Buttonhole inquiry


Kathy Strabel
 

Greetings fellow Janome Uers---I did not specify my model in the Topic Title bar because I have a suspicion that an answer might pertain to many models and I did not want to miss anyone's good input.

My problem is making buttonholes on my Skyline 7 sew-only machine. I do not really want to go to the work of doing 2 buttonholes in embroidery on my MC500 machine. Plus, I want to correct this problem on my S7.

Here is what happens:  Machine is threaded top and bottom with size 50 regular sewing thread. Buttonhole  foot  R correctly in place, bobbin thread pulled up above needle plate, needle thread passed under the foot and drawn backwards a little bit. BH lever pulled down, a button is mounted on the foot to determine size of buttonhole I want.  Ready to go.

I start stitching, and the stitches are formed, at first sewing away from me, then it reverses and stitches the actual satin stitches to form  the left column of the buttonhole, then it makes the bartack at the bottom, closest to me.  At that point, it is supposed to again stitch away from me, then come back down the right column to form the right side of the buttonhole. But the needle thread somehow "jumps" out of the eye, and no actual stitches form, but the needle goes up and down as if it is stitching. Which, of course, it is not. The thread does not break, it just does not stitch and forms a few loops on the underside. This process has happened 6 times in a row, with different styles of buttonholes. Never had this problem before. The needle has only a few "miles" on it, I have loosened the needle tension 2 clicks, which is normal for ALL sewing on this machine.  No matter what I sew, I always loosen it 2 clicks. Including the garment I am wanting to put these 2 buttonholes in.  BTW, I am using the exact same thread I used to sew the garment .    Any input appreciated.
Kathy Strabel    Camas WA


Roberta K
 

Hi Kathy,

I have stitched  a lot of buttonholes on my Janome machines but I have never seen that. To me it sounds like you are having tension issues. Also, what type of fabric are you sewing? Does your needle match the fabric? Is the fabric really thick (like for outerwear)? Are you using Janome bobbins, because that can also create problems.

Roberta in FL


Cat - N
 

Kathy, I have sewn a fair share of automatic buttonholes since I make garments and hubby loves Hawaiian shirts, but have never had anything like perfection on one side and abject failure on the other side of a buttonhole. Maybe it would be something I ‘could’
adjust, but something like that would send me and my machine to the dealer…just from the consistency of the failure if no other reason. 

- Cat (FL)

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Nov 9, 2021 at 10:15 PM, <Kathy Strabel> wrote:

Greetings fellow Janome Uers---I did not specify my model in the Topic Title bar because I have a suspicion that an answer might pertain to many models and I did not want to miss anyone's good input.

My problem is making buttonholes on my Skyline 7 sew-only machine. I do not really want to go to the work of doing 2 buttonholes in embroidery on my MC500 machine. Plus, I want to correct this problem on my S7.

Here is what happens:  Machine is threaded top and bottom with size 50 regular sewing thread. Buttonhole  foot  R correctly in place, bobbin thread pulled up above needle plate, needle thread passed under the foot and drawn backwards a little bit. BH lever pulled down, a button is mounted on the foot to determine size of buttonhole I want.  Ready to go.

I start stitching, and the stitches are formed, at first sewing away from me, then it reverses and stitches the actual satin stitches to form  the left column of the buttonhole, then it makes the bartack at the bottom, closest to me.  At that point, it is supposed to again stitch away from me, then come back down the right column to form the right side of the buttonhole. But the needle thread somehow "jumps" out of the eye, and no actual stitches form, but the needle goes up and down as if it is stitching. Which, of course, it is not. The thread does not break, it just does not stitch and forms a few loops on the underside. This process has happened 6 times in a row, with different styles of buttonholes. Never had this problem before. The needle has only a few "miles" on it, I have loosened the needle tension 2 clicks, which is normal for ALL sewing on this machine.  No matter what I sew, I always loosen it 2 clicks. Including the garment I am wanting to put these 2 buttonholes in.  BTW, I am using the exact same thread I used to sew the garment .    Any input appreciated.
Kathy Strabel    Camas WA


Kathy Strabel
 

Janome users-----I have received 2 replies to my buttonhole problem inquiry, and both of those replies are definitely discouraging. The bad thing is, that the last time I used the automatic buttonhole foot R, it worked perfectly. Nothing has "happened to" my machine or accessories such as falling off the table, needle strikes/breaks, etc. It works perfectly one day, then the next day for no apparent reason, it loses its mind. I find this very frustrating. 
I mentioned that I always set the tension 2 clicks down from the default setting. I used that setting while stitching this garment, with great results. Soon after I acquired this machine a few years ago, I found that the presser foot pressure default setting was just too tight----causing all fabrics, thin or thick to bunch-up or make ripples just ahead of the needle, in the top layer. I asked my dealer if there was a way to permanently set the default 2 clicks lighter, but there was no information on that. SO, I always change the pressure the 2 clicks lighter and get beautiful, even stitches on all fabrics. 
The fabric I am using for this project is Softshell--fairly heavy outerwear made of 2 bonded layers. The buttonholes will be placed on one thickness of this 2-layer fabric.  The sewing part of this garment (actually a hood for a jacket I already own that has no hood attached...) went very smoothly and I am using the same, rather new needle and thread that I used for the hood itself. I just need the 2 buttonholes for the drawstring, then 4 more along the back neckline, so I can button the hood on and off.    Does anybody else have any suggestions, or am I doomed to taking the machine into the dealer and waiting weeks and weeks for a solution????  
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 1:55 PM Cat - N via groups.io <navillusc=netscape.net@groups.io> wrote:
Kathy, I have sewn a fair share of automatic buttonholes since I make garments and hubby loves Hawaiian shirts, but have never had anything like perfection on one side and abject failure on the other side of a buttonhole. Maybe it would be something I ‘could’
adjust, but something like that would send me and my machine to the dealer…just from the consistency of the failure if no other reason. 

- Cat (FL)

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Nov 9, 2021 at 10:15 PM, <Kathy Strabel> wrote:

Greetings fellow Janome Uers---I did not specify my model in the Topic Title bar because I have a suspicion that an answer might pertain to many models and I did not want to miss anyone's good input.

My problem is making buttonholes on my Skyline 7 sew-only machine. I do not really want to go to the work of doing 2 buttonholes in embroidery on my MC500 machine. Plus, I want to correct this problem on my S7.

Here is what happens:  Machine is threaded top and bottom with size 50 regular sewing thread. Buttonhole  foot  R correctly in place, bobbin thread pulled up above needle plate, needle thread passed under the foot and drawn backwards a little bit. BH lever pulled down, a button is mounted on the foot to determine size of buttonhole I want.  Ready to go.

I start stitching, and the stitches are formed, at first sewing away from me, then it reverses and stitches the actual satin stitches to form  the left column of the buttonhole, then it makes the bartack at the bottom, closest to me.  At that point, it is supposed to again stitch away from me, then come back down the right column to form the right side of the buttonhole. But the needle thread somehow "jumps" out of the eye, and no actual stitches form, but the needle goes up and down as if it is stitching. Which, of course, it is not. The thread does not break, it just does not stitch and forms a few loops on the underside. This process has happened 6 times in a row, with different styles of buttonholes. Never had this problem before. The needle has only a few "miles" on it, I have loosened the needle tension 2 clicks, which is normal for ALL sewing on this machine.  No matter what I sew, I always loosen it 2 clicks. Including the garment I am wanting to put these 2 buttonholes in.  BTW, I am using the exact same thread I used to sew the garment .    Any input appreciated.
Kathy Strabel    Camas WA



--
Have a good one!
Kathy Strabel





Cat - N
 

Oh Kathy, I am sorry to have seemed  discouraging…I certainly didn’t mean to discourage you.  By way of explanation for what would be ‘my’ decision if it were ‘my’ machine…

Microcomputers were my hobby long before I went into supporting/building  them, programming them and mainframes, and building/supporting networks, including mainframes, etc.) professionally, then was retired after over 30 years.  

But this:

This process has happened 6 times in a row, with different styles of buttonholes.

is exactly the kind of thing I would call a “hard failure” likely due to hardware because, although the feature appears to work initially, it fails at exactly the same point consistently. 

It is the kind of detail I LOVED hearing from users because it gave me a starting point for resolution, and I HAD to fix it regardless!!!  You have done the testing phase already, and discovered the “point of failure”…something I had to do when they said, “I didn’t do/touch/wasn’t doing anything,” wasting both our times and stopping services to their clients while I worked to discover what had really happened…that they would later admit. lol 

As a ‘computer guy’ for so long, I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard or thought myself, “but it was just working,” and my mental and vocal answers for all machines are:

“Everything works until it breaks”
“Parts are parts and they all break”
“Limping is not working”
“Computers/machines do what they do because they can”
…and…
“PC practical jokes”
…for the ‘phantom failures’ where nothing broke in any reasonable future time or ever broke and maybe never did if again. 

All that said, I have called my dealer about my 15000 because it was working when I turned it off and malfunctioning the next morning when I turned it on.  I blamed myself…”what did I do?” I went through all of my logical “try this’” and the machine remained obstinate.  I suspect the 15000 heard the dealer’s voice on the phone when she said, “would you mind just trying it again and tell me what happens,” (gosh how many times had I told a user those very words!  Lol) and as if by magic, the machine worked perfectly from then until now.  Lol

I have worked with computers that needed to ‘see me in the flesh’ every day, and if they didn’t see me, after no more than 3 days, they quit working. All I ever did to ‘fix’ them was go near them, never touching them. lol 

Also, I had a machine years ago that had a nylon gear that cracked. It caused intermittent failures. I took it to tech shops for the failures again and again, snd was led to believe the issue was ME!!!  Buttonholes we’re particularly problematic because the machine would sew the first ones perfectly, then mess up horribly, and I’d end up trashing the garment. I finally took it apart myself and found the problem…the cracked nylon gear. I never established the exact ‘failure mode’ because it had to do with whether or not ‘conditions’…whatever they were…caused the crack to gap open at a distance sufficient to sew badly or perhaps allowed it to sew correctly. I shipped that machine to my mother, who said her tech ‘could fix anything’ but I also told her exactly what the problem was and which part was broken. That was 1994, just after I bought my Kenmore (made by Janome) that still works perfectly today. 

I’m sure there MUST be an answer to the issue you are having.  I would guess it’s a function of a combination of specific hardware together with software programming that allows machines to sew automatic buttonholes. I wish I knew what might be causing the failure you are experiencing…I would tell you in a heartbeat. I know you’re trying to accomplish something and not getting cooperation from your S7 and likely wasting fabric.  Unfortunately, I’m technical…just not technical with sewing machines. 

So I wonder…is it possible to call the dealer that has serviced your S7 machine before and tell them the specifics in that same detail?  Maybe they can at least tell you something to get you sewing buttonholes again…and I really do hope it doesn’t mean a trip to the repair shop. 

- Cat

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Nov 11, 2021 at 10:08 AM, <Kathy Strabel> wrote:

Janome users-----I have received 2 replies to my buttonhole problem inquiry, and both of those replies are definitely discouraging. The bad thing is, that the last time I used the automatic buttonhole foot R, it worked perfectly. Nothing has "happened to" my machine or accessories such as falling off the table, needle strikes/breaks, etc. It works perfectly one day, then the next day for no apparent reason, it loses its mind. I find this very frustrating. 
I mentioned that I always set the tension 2 clicks down from the default setting. I used that setting while stitching this garment, with great results. Soon after I acquired this machine a few years ago, I found that the presser foot pressure default setting was just too tight----causing all fabrics, thin or thick to bunch-up or make ripples just ahead of the needle, in the top layer. I asked my dealer if there was a way to permanently set the default 2 clicks lighter, but there was no information on that. SO, I always change the pressure the 2 clicks lighter and get beautiful, even stitches on all fabrics. 
The fabric I am using for this project is Softshell--fairly heavy outerwear made of 2 bonded layers. The buttonholes will be placed on one thickness of this 2-layer fabric.  The sewing part of this garment (actually a hood for a jacket I already own that has no hood attached...) went very smoothly and I am using the same, rather new needle and thread that I used for the hood itself. I just need the 2 buttonholes for the drawstring, then 4 more along the back neckline, so I can button the hood on and off.    Does anybody else have any suggestions, or am I doomed to taking the machine into the dealer and waiting weeks and weeks for a solution????  
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 1:55 PM Cat - N via groups.io <navillusc=netscape.net@groups.io> wrote:
Kathy, I have sewn a fair share of automatic buttonholes since I make garments and hubby loves Hawaiian shirts, but have never had anything like perfection on one side and abject failure on the other side of a buttonhole. Maybe it would be something I ‘could’
adjust, but something like that would send me and my machine to the dealer…just from the consistency of the failure if no other reason. 

- Cat (FL)

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Nov 9, 2021 at 10:15 PM, <Kathy Strabel> wrote:

Greetings fellow Janome Uers---I did not specify my model in the Topic Title bar because I have a suspicion that an answer might pertain to many models and I did not want to miss anyone's good input.

My problem is making buttonholes on my Skyline 7 sew-only machine. I do not really want to go to the work of doing 2 buttonholes in embroidery on my MC500 machine. Plus, I want to correct this problem on my S7.

Here is what happens:  Machine is threaded top and bottom with size 50 regular sewing thread. Buttonhole  foot  R correctly in place, bobbin thread pulled up above needle plate, needle thread passed under the foot and drawn backwards a little bit. BH lever pulled down, a button is mounted on the foot to determine size of buttonhole I want.  Ready to go.

I start stitching, and the stitches are formed, at first sewing away from me, then it reverses and stitches the actual satin stitches to form  the left column of the buttonhole, then it makes the bartack at the bottom, closest to me.  At that point, it is supposed to again stitch away from me, then come back down the right column to form the right side of the buttonhole. But the needle thread somehow "jumps" out of the eye, and no actual stitches form, but the needle goes up and down as if it is stitching. Which, of course, it is not. The thread does not break, it just does not stitch and forms a few loops on the underside. This process has happened 6 times in a row, with different styles of buttonholes. Never had this problem before. The needle has only a few "miles" on it, I have loosened the needle tension 2 clicks, which is normal for ALL sewing on this machine.  No matter what I sew, I always loosen it 2 clicks. Including the garment I am wanting to put these 2 buttonholes in.  BTW, I am using the exact same thread I used to sew the garment .    Any input appreciated.
Kathy Strabel    Camas WA



--
Have a good one!
Kathy Strabel





Kathy Strabel
 

Thank you for your inputs. I have been away from my computer and sewing for a while due to a family medical issue.  Just wanted to let you know that I did try sewing more buttonholes with my Skyline 7 but my samples got the same result. Not good. So, I pulled out my trusty older Pfaff machine and it made perfect samples right off the bat. No special settings, just used the needle that was already in the Pfaff,   So, I will just make the rest of the buttonholes with my Pfaff.     I must say that this is the stuff that makes me crazy with these newer machines.  I will never part with my older (1978) Pfaff. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does a bang-up job of a lot more things than my Janome S7. I hate to be negative about a Janome on a Janome Group, but just being honest. The S7 does a lovely job of piecing my quilts, making lightweight  garments and lightweight home dec items--placemats, etc. But, even though it is marketed as a very versatile machine, my experience is different.   I do not use it for anything heavier than quilting cottons or maybe a linen blend and it does do a great job for sewing my swimsuits in poly/lycra performance fabrics.   The fabric I have been attempting to sew the buttonholes on, is called SoftShell-----an outerwear fabric consisting of two layers bonded together. The outer layer is like a lightweight synthetic "suede"--like UltraSuede, and the inner layer is a very short pile fleece. The buttonholes were to be placed on one layer of that fabric.  The Pfaff won the competition in that category, hands down.  I have made several pair of chaps for horse-riders  with the SoftShell fabric, on the Pfaff without any problem whatsoever.  However, I think that a new Pfaff probably would fail also......   Thank you all for your comments.   This group is such a wealth of information and help!!!!  Remember, I am just relating my own experience. Your mileage may vary.
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA  PS-next time my S7 is due for a cleaning/inspection, I will make the repair shop aware of the buttonhole glitch. 


Cat - N
 

Glad you got the buttonholes done. Sorry you couldn’t sew them on the S7. Pfaff used to make excellent machines…not sure about quality of late models….all things change I guess.  Hope the medical emergency is all done and all are well now. I would definitely take multiple samples showing the same issue when your S7 goes for service next time. 

- Cat

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Nov 21, 2021 at 12:07 PM, <Kathy Strabel> wrote:

Thank you for your inputs. I have been away from my computer and sewing for a while due to a family medical issue.  Just wanted to let you know that I did try sewing more buttonholes with my Skyline 7 but my samples got the same result. Not good. So, I pulled out my trusty older Pfaff machine and it made perfect samples right off the bat. No special settings, just used the needle that was already in the Pfaff,   So, I will just make the rest of the buttonholes with my Pfaff.     I must say that this is the stuff that makes me crazy with these newer machines.  I will never part with my older (1978) Pfaff. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does a bang-up job of a lot more things than my Janome S7. I hate to be negative about a Janome on a Janome Group, but just being honest. The S7 does a lovely job of piecing my quilts, making lightweight  garments and lightweight home dec items--placemats, etc. But, even though it is marketed as a very versatile machine, my experience is different.   I do not use it for anything heavier than quilting cottons or maybe a linen blend and it does do a great job for sewing my swimsuits in poly/lycra performance fabrics.   The fabric I have been attempting to sew the buttonholes on, is called SoftShell-----an outerwear fabric consisting of two layers bonded together. The outer layer is like a lightweight synthetic "suede"--like UltraSuede, and the inner layer is a very short pile fleece. The buttonholes were to be placed on one layer of that fabric.  The Pfaff won the competition in that category, hands down.  I have made several pair of chaps for horse-riders  with the SoftShell fabric, on the Pfaff without any problem whatsoever.  However, I think that a new Pfaff probably would fail also......   Thank you all for your comments.   This group is such a wealth of information and help!!!!  Remember, I am just relating my own experience. Your mileage may vary.
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA  PS-next time my S7 is due for a cleaning/inspection, I will make the repair shop aware of the buttonhole glitch. 


Kathy Strabel
 

Cat-N.....Thankfully, the medical issue at my house is abating.  

Yes, you mention that "things change"----and that is the absolute truth. It seems like everything from toaster ovens, to refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, stoves, washers and dryers...ETC., are built to last about 10 years, maximum.  A little over a year ago, we bought a washing machine from a well-known manufacturer. Within 2 months, I had needed to have  warranty work on it TWICE.  There was an additional problem besides the main problem I had to call about. There was a rattle that made an annoying sound, and it was not there before the repair guy did his thing on the machine. The Customer Service people told me to place some duct tape on it to remove the rattle!!!   I refused to do that and insisted they send the man back to FIX the problem, but he said that the duct tape was the only solution, and that was direct from the manufacturer.  So, now I have a washer that does not rattle , but only because I have some professionally-applied duct tape!!   I know this is a little off-topic, but I have been needing to vent a little lately.
Thank you, and take care---and, of course Happy Stitching!


Fiona Williams
 

Duct tape seems to be the go to for everything!!! We once had a flight stuck on a runway for a couple of hours because of a broken bin. When they couldn’t fix it the duct taped it!! I guess we better all stock up on duct tape!


On Nov 22, 2021, at 8:57 AM, Kathy Strabel <ksbappa@...> wrote:

Cat-N.....Thankfully, the medical issue at my house is abating.  

Yes, you mention that "things change"----and that is the absolute truth. It seems like everything from toaster ovens, to refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, stoves, washers and dryers...ETC., are built to last about 10 years, maximum.  A little over a year ago, we bought a washing machine from a well-known manufacturer. Within 2 months, I had needed to have  warranty work on it TWICE.  There was an additional problem besides the main problem I had to call about. There was a rattle that made an annoying sound, and it was not there before the repair guy did his thing on the machine. The Customer Service people told me to place some duct tape on it to remove the rattle!!!   I refused to do that and insisted they send the man back to FIX the problem, but he said that the duct tape was the only solution, and that was direct from the manufacturer.  So, now I have a washer that does not rattle , but only because I have some professionally-applied duct tape!!   I know this is a little off-topic, but I have been needing to vent a little lately.
Thank you, and take care---and, of course Happy Stitching!


Cynthia Dickerson
 

Well what I would suggest is to try a button hole on a lighter material and see if it sews properly.  If it does, then you know that  the problem is with the fabric and you would need to lighten up the pressure foot or loosen up the stitching and  possibly make a wider stitch and see it it sews on your intended fabric.  If that doesn't help, I would place your fabric on some tissue paper and see if that helps with the stitching, maybe the fabric is dragging and slowing down the process.  First find out if it is actually the machine or the fabric and then maybe we can help more from there.


Kathy Strabel
 

Cynthia---Your suggestions are all very well thought out.   I just wanted to get the buttonholes project done, so I pulled out the other machine. I agree with you, I want to fix the problem overall, not just for this one type of fabric which my project is made of. BTW, I was making a hood to button on and off of a jacket. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I think EVERY jacket should have a hood!!!  The drawstring tunnel is where there was only one layer of the bonded fabric I used. The bottom edge of the hood, which has one layer of that fabric, plus a layer of thin T-shirt material for the lining, is the other place the buttonholes are sewn. I then sew four buttons underneath the collar to attach and remove the hood. I had not tried the tissue paper.  My machine has always been too tight at the default presser foot setting. I always have to lighten the presser foot pressure 2 clicks downward, no matter if I am sewing thin or thick fabrics, and apparently there is no way to make this a "universal", permanent change so that I always have the lighter pressure engaged.  Maybe a service technician can do this, but for now I have to set the foot pressure 2 clicks lighter whenever I start my machine up, or if I change to a different stitch. I then have to re-set to the lighter foot pressure.  A pain, but I can deal with it until a pro looks at my machine in the not-too-distant future.   After Thanksgiving, I will run some more samples and see what happens.  And save those samples to show the repair tech.   This problem could not have happened at a more inopportune time...had to euthanize my best cat buddy, a family medical emergency, my embroidery software acting up , Thanksgiving approaching.  I will close now and be away from my computer and sewing for a few days at least. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving with your family.   Take care, Kathy Strabel   Camas WA


Cat - N
 

Kathy, I hope all issues with your machine are easily resolved. It’s a pita when machines don’t do what they are supposed to do regardless which machine it is. 

I live in Florida and I, too, think all jackets should have hoods, and sleeves should be lined with just about anything but that cold shiny crinkly lining fabric. lol 

I hope you’re Thanksgiving is wonderful and relaxing. 

- Cat

Typos courtesy of autocorrect.