Making many buttonholes quickly

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my pants! Today I want to expand a bit on the topic of the numerous buttonholes by showing how I did it – using my machine’s automatic 1-step buttonhole function. This method eliminates the need for meticulous markings since you only need to mark where the buttonhole should start. It works best for vertical buttonholes, but can also be used for horizontal ones, but that might require some additional markings.

What you need:

1. Self erasing marker pen.
2. An tailor’s awl.
3. Sewing machine that can sew automatic buttonholes in 1 step.
4. A pattern that is marked with small holes or notches where the buttonhole should start.

Mark the buttonholes by making small dots with the marker pen.

Remove the pattern and run an awl through the dots to mark the other side of pattern piece without having to reverse it. Then interface and press/fold the placket.

Now it’s time to settle on the size of the buttonholes. Mark the buttonhole on a fabric scrap.

Program the machine and sew a sample. The machine will memorize the size and automatically replicate them over and over again.

Now it’s time to switch into high gear. Place the needle over the marking and start sewing, using the plate ruler as a guide to keep the buttonholes straight. The machine will sew in one step without further adjustments.

Finished. The buttonholes for each leg took me less than 15 minutes to sew.


  • Mary Nanna
    April 5, 2009 at 7:56 am

    aah don’t you love Bernina auto 1 step buttonhole?

    I have never seen or heard of an “awl” before, Google search, coming up!

    By the way, I thought I had left a comment on your pants but I must have messed up the word verification because it’s not there!

    I just wanted to say congratulations on a beautifully made, super stylish, beautifully fitting pair of pants.

  • gwensews
    April 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I love me a Bernina! Even so, that’s still a lot of buttoholes! Great job and terrific pants.

  • Nancy K
    April 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Gorgeous. The buttonholes look perfect.

  • lsaspacey
    April 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Must. Have. One. Step. Buttonholes. On. My. Next. Machine.

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