I know a lot of people are afraid of buttonholes, but the truth for me is that I would rather sew buttonholes and buttons than inserting a zipper. There’s something classic about buttons and buttonholes that can’t be broken like a zipper or snaps. I really love buttons and buttonholes on children’s’ clothing because of the extra details it adds.

I’ve opened buttonholes in the same way for years and years. More than a decade. I had learned a certain way how to open buttonholes and didn’t realize there was different ways.

I wanted to test some different ways to open a buttonhole, and found three that I prefer. These are the ones I’ll use in the future depending on my fabric and project.

*There are affiliate links in this post. Thank you for understanding.*

3 Ways to Open a Buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

Dritz Seam Ripper* and Glass Head Pins*

Insert a glass head pin on each side of the buttonhole to protect the edges from being cut. Starting in the middle insert the seam ripper and cut through the fabric.

Cut through the other side too. (Always use pins! If you think you won’t cut through the stitches, you will. I have!) Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean and fully open hole.

3 Ways to Open a Buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

Fiskars Fabric Knife* and Glass Head Pins*

Insert a glass head pin on each side of the buttonhole to protect the edges from being cut. Starting in the middle use the fabric knife to cut through to the end. Then cut through the other side.

The knife uses a pulling motion while the seam ripper uses a pushing motion. You can use the tool that works best for you. Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean and fully open hole.

3 Ways to Open a Buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

Fiskars Fabric Knife* and Cutting Mat*

Put the cutting mat underneath the fabric with the buttonhole stitches. Place the buttonhole blade on one side and push down until the you feel the blade cut the fabric.

Move the blade to the other end and push down again to cut through the fabric. Open the buttonhole to make sure it has a clean and fully open hole.

3 Ways to Open a Buttonhole // heatherhandmade.com

It’s hard to show these tools in action through pictures, so I made a video to show the techniques better. Each of these are simple, but can be used when it’s best for you.

Have you tried all of these techniques? How do you like to open a buttonhole?

If you make something using this tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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