May 25, 2020

417 Comments




 

 


The Easy Way to Sew Machine Buttonholes- Freezer Paper!

Sewing Easy Machine Buttonholes Using the Freezer Paper Method

This week we have a fun treat! Shari Fuller, the designer behind the Thimbles and Acorns brand, is going to share her amazingly cool buttonhole sewing tip with us! After trying this, I'm pretty sure you'll never go back to your old method - seriously! My hope is that you will walk away with the confidence to sew professional looking buttonholes!

Limited Time  Giveaway! We're giving away a $50 Pixie Faire Gift Card!

To enter the giveaway, be sure to scroll to the end of this post and leave a comment. Tell us- would you rather sew buttons and buttonholes or sew a zipper?

Sewing Easy Machine Buttonholes Using the Freezer Paper Method

But first... If you're new to sewing buttonholes with an automatic buttonhole foot attachment on your sewing machine, be sure to check out my Simple Closures Video from the Sewing Academy series, it includes a full tutorial showing how to install and use a button hole foot. I also demonstrate how to open up the buttonhole successfully without accidentally cutting through the threads.

Now on to the tutorial from Shari Fuller!  

Sewing Easy Machine Buttonholes Using the Freezer Paper Method

Watch the Freezer Paper Buttonhole video below: 

Or follow along with the full tutorial here:

For many sewers, the thought of adding buttonholes to a finished outfit is enough to send chills down their spine… it does for me.  The thing is, it isn’t terribly difficult to make buttonholes, especially if your machine has a one-step buttonhole feature.  The problem is more about placement.  A slightly crooked or offset buttonhole can ruin the finished look of an otherwise masterfully sewn outfit… and it is nearly impossible to remove a buttonhole without damaging the fabric.

The key to beautiful buttonholes is to carefully mark all your placement lines so you can get them right the first time.  Transferring markings directly onto fabric, however, isn’t always as easy as it seems… which is probably why we are tempted to take shortcuts we inevitably regret.  Markings can be difficult to see on dark or printed fabrics, and it can be difficult to remove markings from lighter fabrics.  This is where the freezer paper comes in, the white paper is easy to write on and easy to see, and when you are finished, you just peel it off without a trace!

To begin, gather your project, freezer paper, buttonhole foot, pen, ruler, scissors, rotary cutter (optional), and an iron.

1. Measure the width of your buttonhole foot.

2. Cut a strip of freezer paper the same width as your buttonhole foot.

3. Draw a line down the center of the strip of freezer paper.

4. On a scrap piece of fabric, make a sample buttonhole that fits the buttons you will be using in your project.

5. Measure the length of your sample buttonhole.

6. Using the measurement of your sample buttonhole, determine the buttonhole placement on your project and transfer the placement marking to the center line on your strip of freezer paper. The top of the strip should line up with the top edge of your project. Don’t forget to figure in the seam allowance when determining the placement of the first buttonhole.

Tip: For doll clothes, I like the top button to be 1/4-inch from the finished edge, so the marking for the top buttonhole should be 1/2-inch from the top of the freezer paper to allow for the 1/4-inch seam allowance.

7. Fold the freezer paper strip in half along the center line. Trim the excess length of the bottom, leaving about 3-inches to help center the template under the buttonhole foot.

8. Snip the ends of each buttonhole marking 1/8-inch in from the folded edge…

… then snip out the center of each buttonhole.

Your finished template will look like this.

9. With the plastic side down, position the freezer paper template on you project. The top edge of the template should match the top edge of the project. Use the center line of the freezer paper to help with the alignment. Press the freezer paper so that it adheres to your project.

If you are unsatisfied with the alignment, simply peel the freezer paper up, reposition it, and press it in place again.

10. Starting with the bottom buttonhole, position the template so that the needle lands at the bottom edge of the buttonhole opening. Adjust the template so that the side edges are aligned with your buttonhole foot and the center line runs down the center of the buttonhole foot. Stitch your buttonhole. Repeat this process for the rest of the buttonhole, working from the bottom up.

When you are finished, peel the freezer paper template from your project. If you are careful not to tear it, you can reuse this template several times.

Look, beautiful, straight, and even buttonholes! (…though, I wouldn’t suggest using white thread on read fabric)

While this tutorial demonstrates how to make a template for simple vertical buttonholes, the concept can also be used for horizontal and arbitrarily placed buttonholes as well. Instead of cutting a strip the same width as your buttonhole foot, cut a wider strip or template that will accommodate the buttonhole placement and draw guidelines on the freezer paper for your buttonhole foot.

 Thanks, Shari! This is a fantastic resource!

Applying this method can help you approach sewing patterns with functioning buttons with confidence! Be sure to check out our Buttons and Bows Collection to see more patterns where you can apply your new buttonhole skills!

PDF Sewing Pattern George Washington's Uniform For 18-inch dolls PDF Sewing Pattern Button Up shirt For 18-inch dolls PDF Sewing Pattern Annie Ruffle Dress For18-inch dolls

Sewing Easy Machine Buttonholes Using the Freezer Paper Method

ENTER TO WIN A $50 Pixie Faire Gift Card!

To enter this week's contest, simply click the link below and then enter through the giveaway widget at the bottom of the blog post, there are many things you can do to earn multiple entry points!

Contest Details: You enter through the entry form that is embedded on this page and appears just below this paragraph, if you don't see it, be sure to visit the page from your desktop or an alternate browser such as Google Chrome. It may not appear on all mobile devices. The complete rules and entry details appear on the entry form. This is not a comment contest - in other words, leaving a comment on the bottom of this page is not an official entry method. The only required entry method is to leave a comment under this post and then confirm that you did it in the contest widget. One person will receive the PF Gift Card. You can enter once, or gain multiple entries by completing the other entry methods and increase your chances of winning. Please review all Terms and Conditions on the giveaway page before entering. While we wish we could run this contest everywhere, for legal reasons it is only open to eligible residents of the U.S. and Canada, not including Rhode Island. This contest is exclusively endorsed by Liberty Jane Clothing and Pixie Faire. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us -would you rather sew buttons and buttonholes or sew a zipper? Commenting below and confirming your entry in the widget above gives you one entry method, the other methods are listed in the widget above, be sure to enter in as many ways as you can to receive the maximum amount of entries to win one PF Gift Card!

Thanks, everyone!

The Pixie Faire Team


100 Comments

Karen
Karen

May 29, 2020

I prefer sewing buttonholes.

Francoise
Francoise

May 29, 2020

I use buttonholes and zippers.
But I once bought zippers from bankruptcy so now I have to use more zippers :)

Carol
Carol

May 29, 2020

I prefer zippers over buttons, but Shari’s way of doing it looks like it would take away a lot of the frustration of lining up the buttonholes. Also think it’s interesting that Shari starts with the bottom buttonhole. I’m going to have to try her way – I have a denim jacket waiting for buttonholes, so perfect timing!

Cheri
Cheri

May 29, 2020

It depends on the piece which I use. I have a heirloom buttonhole on my machine that I use for doll clothes

JoAnne
JoAnne

May 29, 2020

I always seem to make mistakes and my buttonholes don’t line up correctly. The freezer paper suggestion is a great idea. Thank you so much! I’ve been using Velcro because it’s so easy but not as professional looking.

leticia
leticia

May 28, 2020

I prefer zippers and to be honest I’ve never done button holes before!

Tamara
Tamara

May 28, 2020

It depends on the article of clothing but on doll clothes I prefer buttons. Thank you for the tip with th freezer paper. It will surely make lining up button holes easier!

Susan C
Susan C

May 28, 2020

It depends on the garment being made. A blouse would be buttons while a dress could be a zipper. I also like sewing buttons for decoration over snaps on the item. You don’t have to struggle with a small button hole.

Judy
Judy

May 28, 2020

This was a very helpful video of a great technique.
I plan to use it on my next project that needs buttonholes.

Heather McLaughlin
Heather McLaughlin

May 28, 2020

it really depends on the garment. I like and use both on a regular basis

Olga
Olga

May 28, 2020

Thanks for the videos I do love making button holes but this will be very helpful for future doll making efforts.

Jacque
Jacque

May 28, 2020

I love all the cute little buttons (I have more than I will ever use), so I try to do buttonholes on lots of my outfits. This method is similar to one I have used for years si I can’t wait to try it.

Nancy
Nancy

May 28, 2020

Hands down zippers are easier but sometimes not appropriate.

Diana
Diana

May 28, 2020

Love how much this simplifies the buttonhole process. Buttonholes have always been my least favorite. Now I might actually enjoy making them.

Jocelyn
Jocelyn

May 28, 2020

Zippers are faster, but I don’t mind doing buttons and buttonholes either. My Bernina has a built in buttonholer which makes things much easier.

Debra Luecke
Debra Luecke

May 28, 2020

I usually do buttons. I find that there a lot of cute ones that are perfect for AG clothes.

amber
amber

May 28, 2020

I don’t have a button hole foot. And the zipper foot I have doesn’t technically fit my machine, so it’s fidgety at best and a disaster at worst. I usually end up hand sewing snaps and putting a button over top for looks.

Beth C
Beth C

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew a zipper, but tiny buttons are super cute!

Kay
Kay

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew a zipper but I am interested in trying this way of doing it that maybe I would like it better.

Janine
Janine

May 28, 2020

I prefer buttons and buttonholes. I am going to try your tecnique because I usually end up having to redo at least 1 with each garment.

TrenaG
TrenaG

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew zippers.

Cath
Cath

May 28, 2020

Zippers are easier, but I use what the look calls for. I never use real buttonholes on my doll clothes, I put snaps on underneath sewn on buttons. I use really small buttons so I didn’t figure a buttonhole that small would be feasible.
Thanks for the opportunity and the new lesson.

Teresa
Teresa

May 28, 2020

I MUCH prefer to install zippers.
Making buttonholes strike fear in me as I have never been able to make nice even ones.
I have several unfinished projects JUST because I REALLY want functioning buttonholes.
This tutorial has inspired me to finish these projects.
Thank You!!.

Monique Venne
Monique Venne

May 28, 2020

I’d much rather sew zippers. It’s easy to take out if there’s an error, as compared to a machine buttonhole.

Glenda
Glenda

May 28, 2020

I like the look of buttons and buttonholes. Now that you’ve shown me an easier way to get it done, I’m looking forward to trying this method. Thank you.

Martha Reese
Martha Reese

May 28, 2020

I love the look of a button and button hole.

Anna S
Anna S

May 28, 2020

My comfort level is to skip buttonholes and zippers altogether and just use snaps! Or snaps with a decorative button on the front side. But I like the authenticity of real buttonholes and zippers, so I hope to push out of my comfort zone. I am still learning both techniques and have only used them in one (human size) garment so far.

Sharon
Sharon

May 28, 2020

I can do a zipper comfortably now thanks to SWC but button holes make me shudder! Thanks for the great tutorial Shari !p

Patricia
Patricia

May 28, 2020

I get intimidated by button holes for doll clothes. I watched the tutorial and now feel more confident. I like the look of buttons better than a zipper.

Debbie Sold
Debbie Sold

May 28, 2020

It’s a toss up between buttons and zippers. If I had to choose I would say zippers on doll clothes. But I do like the look of buttons too!

Abi
Abi

May 28, 2020

Buttons for me! I haven’t really done button holes but love to sew buttons.

J.J. Goody
J.J. Goody

May 28, 2020

I’ve actually never tried to sew a zipper because my mom keeps saying it is too difficult. And come to think of it, I don’t know that I have sewn an actual button hole. I have knit them, but I think I have only used “cheats” for sewing them, like using cord or doing faux buttons to hide stitches from my snaps.

Emma Wyatt
Emma Wyatt

May 28, 2020

;I really like how buttonholes look but I would rather sew zippers. I have two dresses that I need a buttonhole on each right now.

Jennifer Lange
Jennifer Lange

May 28, 2020

It depends on the garment, more historical definitely buttons (or other closures), for more modern zippers.

Eileen Jackson
Eileen Jackson

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew button holes. way easier

Peg
Peg

May 28, 2020

I usually use Velcro with button holes and buttons on top I use zippers for jackets and sweatshirts. Pixie Fairie has just the right size.

Mary R.
Mary R.

May 28, 2020

I love buttons and buttonholes on doll clothes.

Fran Bott
Fran Bott

May 28, 2020

I am a zipper person or even snaps.

Stephanie Kolitsch
Stephanie Kolitsch

May 28, 2020

I prefer buttons. On doll clothes, I use snaps.

Karena Reid
Karena Reid

May 28, 2020

I prefer the “Old Fashioned” Hook and Eye or Snaps. A zipper is bulky and hard to find small ones for Wellie Wisher Dolls. I do dislike Velcro, although easy to sew and easy for small fingers, it sticks to the Doll hair and can “pick” other fabrics. Small buttons can always be sewn over snaps or hook and eye applications for a more authentic look.

Carol
Carol

May 28, 2020

Buttons come in so many varieties that can really add personality to the garment.

Kenisha S.
Kenisha S.

May 28, 2020

Zippers are easier for me to sew.

Marj
Marj

May 28, 2020

I’d much rather sew a zipper any day! I’m curious to try this and see how easy it really is.

Judy
Judy

May 28, 2020

I would prefer zippers. Much quicker.

Connie
Connie

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew a zipper but I like buttons too.

Kathy
Kathy

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew a zipper in even though I have an automatic button hole attachment.

Mary G.
Mary G.

May 28, 2020

I prefer button holes -- little hands can do them!

Dianne
Dianne

May 28, 2020

This is a great idea! I sew lots of both buttonholes and zippers since I prefer not to use Velcro most of the time. If I’m having a good day, zippers are faster and easier than buttons and buttonholes but on a tailored shirt, not possible. So I’d like to get really good at both.

Anne
Anne

May 28, 2020

I like using the automatic button hole foot. Thanks for the tip using freezer paper!

Tammy
Tammy

May 28, 2020

I prefer buttons as they are so versatile, but zippers have their place.

MonicaAD
MonicaAD

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew a zipper but I like buttons too … FIESTA :)

Linda A C
Linda A C

May 28, 2020

I would prefer to sew zippers because it’s just easier for me to do that then manage all those tiny buttons and buttonholes.

NancyJ
NancyJ

May 28, 2020

I would rather sew buttonholes. i get frustrated when a zipper isn’t centered exactly on a centered application, so resort to a lapped application zipper when possible.

Lori
Lori

May 28, 2020

Wow! I have always been intimidated by buttonholes and have ruined many otherwise perfect projects with buttonholes that weren’t perfect. This is wonderful and I will have to try it on my next project! Thanks, Shari and Cinnamon

Debbie Tucker
Debbie Tucker

May 28, 2020

It is easier for me to do zippers,only because I have never really tried to learn to use the buttonhole attachment on my machine. When a do need buttonholes I do the old fashioned ones by hand the way I learned as a child.

Sondra
Sondra

May 28, 2020

Since I’ve sewn human clothing for more than 45 years, zips and buttonholes are about equal for me. I do like this tip for freezer paper.

Susan
Susan

May 28, 2020

I would be terrified of either one of them! Still have not tried the buttons on the doll clothes for fear of ruining the finished outfit. Haven’t tried it on the embroidery machine yet but will work on that in the near future. For now, use Velcro or snaps and sew buttons to cover that area to look like it has buttons. Great tutorial though! Will give it a try on practice material!

Nan Weber
Nan Weber

May 28, 2020

I think zippers are easier, but buttonholes are a close second. And I love sewing buttons on using the sewing machine rather than by hand.

gladys
gladys

May 28, 2020

Zippers but would like to make buttonholes better

Cindy
Cindy

May 27, 2020

Buttons and b- holes

Marietta
Marietta

May 27, 2020

Zippers win

Joann
Joann

May 27, 2020

I would rather do buttons but since I make terrible buttonholes I always do zippers or snaps.

Jane W
Jane W

May 27, 2020

I like both…it depends on the garment style. I definitely prefer zippers over velcro, but use real buttonholes on front-closing garments like shirts. for zippers, I only use the tiny ones made for dolls.

Kim
Kim

May 27, 2020

In doll clothes I mostly use buttons with a snap underneath or sometimes Velcro. It is easier for little fingers. I use what the pattern calls for in other clothes and craft projects.

Brenda
Brenda

May 27, 2020

There are sooooo many cute small buttons available, this technique is a winner in my book. I love doing zippers too but cute buttons really hightlight an outfit.

Janice
Janice

May 27, 2020

I sewed my first dress about three weeks before my eleventh birthday on my Mother’s treadle machine. I just turned 80 this month so I’ve sewed lots of each. It doesn’t make me much difference. I want to try this new method. I had trouble with the sign-in link. I’d sign in, and when I clicked on another place, it said I wasn’t signed in.

June Schwierjohn
June Schwierjohn

May 27, 2020

I prefer to use snaps with buttons sewn over the snaps for a false button closing. I think it’s much easier for small fingers to manipulate. Don’t care for zippers on doll clothes, too much bulk.

Eddie
Eddie

May 27, 2020

Give me the button holes every time. I do not know why but when it comes to zippers I have a problem with sewing a straight line. Thank you

Karen
Karen

May 27, 2020

I prefer buttons and buttonholes. I have a hard time with zippers. The freezer paper idea is ingenious. I plan to use this for my next buttonhole project.

Sharon
Sharon

May 27, 2020

I am fine with either, but with doll clothes I prefer using velcro.

Judith Martinez
Judith Martinez

May 27, 2020

I actually don’t mind doing either one. It just depends on the outfit and the location.

Vicki
Vicki

May 27, 2020

I like buttons and buttonholes on projects. Buttons are like jewels on garments plus they are able to be moved or even changed to make a different impact. Showing this tutorial on Buttonholes takes some of the stress out of sewing the other half of this closure.

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.

May 27, 2020

I love buttons, but hate doing buttonholes. Will have to check out the above instructions. So I do decorative buttons.

Marie Williams
Marie Williams

May 27, 2020

Button holes are much easier for me.

Laura
Laura

May 27, 2020

Both! each has it’s own preferred purpose. Patience is necessary for both.

Laura
Laura

May 27, 2020

Both! each has it’s own preferred purpose. Patience is necessary for both.

Leanna
Leanna

May 27, 2020

Buttons—you can play with the designs and creativity so much more than with zippers.

Ellen
Ellen

May 27, 2020

I find I prefer zippers but sometimes a garment needs the look of buttons.

Carol B
Carol B

May 27, 2020

I like the look of buttons and buttonholes. I like the functionality of a zipper. But…I hate sewing either of them.

Marcia
Marcia

May 27, 2020

Buttonholes are great but have yet to do them well with any consistency… and then require me to sew on buttons which can get tedious. When I’m in despair of buttons, I usually ‘cheat’ with velcro.

Kay
Kay

May 27, 2020

I like zippers, because they’re easier for me. I have a very old machine with a two-step buttonhole function. So, making buttonholes is tricky.

Annlee
Annlee

May 27, 2020

I would rather do buttonholes and buttons. I find it hard to do zippers on the small clothes.

Mae Lynn Beck
Mae Lynn Beck

May 27, 2020

I prefer zippers mainly because my buttonhole function doesn’t work properly.

Ruth
Ruth

May 27, 2020

It depends on the item being made. Some are better with buttonholes and some are better with zippers.

Sharen
Sharen

May 27, 2020

Zippers

Lisa
Lisa

May 27, 2020

I prefer a zipper. Buttonholes are nice but I find it hard to make them all look the same.

Kristen
Kristen

May 27, 2020

I have an old sewing machine and would much rather prefer to sew zippers than buttonholes. I have to try buttonholes like 4 times before I actually sew them on the real thing.

Sue
Sue

May 27, 2020

Probably zippers but your freezer paper tricks looks interesting.

Christine
Christine

May 27, 2020

Neither is fun, but buttonholes are less tedious.

Jayne
Jayne

May 27, 2020

I use both. Also kamsnaps.

Deborah D
Deborah D

May 27, 2020

I don’t mind zippers but tiny buttonholes are unnerving. I love the look of the buttons, though.

Pat
Pat

May 27, 2020

Zippers

Linda
Linda

May 27, 2020

I like button holes and zippers equally, always glad when that part is done!!!!!!!!

Gayle Petr
Gayle Petr

May 27, 2020

After seeing Shari’s tip about a template for buttons – I would rather sew buttons then put in a zipper. Although zippers are pretty easy to do as long as you focus on what you are sewing.

Sharon
Sharon

May 27, 2020

Much rather do a zipper and even better are snaps! I have had an Elna and a Janome and neither can make the 2 sides of a buttonhole alike.

Kathy
Kathy

May 27, 2020

I’d rather sew buttonholes. Will have to try the embroidery buttonholes.

Mary Sue Hamlet
Mary Sue Hamlet

May 27, 2020

On doll clothes I prefer snaps with buttons on top. Zippers generally look out of scale on doll clothes to me!

KimC
KimC

May 27, 2020

I think zippers are easier – buttonholes give me a cramp!

Margaret
Margaret

May 27, 2020

Thanks for great tutorial.Has now opened up a whole new world for me..

Etta Hart
Etta Hart

May 27, 2020

I’d rather sew a zipper because I have no confidence that I wouldn’t ruin my project by sewing a horrendous buttonhole!

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