Published by Emily on 21st Apr 2020

It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I could have better success with buttonholes in the lightweight jersey if I used a different interfacing than I generally do with jersey fabric. It really came out of nowhere. I wasn’t thinking about buttonholes or jersey at the time, so I put a pin in it. Meanwhile...

The Smock Dress pattern is one that we’ve been test fitting on local customers. It's a new take on a lightweight camisole, a V neck with more coverage. The tunic is cut in two pieces for the sake of visual interest. It’s stitched down centre front to avoid the extra step of buttonholes and the finding of findings. I like to minimize the barriers to construction whenever possible :)

I’ve also used this ‘separate fronts stitched together’ on the Shirt Blouse, made in the jersey fabrics. It too is a glorified V neck, meant to be an underlay piece. I wanted the front hem to add visual interest and a transition between a print pant and a bulky sweater. I was looking for the most effective barrier between me and the (usually scratchy woollen) sweater. The collar and cuffs provided that barrier.

At some point, my second test version of the Shirt Blouse did get split down centre front, because I had sourced a new kind of snap. I hoped they would be an alternative to the dastardly buttonhole. The snaps proved too difficult to open without straining the light fabric, and also too cold when I first put the top on, so I let it go.

This winter a local customer came by, tried on the Smock, and ordered a sleeved version in hemp denim. We whipped it up, she was happy. She contacted us last week because she had injured her shoulder and was hoping we could add buttons and buttonholes for accessibility’s sake. I did. I also did some more thinking.

I made the market run this weekend and quizzed my favourite local chocolatiers about their button-having preferences. They voted definitely for buttons, especially since this means the garment can be worn as an overlay. Duh. I get so mired in context and intention that I fail to think of the bigger picture O.o

So I unpinned that random thought about buttonholes in jersey and added some to my (well-worn) sample Shirt Blouse. The buttonholes went in easily with the new interfacing, and I enjoyed choosing from my vintage button stash. The top is easy to wear buttoned, not too difficult to button, and still lightweight and comfortable. It isn’t warm enough here yet to wear it as an overlay, but I look forward to layering it over tank tops this summer.

I suppose I’ll have to send myself on a button-finding mission now! What are your button preferences?

Shirt Blouse (button version) in Sunset bamboo jersey; Smock Dress (button version, with added sleeves) in hemp denim

xoxo -Emily