9 thoughts on “Treating the waistline

  1. Would never use a razor to cut between the layers, but do like the little seam ripper or even embroidery scissors to lift and cut the topside threads at intervals. I think I then remove the thread from the back side and clean up the top. It’s been a while. Must test out the described method soon. There is a way to do it where the thread just comes out unchaining very easily in one piece. I think hand basting first might minimize the need to unsew. At least that’s what I’m hoping.


  2. I found your blog while looking for info on ‘Sew the French Way’ (which I now have in hand). Thanks for your scans of this and the zipper insertion to help me make up my mind!! The book’s already been useful. I’d been practicing hand worked buttonholes using the info in ‘The Complete Guide to Tailoring’ by Margolis (’78), and though I’m a fan of the clear way she explains things, I’m having much better luck using the different method Jaque gives. Margolis shows how to make the buttonhole with blanket stitch, as do my other books, but Jaque says, “Blanket stitch is unsuitable for this purpose since it lacks strength. In this case purled stitch… should be used.” I’ve made test buttonholes on the same fabric with the same thread, and using Jaque’s instructions, they’re definitely stronger, prettier, and quicker to snap back into shape after opening.


    • Hi Jess, I believe there is a difference between the text and the illustration in Margolis. Step 5 on page 306 says the stitches are worked from right to left. I just checked the Margolis illustration and it is worked from left to right, as is Jacque’s. The difference is the Margolis stitching begins on the other side of the buttonhole. Buttonhole twist has a Z twist and will prefer to coil to the right. If working Adele Margolis style you will be twisting the thread to the left. I find it more difficult to manage, but the effect is different. There will be a more noticeable round knot at the opening. The Line Jacque book shows the other type of buttonhole stitch that has a braided edge, if using Z twist thread. For menswear, sometimes a more pronounced buttonhole edge is desired I suppose, however there is a good youtube video of a tailor who was trained in Italy making a buttonhole in a Harris tweed jacket and he uses the Line Jacque technique. Another thing to consider is the padding under the stitches. I’ve had good results using a chain stitch to outline rather than just plain running stitches or stranding but that was for cotton fabric. So glad to hear you’ve had success with your buttonholes. Here is the video about the buttonhole stitch by Pasquale the tailor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy4Yg7TPGpE


      • Perhaps we have different editions? Or I’m just missing something… There’s no step 5 on my Complete Guide to Tailoring pg 306, and the illustrations (fig 227C buttonhole stitch on pg 317 & fig 228C on 318) show the buttonhole being worked from right to left (227D shows left to right, but that’s an illustration for “To Make the Blanket Stitch” which she includes after the buttonhole stitch info). You can see what I see in her book at Cutter and Tailor http://www.cutterandtailor.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=779&p=6864). But regardless, yes, I’m very pleased with the Jaque instructions for the buttonholes on my husband’s coat. I’ll check out the video too! Thanks!


      • Yes, that video you linked is the same stitch I’m doing now. Thanks. I prefer it to the buttonhole stitch I was doing (which I mistakenly called blanket stitch in my first comment — probably because Margolis has the blanket stitch instruction right after the buttonhole stitch, and I wasn’t thinking.)


  3. You are right about Adele Margolis’ hand-worked and tailor’s buttonholes.The stitch direction goes from right to left. I have the 1964 edition and the text is slightly different in parts. Thank you for sending the link! I was trying to work the stitch with the opening on my left. That is how my sister prefers, she was taught by a friend who was trained in Germany. She prefers the decorative knot. I believe it is also called the Antwerp edging stitch. It is worked like a blanket stitch (fig. 227d) and held with the opening on the left, but there is another knot made in it. If worked horizontally it is called the gathering-in stitch and used in tailoring as referred to by Clarence Poulin in Tailoring Suits the Professional Way on page 104.
    There is also a video by Sten Martin Jonnson showing the gathering-in stitch which is at about 9:51 into the video. Ease, Gathering and Drawing-In Stitch.

    I like the Jacque and Mr. Pasquale way of working the buttonhole. It works with the curl of the Z twist thread best, I think and I like the look of the braided edge. It will be great to follow along with you as you work on your husband’s winter coat. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had to google z twist, but found that my thread is z twist, so that may be why Jaque’s method turns out well for me.

    Thanks very much for that vid. and book link. It’s a stitch I’ll definitely be trying out. I like the gentle way the drawing in stitch prepares for slight easing, the control it gives, and that it remains elastic I hadn’t seen that before… which isn’t surprising, since there’s quite a lot I don’t know, especially about hand sewing… but learning has been enjoyable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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