Using a Button Hole Cutter

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Cutting open buttonholes can be tricky, no matter what size or style. ZJ Humbach shows you how to easily cut open buttonholes using a buttonhole cutter.

Types of Cutters

Buttonhole cutters come in two main types — straight and circular. The straight buttonhole cutter is typically found in a standard 12 mm size, or roughly ½”. It has a sharp, beveled head allowing it to easily cut through most fabrics. The circular buttonhole cutter is typically found in a standard 3mm size and can be used to open the top of keyhole buttonholes.

Types of Buttonholes

While there may be numerous types and sizes of buttonholes- from rounded to corded, keyhole to bound buttonholes, the two main types of buttonhole cutters can be used for nearly every buttonhole. The straight cutter can be used on any size buttonhole, ½” and up, by simply moving the cutter down the buttonhole to repeat the cutting process.

Protect Your Surface

As ZJ demonstrates, buttonhole cutters are used by either pressing down on the cutter or using a small rubber mallet. Either method requires that you protect your work surface before using the buttonhole cutter. Many buttonhole cutter sets will come with a small piece of wood that can be placed under the fabric and moved to each new buttonhole as you cut. ZJ also shows how you can utilize an old rotary mat you may have otherwise discarded to protect your surface.

Other Tools

Scissors and seam rippers are other tools that can also be used to cut open buttonholes. Scissors can sometimes tend to be too large and bulky, depending on the size of the buttonhole. Seam rippers can also be tricky to use, as it can be hard to get close to the stitching at the beginning and end of the buttonhole without cutting through it. Seam rippers are also not designed to go through thick fabrics, as they are used mainly for cutting threads to open a seam or removing serger stitches.

Related Article: Tips for Selecting Buttons and Button Holes

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Tags: button holes, buttons, Free Videos, scissors, Seam Ripper, sewing button holes, sewing tools