Button Extension (or Placket)

button-extension-AWhen creating a pattern with buttons, you need to add an extension to both adjoining pattern pieces because the fabric pieces need to overlap. 

(Note that when the garment is symmetrical, the adjoining pieces have identical button stands; where it is asymmetrical the they will be different. I will be looking at a basic symmetrical design).

The example I will be using is the top in Image A. The buttons need to be placed on the CF line of this pattern; this means that half the button sits within the Bodice block itself, but the other half extends past it.  On the adjoining piece, the buttonhole sits mainly on the Bodice block, but a small part of it extends past the CF.  Both pieces need additional fabric beyond where the button and buttonhole sits.

Example

In Image B below,  the Torso Block has been traced to create the top shown in Image A.

On the left some buttons have been placed on the Centre Front line.  You can see how half of the button extends past the CF line.  On the right a button extension has been added (shaded for emphasis only).  The extension has to be wide enough for half of the button, plus a little extra. 

The width of the button extension is determined by the size (width) of the button.  The extension should be at least the width of the button; for very small buttons (e.g. 0.38-inch), it should be 1.5 times the width of the button.

button-extension-B

Image C shows the other side of the Bodice where the buttonhole is sewn.  If the buttonhole is horizontal, most of the buttonhole is on the Bodice, a small portion ( 1/8-inch or 3mm) extends past CF onto the button extension.  If the buttonhole is vertical (red buttonhole), then it is also on the CF line.

buttton-extension-C

Creating the Button Extension: Step-by-Step Example

Creating the button stand requires a number of steps.

  1. determine the width of the button stand according to the width of the button (the same diameter as the button).
  2. draw the button stand
  3. mark one button about 5mm from top
  4. mark one button at the Bust Point level
  5. distribute the others evenly
  6. mark the buttons and buttonholes on the one pattern piece (since this is a symmetrical design and the pattern piece will be marked Cut Two or Cut Pair).

NOTE that you will ALSO need seam allowance, in this case facing would usually be added.  The seam allowance is to sew the button-stand and facing together.  (The seam allowance and facing is not covered here, but links to the relevant information is provided at the bottom of the page).

Buttonholes: Vertical or Horizontal?

Horizontal buttonholes are more commonly used for jackets and coats etc.  Vertical buttonholes are more commonly used for shirts and dresses.  Note that the very top buttonholes on shirts that is on the collar stand is placed horizontally even though all the others are vertical.  Likewise some dresses have the top buttonhole placed horizontally although all the other buttonholes are vertical.

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 1

  • Trace the block (as per the design lines you have drawn for the garment you are making).
  • Calculate the button stand width. In this case the button diameter is 0.5-inch (1.5cm), therefore the extension is 0.5-inch.
  • Draw the extension (red line in the image).

button-extensions-instructions-01

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 2

  • Measure down from the CF neck point for the same measurement as the button extension (0.88-inch) and mark the first button.
  • Mark the button at the bust level.
  • Calculate and evenly distribute the other buttons.

button-extensions-instructions-02

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 3

This example is for vertical buttonholes.

  • Mark the buttonholes; the length of the buttonhole is the diameter of the button plus 1/8-inch for flat buttons.  Rounded buttons will need a longer buttonhole.
  • The top buttonhole is placed so the button is at the very top of the (buttonhole) length
  • The middle buttonholes are placed so the button is in the middle of the length
  • The bottom buttonhole is placed so the button is at the bottom of the length

Note that the buttons are marked as crosses and the buttonholes marked as lines with with ends on them (like a capital letter I), as on the full-size image to the right.  You would not draw the buttons like I have in the enlarged image; this is only so you can see clearly see where the buttons are sitting in relation to the markings.

The top buttonhole is placed as shown to avoid one CF length moving up and the other down; another option to avoid this is to place the top buttonhole horizontally.

button-extensions-instructions-03

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 4

  • When placing the buttonhole horizontally, the buttonhole is placed so that 1/8-inch is in the extension, and the rest in the bodice.

button-extensions-instructions-04

Important - Seam Allowance/Facing

This pattern still needs facing and seam allowance added.  See the following pages to see how facing is added to this pattern:

  • All-in-one-facing (using this same pattern with the button stand)
  • Grown-on-facing (using  this same pattern with the button stand)

button-extension-AWhen creating a pattern with buttons, you need to add an extension to both adjoining pattern pieces because the fabric pieces need to overlap. 

(Note that when the garment is symmetrical, the adjoining pieces have identical button stands; where it is asymmetrical the they will be different. I will be looking at a basic symmetrical design).

The example I will be using is the top in Image A. The buttons need to be placed on the CF line of this pattern; this means that half the button sits within the Bodice block itself, but the other half extends past it.  On the adjoining piece, the buttonhole sits mainly on the Bodice block, but a small part of it extends past the CF.  Both pieces need additional fabric beyond where the button and buttonhole sits.

Example

In Image B below,  the Torso Block has been traced to create the top shown in Image A.

On the left some buttons have been placed on the Centre Front line.  You can see how half of the button extends past the CF line.  On the right a button extension has been added (shaded for emphasis only).  The extension has to be wide enough for half of the button, plus a little extra. 

The width of the button extension is determined by the size (width) of the button.  The extension should be at least the width of the button; for very small buttons (e.g. 0.38-inch), it should be 1.5 times the width of the button.

button-extension-B

Image C shows the other side of the Bodice where the buttonhole is sewn.  If the buttonhole is horizontal, most of the buttonhole is on the Bodice, a small portion ( 1/8-inch or 3mm) extends past CF onto the button extension.  If the buttonhole is vertical (red buttonhole), then it is also on the CF line.

buttton-extension-C

Creating the Button Extension: Step-by-Step Example

Creating the button stand requires a number of steps.

  1. determine the width of the button stand according to the width of the button (the same diameter as the button).
  2. draw the button stand
  3. mark one button about 5mm from top
  4. mark one button at the Bust Point level
  5. distribute the others evenly
  6. mark the buttons and buttonholes on the one pattern piece (since this is a symmetrical design and the pattern piece will be marked Cut Two or Cut Pair).

NOTE that you will ALSO need seam allowance, in this case facing would usually be added.  The seam allowance is to sew the buttonstand and facing together.  (The seam allowance and facing is not covered here, but links to the relevant information is provided at the bottom of the page).

Buttonholes: Vertical or Horizontal?

Horizontal buttonholes are more commonly used for jackets and coats etc.  Vertical buttonholes are more commonly used for shirts and dresses.  Note that the very top buttonholes on shirts that is on the collar stand is placed horizontally even though all the others are vertical.  Likewise some dresses have the top buttonhole placed horizontally although all the other buttonholes are vertical.

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 1

  • Trace the block (as per the design lines you have drawn for the garment you are making).
  • Calculate the button stand width. In this case the button diameter is 0.5-inch (1.5cm), therefore the extension is 0.5-inch.
  • Draw the extension (red line in the image).

button-extensions-instructions-01

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 2

  • Measure down from the CF neck point for the same measurement as the button extension (0.88-inch) and mark the first button.
  • Mark the button at the bust level.
  • Calculate and evenly distribute the other buttons.

button-extensions-instructions-02

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 3

This example is for vertical buttonholes.

  • Mark the buttonholes; the length of the buttonhole is the diameter of the button plus 1/8-inch for flat buttons.  Rounded buttons will need a longer buttonhole.
  • The top buttonhole is placed so the button is at the very top of the (buttonhole) length
  • The middle buttonholes are placed so the button is in the middle of the length
  • The bottom buttonhole is placed so the button is at the bottom of the length

Note that the buttons are marked as crosses and the buttonholes marked as lines with with ends on them (like a capital letter I), as on the full-size image to the right.  You would not draw the buttons like I have in the enlarged image; this is only so you can see clearly see where the buttons are sitting in relation to the markings.

The top buttonhole is placed as shown to avoid one CF length moving up and the other down; another option to avoid this is to place the top buttonhole horizontally.

button-extensions-instructions-03

Instructions (Button Extension) Image 4

  • When placing the buttonhole horizontally, the buttonhole is placed so that 1/8-inch is in the extension, and the rest in the bodice.

button-extensions-instructions-04

Important - Seam Allowance/Facing

This pattern still needs facing and seam allowance added.  See the following pages to see how facing is added to this pattern:

  • All-in-one-facing (using this same pattern with the button stand)
  • Grown-on-facing (using  this same pattern with the button stand)

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