Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year with Cozy toes and Buttonholes

I thought I would end the year on a revelation- sewing not biblical, the Singer Featherweight buttonhole attachment.  I have been meaning to blog this forever so now seems as good a time as ever.  My need for this came out of my dissatisfaction with Janome buttonholes.
I first read of this here and was puzzled and intrigued.  A featherweight is a straights stitch only machine, I couldn't not possible work out how it could achieve the swing stitch needed for a buttonhole.  It starts with removing the foot and adding a needle plate cover...
 The buttonholer screws into the sewing machine foot with a giant screw
And then you are good to go...

You do need to play around with the different dials- this big red one denotes the different stages of buttonhole sewing.
 There are three other dials, the one below sets the density of the stitches, the other two, the length and width of the buttonhole.
Let's cut to the chase and see it in action.  You can see the attachment oscillates (love that word and always makes me think of this)
Here is the buttonhole with a single round of stitching , and then with a double round.  And it repeats each one exactly the same- precisely what the Janome Horizon and a whole host of modern machines cannot do.
Got to love the amazing timeless engineering of the Featherweight.
My other revelation for this year is Ugg boots.  After years of strident denial I succumbed and ended up with a pair for indoors and a pair for outdoors and my feet are forever thankful.
I am not one for looking back, it encourages a more maudlin aspect of my personality that I would rather not invite to the party.  All I wish for is what we all want: health and happiness for you and your families, me and my family- its all that matters x
sib blog


  1. Same to you too I hope 2014 is kind you you and yours xx

  2. Hope yours is a very happy 2014 x

  3. I love the old machines and there buttonhole attachments. I remember as a little girl some 40 odd years ago showing me how to use the buttonhole maker on her old singer. A few months ago I was able to get an old singer 99 second hand that had the button hole attachment., one of the first things I did with it was to make a buttonhole. I'm still amazed on how easy it was back then to make buttonholes, Some times I think we really have not made big advances in some things over the years.

  4. :-O me ha parecido como mágico, hehehe.
    Feliz 2014

  5. Happy New Year Kerry. I have loved reading your blog this year - thank you for sharing so much inspiration. Hope 2014 is a great year for you and your family.

  6. I still have the buttonhole attachment for my mother's old singer, but sadly no sewing machine to attach it to. It definitely made better buttonholes than my Janome. Wishing you and your family a good 2014

  7. I bought a buttonholer after seeing your video on instagram, and I agree - it's fantastic! Best buttonholes ever! Happy new year x

  8. Good grief, that thing looks like it could cook your dinner for you too if you asked it nicely! Rather glad of my ickle Brother one (which thankfully does what it's meant to)

    Happy new year, hope 2014 is great for you :o)

  9. That button machine looks a bit intimidating ~ those old machines sure do make good button holes tho ~ I've got one for my little featherweight and like the way it does the holes better than my fancy machine!
    Happy New Year Kerry ~ may you have the best year yet!

  10. Happy New Year Kerry, wishing you the best for 2014! Love reading your blog :)

  11. Hi, Kerry, and Happy New Year! Thanks for posting the buttonholer video. I, too, had struggled to understand how a straight stitch only machine could possibly make a buttonhole!

    So, Featherweight question for you, since you've mentioned that you do all of your piecing on this little cutie! I bought two Featherweights last year and loved them piecing individual blocks, but once I had to sew blocks into rows and sew the rows together, I felt like I was fighting against the weight of the fabric hanging off the tiny machine bed. Do you use one of those modern extension table things with your Featherweight, or do you have any other suggestions or best practices?

    Thanks in advance.

  12. The buttonhole attachment is so clever - I could watch that video all day! I'm glad your toes are cosy as we start 2014 and I hope it's a cosy and peaceful year for you and your family xx

  13. Wish you a great 2014 with lots of beautiful makes - like you are very good at doing, Kerry!
    ; )

    (these lovely old sewing machines looks like a good companion - must close my eyes shut and pretend I don't se it…)

  14. Oh my god Kerry - this is so cool. I did not know the Featherweight ha a buttonhole attachment!
    Must search Ebay : )

    As far as the Uggs - I'm with you there but this winter I've been eyeing them on other moms when I've been at school picking up the boys when my toes are soooo cold!!



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