Continuous button loops take a bit of time and patience to set up and sew, but look absolutely spectacular when finished. Take your time and it will work out great. In this tutorial I cover how to make both continuous and single button loops.
This technique is usually made with rouleau ties. If you don’t know how to make rouleau tape then our post Fastening and Closures – How To Make Rouleau Ties will really help. Alternatively you can use ribbon tape (like I have in the pictures), elastic tape or thread loops. A thread loop can only be used at places that are not taking a lot of tension, such as at the cuff or on a neck line. Meanwhile elastic bands can work particularly well if your client has trouble doing up rouleau loops and buttons. The elastic stretches making things a bit easier.
Cut a piece of paper about 5cm wide and the length of the opening in your garment. You will need to mark two lines along the length of your paper. The first is the width of your seam allowance; in most cases this is around 5/8″ or 15-16mm. The second line is parallel to the first and is the radius length of your button – i.e. the distance from the edge of your button to the centre. In our example, we are using buttons 4/5″ in size, meaning we will mark a line about 10mm from the first.
Place the button on the seam line exactly on the seam line, the correct distance from the top of the opening. Wrap the rouleau around the button with the seam on the inside of the loop. Pin one end of the rouleau to the second line (the one closer to the edge) and take the other long end of the rouleau into the garment centre over the edge.
With the rouleau and button in place, mark the paper at the top, bottom and side outside edges of the rouleau. Remove the button and loop from the paper. Measure and mark the width and depth of the loop down the paper, the number of times required for your continuous loops. This will help you make loops that are constantly the same size.
Place the rouleau on the paper and loop it so that the loops are within the marks you just made. Pin the end of each loop along the second inner line.
Tack the loops in place, placing the tacks between the seamline (first line) and the second inner line.
Place the paper on the right side of the garment on the buttonhole side of the opening. Match the seam lines. Stitch between the seam line and the tacking. Remove the paper and the tacking.
Pin and tack the facing to the garment edge over the top of the loops. Stitch along the seam line with the facing uppermost. Press the seam flat.
Trim the seam allowances so that they stagger: I cut the facing seam allowance to 3mm and the garment seam allowance to 5mm. Press them both towards the facing and under stitch them to it. Turn the facing to the wrong side and finger press flat.
Single Rouleau button loops
To make a single rouleau button loops or a row of spaced loops, the steps are exactly the same as above except for steps 3 and 4.
Mark the position of the button loops required. Marking on the paper the bottom, side and top of each loop. Measure the length of the loop required and cut the required number of rouleau.
Position the first loop, pinning it to the paper. Do the same with the other loops. Stick the ends of the loops down with a strip of sticky tape. Tack inside the seam allowance to secure the ends, placing the tacks between the two drawn lines.