Regular readers will know that I sew using an industrial plain sewer – this only sews a straight stitch, so I’m a bit stuck when it comes to buttonholes. I usually take my garment along to work and do it on one of these:
|Image sourced here|
This is an industrial buttonholer, a rather scary machine for the uninitiated! Push one pedal to clamp the fabric in place, push the other pedal to start sewing, and once the sewing is finished the knife comes down and automatically cuts the buttonhole open. A single buttonhole only takes about a second to do, but it sounds like a jackhammer and is definitely the noisiest machine in the factory!
I do have my mother’s 1955 Elna Supermatic that does manual buttonholes – where you select different stitch widths and stitch lengths and patiently work your way around the buttonhole step-by-step, but it isn’t working.
So when I saw a Greist Rotary Buttonholer on TradeMe I was interested. I first came across these gadgets when Judy posted about one on her blog. I researched a little online, watched Brian’s video, and discovered you could use them on straight stitch machines as long as the shank is the right height or something…
So I put in a bid for $10 and as it turns out, no-one wanted it more than me! The box is original vintage, and so is the dust:
|Yikes! I was half expecting a spider to crawl out of there!|
All five cams were present though:
And the instruction book too, thank goodness:
The fabric clamp was a bit bent, but I managed to bend it back into shape mysteriously easily…
Then I found out it doesn’t fit my machine! It is designed for a low shank and my machine is high shank. After investigating high to low shank converters without success, I came to the conclusion that there was only one other option – to buy another machine…..
But that’s another blog post!
I love my buttonholer now I’ve given it a good clean-up. And yes – some of you guessed correctly that was how I did the buttonholes on my Tangerine Tango Top!
Do you have a Greist buttonholer or similar gadget? What do you think – do you love it or loathe it?