1. If the thread should prove too short, put the needle through the slit, and turn to the other side of the cloth.

2. Fasten lightly beside the last stitch.

3. After threading the needle, insert it beside the last stitch, drawing it towards the purl.

4. Turning the right side towards you, draw the needle up through the last purl, and proceed with the buttonhole stitch.


On materials that ravel, make two parallel rows of stitching, and cut between the rows; or the place may be dampened with glue and cut when dry. It is important to remember when making a button-hole, to work from you and begin at the end farthest from the edge. Try to keep the slit straight and not to press it out of shape. Some hold the slit horizontally on the forefinger. The distance that the button-hole is cut from the edge, depends upon the garment. The side of the garment in which the button-hole is made, is a matter of choice, but it is wise to decide upon one side and adhere to it. In woollen goods a triangle of a few threads of the cloth can be cut out of the end nearest the edge, or the end can be rounded.

The barring strengthens the button-hole and keeps it in place. If a great strain comes on the button-hole, put a double barring around.

Some prefer to overcast before barring, but the overcasting stitches are helpful in keeping the barring in place. When the overcasting is done first, take the overcasting stitches on the under or wrong side, thus securing the under edge, which is very apt to pull away in working. A material, that does not ravel, need not be overcast.

A button-hole can be finished by taking button-hole stitches in the loop, or on heavy goods by sewing closely over and over the barring. In a button-hole, where a strain comes on the sides, as in the front of a shirt, work both ends as in finishing an ordinary button-hole.

Always try to have the thread long enough to finish working the button-hole. For a very large button-hole, take a new piece of thread, when beginning on the buttonhole stitch. On woollen cloth, button-hole twist should be used. On heavy goods, a cord is used instead of barring.

What is a button-hole? What is its use? Give the order in which the instructions for button-hole making are given.


How should the slit be cut?


Where should the slit be placed and how held? In which direction do you work? At which end do you begin? Where is the needle inserted? What should be done next? What stitch is taken by following the directions for the end barring? How is the other side and end barred? Where will this bring the needle?


How should the barring be held? How is the first side overcast? How is the end overcast? How is the needle brought to the starting point?

Button-Hole Stitch

Where and how should the needle be inserted? How many threads of the cloth are taken up? In what direction should the needle point? What is now done with the two threads? How are the needle and thread draw* out? Where should the twist or purl come? What figure is formed by the thread, in making the purl? How many threads of the cloth should be left between the stitches? How should the outer end be worked? Where does the greatest wear come? How should the cloth be held in working the second side? How can a button-hole stitch be picked up?


What is done with the needle? How should this stitch be drawn?

Where is the second barring made? How is the loop stitch formed? Where are the other loop stitches taken? Where should the needle be drawn, to fasten the thread?

Joining The Thread

What is done if the thread proves too short? After threading the needle, where should it be inserted? Where is it next brought?

Why is barring used? Is a material, that does not ravel, overcast? How long a thread should be taken?