Update: If you’d like a tutorial on using this tool, I’ve posted one here: How to use the Dritz bound buttonhole tool
Have you ever come across one of these? It’s a Dritz Bound Buttonhole maker, a vintage sewing tool that’s been out of production for some time and is increasingly hard to find. I managed to grab one on ebay a while back, and finally tried it out for the first time.
I used this excellent tutorial, as the instructions that come with it are sparse (to say the least). As I read through the instructions, I thought at first that it seemed just as much work as making a bound buttonhole in the normal way. But once I got the hang of my first buttonhole, they were indeed much easier.
While the tool is called a “bound buttonhole maker” on the package, it’s main job is really to hold things in place while you stitch. And it does that admirably well.
I was making a blouse with clear glass buttons, so I thought bound buttonholes would be lovely, since they’d be even more visible than normal. Here you can see the small glass button. I used some artist’s tape to mark the size of the buttonhole I wanted right on the tool. I really like using artist’s tape for things like this because it holds well and is easy to peel off and reposition, unlike masking tape.
As you can see in the tutorial, you cut out the squares of fabric for binding, slip them through the slot in the tool, where they’re held taut by a couple of metal posts on the back. It allows you to create very even, identical buttonholes with less fuss. And when it comes to sewing, fussiness is my enemy.
Here’s my first complete buttonhole.
And here are some more down the back of the blouse. Also, isn’t it cool how the stripes on the blouse match in back? I love matching stripes.
Overall, I give this little tool high marks! It does take a little getting used to because the way it works isn’t totally intuitive, but once I’d completed one buttonhole it was smooth sailing. I’m definitely going to be keeping this little guy handy.
If you’d like one, I recommend keeping an eye on ebay. They definitely pop up from time to time, it just takes some patience.