I was going to buy some organza to do my bound buttonholes on Monday but then this happened...again.
Cue three days being stuck in the house. It wasn't like that just in Christchurch either. It seemed like pretty much the whole country got snowed in. Even subtropical Auckland (way up north) got a tiny smattering. I finally got to the fabric store by the end of the week, so I spent yesterday practicing my bound buttonholes and then doing the real ones on the bodice of my dress.
Bound buttonholes have always seemed to me like some sort of scary monster that only expert sewers tackle. I think the most terrifying thing is that you have to cut into the fabric before you know if they're going to work. If you screw them up you've ruined your whole garment. I was determined when I started Simplicity 5098 that I would finally do some. The pattern suggested doing bound buttonholes and I thought they would look neater because the button detail is a focal point of the dress. Also, because they are rarely seen on ready to wear clothes these days, they always seem vintage-y to me.
I used this tutorial from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. I've seen many different techniques for doing bound buttonholes but I definitely think this is the best. I think it gives you a lot more control and consistent results.
The tutorial says to use silk organza but, let's face it, I wouldn't even know where to buy that in Christchurch. The few fabric stores that would possibly sell it were destroyed in the quake and even a small piece would probably be way more than I am willing/able to spend. I just bought some cheap (about $5/m) polyester organza from Spotlight and it worked just fine.
These are a couple of my practice ones.
These are the real ones.
I'm not quite sure why my camera made the fabric look lighter around the buttonholes but it isn't like that in person. They're not perfect but I'm pretty pleased with them. You can see the purple organza I used in the corners slightly but it's only noticeable if you look closely. It doesn't actually matter if they're not perfectly uniform because once the buttons are done up you can't even see the buttonholes.
Verdict: Not as difficult as I thought they'd be and definitely worth the effort. I see myself making lots of clothes with bound buttonholes in the future.