an automatic buttonholer.

  33. Lindsey says:

    Great Janome tutorial. The only thing I would add is to place a pin at the end of the buttonhole before cutting. It saves cutting through the end – as I have learnt to my cost!

  34. Sally says:

    Nice! This is so handy! My Viking’s buttonhole attachment doesn’t have that super handy plastic part for getting the length just right… I want to upgrade my foot!

  35. Carrie says:

    That is awesome and oh so helpful to see it done on MY machine! Thanks.

  36. Page says:

    OK, she is going to post another Pfaff buttonhole tutorial later so I have her bookmarked. Thank you!

  37. Jacqui says:

    I have a Brother and really like the buttonhole foot it has, but it’s really interesting to see how the other brands deal with it! All I can say is thank goodness for the automatic buttonhole feature on newer machines. I grew up using my mum’s old Bernina from the 50s and while it was a sterling machine I used to dread buttonholes with a vengeance! The fear is gone now and it makes sewing a more enjoyable experience all-round! Except I don’t do them often enough to always remember the steps so end up having to do a practice one (well I should but I don’t always and usually regret it!).

  38. Monica says:

    Thank you so much for the machine specific instructions. Each machine has it’s own little way of doing the same things, so it’s nice to know the tricks.

  39. Nancy Mc says:

    But I have an Elna!!!

  40. Gerwerken says:

    These are nice to look at as I am considering getting a new machine in the near future. Currently my main machine is the classic Singer Featherweight straight stitch machine. Many people do not know that with the proper attachment you can make buttonholes with this machines. If anyone would like to see a tutorial on making buttonholes with this machine contact me. I will put it on my blog, and tell Sew Mama Sew about it.

  41. Kimberly says:

    What a great set of tutorials! My daughter just went to camp & learned how to make one…now I can ‘study at home’ and catch up with her! grin!

  42. Stacey C. says:

    Thanks, Georgia, for a very clear tutorial for using the Brother buttonhole foot. I’m less intimidated now…!

  43. the4rs says:

    Love the great tutorials, thank you to all the ladies, I enjoyed being a part of this, very informative!

  44. Meg says:

    Thanks for the links! I have a singer… but I currently have no need for button holes. Great references though!

  45. Stephanie says:

    Wow, great idea to divide up the makers. I’m running on over to PukingPastilles right now!

  46. vanessa says:

    Thanks or the tutorials!

  47. julia sears says:

    I have yet to brave the use of my botton-hole function but you make it look so simple! Thank you for the great info-it’s certainly a confidence booster!

  48. Danielle says:

    Awesome list! Thank you!

  49. Andi says:

    Thank you for this! I am planning a button-up shirt for myself and am encouraged by the demonstration of my particular brand (Brother). Now I have no reason not to try!

  50. Ivymae says:

    I have a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 870, and their interactive guide is great. The automatic buttonhole is wonderful, and just one of the features I love about this machine! (link to the guide, where you can see how the automatic buttonhole works).

  51. Susie says:

    Wow, I didn’t know how to do any of that! That seems easier than zippers so maybe I’ll finally give it a shot. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  52. Margie says:

    Great tutes! I think you have all the machines covered!

  53. Chrystal says:

    Anyone know Kenmore? I found a pic of my buttonhole foot:

  54. Linnea says:

    It’s so great to see how buttonholes are done on different machines! Although, I must admit it makes me a little jealous of all of those automatic buttonhole settings 🙂 Thanks ladies!

  55. Lisa says:

    Thanks! Nice to have a tutorial just for my Brother machine 🙂

  56. Katie says:

    I always forget how to do buttonholes on my Kenmore and I always have to do a bunch of practices on a scrap. Buttonholes. Zippers. I heartily dislike closures.

  57. Coralee says:

    Oh I am sooo excited about this! The buttonhole has been my boogey man of sewing and I can’t wait to try out Georgina’s tutorial for Brother machines! Thank you for this!

  58. Kim says:

    Thanks for such a great post. It’s fun learn from tutorials.

  59. girlsmama says:

    A great resource! Thank you!

  60. Peggy says:

    wow.. I am the first to comment!
    I just bought a Brother sewing machine, and the tutorial really helps!!
    Now I think I can also make a button hole 🙂
    Thank you for sharing!

  61. Mary says:

    I hope my Singer isn’t too difficult to figure out!

  62. stephanie says:

    These are all great but I still don’t think the hand made buttonhole should be counted out. I can use pretty floss, I can do it while sitting on my couch, and unlike my machine I never loose my mind and eat the nearly finished product I’m working on.

  63. Crystal says:

    Thank You! I am fairly new to sewing and have been avoiding everything requiring a button hole. This makes it look so easy.

  64. Sarah E. says:

    wow! great info, thanks ladies!

  65. Becky says:

    Would love to see a Singer tutorial added to the list!

  66. Kristen says:

    GREAT tutorials! I finally dragged out my machine’s manual a few years ago and soon realized I had been scared of buttonholes for no reason. I hope these lessons will banish buttonhole fear across the blogosphere.

    One suggestion (and someone may have said this but I didn’t see it) – always make a test buttonhole not just to test machine tension, stitch length, etc., but to test the overall sewn length of your buttonhole prior to laying them out on your garment. I make a lot of baby and toddler clothes and this can make a big difference!

  67. sarah says:

    Since I own a Singer, I would LOVE to see a tutorial specific to my kind.

  68. Leigh says:

    This is so great! I’m bookmarking this so I can come back to it when I upgrade my machine… Seriously leaning toward a Babylock.

  69. Amy Hunter says:

    I always avoid buttons because I was scared of making the button holes. Thanks for clearing up the questions I had on making them with my brother sewing machine.

  70. AllieK says:

    Great Post .. I love this months topic.

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