What's a men's cardigan sweater without buttons?
This is not a rhetorical question, readers. I considered not bothering with buttons and buttonholes and making a belt instead. But Michael said the sweater would look too much like a bathrobe.
I asked the same question of Suzanne today over coffee at Cafe Grumpy. I hate the loss of fabric stores in the Garment District, but I must say that Cafe Grumpy, on 39th Street between 7th & 8th Avenues, is a nice addition to the neighborhood and an excellent independent alternative to sterile Starbucks.
Suzanne thought the cardigan would look unfinished if I didn't add buttons (and buttonholes), even if I never used them. I trust Suzanne. So after we had our coffee, we walked down to 38th Street to Jonathan Embroidery.
As you know, I could have made the buttonholes with my vintage Singer buttonholer attachment. In fact, my sample buttonholes looked pretty good until I tried cutting them open. Then they looked twisted and wonky.
Still, my Singer attachment allows me to widen the stitch line (and narrow or widen the center hole). At Jonathan, the stitch line of the buttonhole is not adjustable. Did you know that?
I wouldn't have minded a slightly wider stitch, but they do look good (I'd interfaced both sides of the placket). The opening is cut perfectly.
Here are Suzanne and I at Jonathan's. The spools against the wall are the different threads you can choose for your buttonhole. If you don't know what you want, they'll help you decide.
The total came to $5 for five buttonholes. Given the amount of work -- the poor woman really had to wrestle to get my fabric under the presser foot -- and the professional looking result, it was worth it.
Originally I thought I'd use plastic buttons like this:
But since I was on 38th Street, I decided to pick up something a little more special. I headed to C&C Button (230 W. 38th St.) where they have a huge selection of buttons (and toggles). These wooden buttons were $1.50 each, but they definitely look spiffier than the plastic ones.
And that's it. I hope to get the pockets on later today. Yesterday, someone asked why I'd waited till the end to put on my pockets. I always apply patch pockets at the end. That way, if I decide to make my hem wider than the pattern is drafted for, I'm not stuck with pockets that end up too low. If they'd been welt pockets, I'd likely have made them at the beginning. Does that make sense?
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, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!