Here's a sneak peek at the pants; they're nearly finished. I worked out the fit issues and now just have to hem them.
Yesterday I made belt loops.
I forget what this is called (a tube turner?) but it's what I made my belt loops with.
First I stitched the fabric, wrong side out. I made two 10" tubes.
Next I turned each tube right side out and pressed it. It always takes a bit of twisting to get it started but once it does it goes very quickly.
Unpressed on the left, pressed on the right.
The loops are attached under the waistband on the lower end, stitched down roughly 1/4" below, then folded up. The top edge is turned under and stitched down along the top outer edge of the waistband with a narrow satin stitch. There are many ways to attach belt loops, obviously.
I decided I would treat myself to professionally made buttonholes, one at the waistband and two for the back pockets. I had never been to Jonathan Embroidery before, though I'd read about it on Meg's old blog, so I swung by today. I have to be honest: I found the experience stressful. It was crowded and chaotic. I stood on line and waited my turn (about 10 min.). I had marked the place I needed the buttonhole (in chalk on the wrong side) but I needn't have bothered: they do thousands of these a day and know how to make a buttonhole on a pair of suit pants.
The Garment District or whatever they're calling it these days (The Fashion District?) can be intimidating to home sewers as it's really set up for professionals. I didn't understand the pricing at Jonathan Embroidery and it wasn't clear whom to ask. My waistband buttonhole (a keyhole) was $3. After I paid, I asked the woman who'd worked the machine if she would be able to add buttonholes to the back pockets (I wasn't sure if they would fit, finished, under their machines). She said yes. I said well, maybe I'd come back another time. She said I could have them done right away for the same $3, but if I came back another time it would be $3 more. So they must have some kind of policy where you get up to three buttonholes for $3, but there's a $3 minimum. Perhaps somebody reading this knows what the current policy is.
The buttonholes came out nicely and it didn't even matter that the pockets weren't marked: the woman working the machine knew exactly how they needed to be. She matched the color in roughly five seconds.
I left Jonathan Embroidery feeling agitated. It all moved so fast, the women working were constantly being interrupted (they also seemed extremely stressed), it was hot -- I couldn't wait to get out of the place. That said, I'm glad they're there: where else can you get a professionally made buttonhole?
A follow-up on Berninas....
I've been looking at them on eBay and they all seem to be going for a few hundred dollars more than I'd care to spend. Plus, they're mainly in carrying cases with all sorts of accessories and extras -- those are all great but at this point in my sewing life, I like a machine in a table. The beauty of a table is that you can close it up when you're finished, and you don't have to fit everything neatly back into a carrying case. Plus you always have a clean dedicated sewing surface. Now that I have a table (actually three), I've grown used to sewing on a flat level surface. I'm not sure I'd want to go back.
Do you have a preference between a sewing table and a machine with a little table extension (or just a free arm and no table extension)? I think it's really just what you're used to, don't you?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!