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Refashioning a vest: hand-sewing, hand-sewing, hand-sewing

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Hand-sewing: thread marking bound buttonholes

You’ve probably been wondering what’s been going on with my efforts in refashioning a vest. A lot of hand-sewing¬† has been going on, that’s what. I sort of went to town with handsewing, and it was probably a bit of more than necessary. I was sort of making it up as I went a long because I wanted my bound buttonhole to also have raw edges, which means it was constructed a bit differently than normal bound buttonholes.

Interfacing, cutting and handstitching the lips of the bound buttonholes

I started by preparing the “lips” of the bound button hole. I cut out rectangles that were about an inch longer and wider than the final buttonholes. Then I ironed fusible interfacing to the back to keep them from stretching out of shape. Making bound buttonholes

I marked a line lengthwise down the center of each buttonhole and carefully cut them out as straight as possible. I then cut just the interfacing about a millimeter back from the edges of the center opening so that it couldn’t be seen from the right side.

Squaring off buttonholes so they are perpendicular to the basted center front line

Since I was worried about the interfacing unraveling or pulling away from the fabric, I whipstitched around the edges to hold it in place. Then I basted both halves of each rectangle back together.

My next step was to prepare the buttonholes on the vest. I started by thread marking the center front. After deciding on and marking the spacing of the buttonholes, I made sure that their edges were at right angles to the center front line.

Making topstitched bound buttonholesCutting out the buttonholes neatly and uniformly was a feat in itself. I think I need to sharpen my scissors. I just hope that the fact that I’m working in monochrome black will hide the irregularities.

After that, I basted the button lips into the buttonholes for the final result that you see in the first picture of the post. I think the vest looks kind of cute with all the stitching on it. Maybe I’ll decorate something else with stitching like this in the future. For now, the next step is to topstitch on the buttonholes.

By the way, you might have wondered how I was keeping my brain occupied throughout all this hand-stitching. Well, I was on the phone with my sister…

How to hand-sew, telephone, and look stupid all at once

…with the phone tied to my head so that I wouldn’t get a crick in my neck from holding it against my shoulder. It’s all the rage in fashionable circles.

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