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Dritz Bound Buttonhole Tool Review

Update: If you’d like a tutorial on using this tool, I’ve posted one here: How to use the Dritz bound buttonhole tool

Have you ever come across one of these? It’s a Dritz Bound Buttonhole maker, a vintage sewing tool that’s been out of production for some time and is increasingly hard to find. I managed to grab one on ebay a while back, and finally tried it out for the first time.

I used this excellent tutorial, as the instructions that come with it are sparse (to say the least). As I read through the instructions, I thought at first that it seemed just as much work as making a bound buttonhole in the normal way. But once I got the hang of my first buttonhole, they were indeed much easier.

While the tool is called a “bound buttonhole maker” on the package, it’s main job is really to hold things in place while you stitch. And it does that admirably well.

I was making a blouse with clear glass buttons, so I thought bound buttonholes would be lovely, since they’d be even more visible than normal. Here you can see the small glass button. I used some artist’s tape to mark the size of the buttonhole I wanted right on the tool. I really like using artist’s tape for things like this because it holds well and is easy to peel off and reposition, unlike masking tape.

As you can see in the tutorial, you cut out the squares of fabric for binding, slip them through the slot in the tool, where they’re held taut by a couple of metal posts on the back. It allows you to create very even, identical buttonholes with less fuss. And when it comes to sewing, fussiness is my enemy.

Here’s my first complete buttonhole.

And here are some more down the back of the blouse. Also, isn’t it cool how the stripes on the blouse match in back? I love matching stripes.

Overall, I give this little tool high marks! It does take a little getting used to because the way it works isn’t totally intuitive, but once I’d completed one buttonhole it was smooth sailing. I’m definitely going to be keeping this little guy handy.

If you’d like one, I recommend keeping an eye on ebay. They definitely pop up from time to time, it just takes some patience.

Update: Some of you asked for a view of the front of the blouse, here it is! This is actually the same vintage pattern I used in the fagoted seam tutorial, which is simplicity 1905.

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On , Gertie said: | blogforbettersewing.com

Interesting! I’ve heard people rave about these before. Your blouse looks marvelous!

On , Zoe said: | sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.com

Very nice! Lovely springtime fabric, and well done perfectly matching the stripes. Can we see the whole garment?

On , Clare said: | luckymia.blogspot.com

A lovely gadget from the past – I’m discovering things I never knew existed! I have never made a bound buttonhole but must try it; they look so much neater than (my) machine-made buttonholes. The top is indeed lovely – is that the Sencha pattern by any chance?

On , Casey said: | elegantmusings.com

Oh wow–what a handy looking tool! I’m always on the hunt for new vintage sewing tools to add to my little stash; might have to keep an eye for this one. ;) I just love the idea of a bound buttonhole being a bit easier!

Love the stripy blouse, btw! So pretty!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

Read a review of the Dritz Bound Buttonhole vintage sewing tool · Sewing @ CraftGossip

[…] Sarai from Colette Patterns gives a review of the Dritz Bound Buttonhole tool.  These are no longer produced and can be difficult to find, but from the sound of her review they’re certainly something to be on the lookout for.  This small accessory helps create perfect bound buttonholes!  I know I’ll be watching for one of these at estate sales and thrift stores.  Read her review. […]

On , Anne Weaver said: | sewing.craftgossip.com

I now have a severe case of gadget envy! I’ve got to find one of these!!

I blogged about your review on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/read-a-review-of-the-dritz-bound-buttonhole-vintage-sewing-tool/2010/01/12/

–Anne

On , Andrea said: | crownology.blogspot.com

Beautiful Blouse!
Awhile ago I bid on (won) a box of miscellaneous sewing “items”, mostly attachments for my Singer portable from the 1950’s. This was in there! No package so I was unsure what it was. Mystery solved! Thank you Sarai.
I have to check out that tutorial now.
:)

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Zoe, I added a couple more photos to the post to show the front of the garment, I don’t know why I didn’t think to include it!

Clare, I also added the pattern info… it’s vintage and I like it quite a bit, especially with the striped fabric. It has its quirks, though. the main thing I’d change if I make it again in this style is to cut a facing for the neckline. The pattern has you finish it with bias tape, and I think a facing would look neater.

On , B.K. said: | theladysguide.blogspot.com

That shirt is very pretty, I love, love, love those glass buttons with that fabric. And the button holes look super great.

“I now have a severe case of gadget envy!” – Anne Weaver

Hahaha! Describes my own feelings perfectly :)

On , Clare said: | luckymia.blogspot.com

I love the yoke on this pattern (in addition to all the other details!) and it works beautifully with the stripes.

On , sewiknittoo said: | sewiknittoo.wordpress.com

the tutorial for the bound buttonhole is not allowing access…its a password protected blog for authorized readers only

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

that’s too bad, I guess the blog was changed to private. If I get a chance, I’ll try to do a new tutorial for using this thing.

On , Pam said:

Looking forward to seeing your tutorial for this nifty sewing tool. I just won an ebay auction for one and would love to see pics of the process. :)

stitch » quiet round here

[…] a bound buttonhole maker, by rencrest, 1955. i assume it works the same as the widely feted dritz version, but with a lot less competition on ebay i’ve worked through a few variations, hence the […]

On , Nicole said: | biketopus.blogspot.com

I’ll second the request for a tutorial… I just got one of these off of ebay and can’t figure out how to use it :-/

On , Rob Clement said: | abeautifulpalegreen.com

Those buttonholes look great! Makes one wonder why no one makes the tool anymore.

On , Glenda Mansell said:

I have the bound buttonhole maker. I have had it since I was in high school. I have the tool but not the directions. Would like the directions..I cant remember how to use it.

Vogue 2960 – The Rosie dress « delfinelise

[…] this pattern calls for bound buttonholes. I don´t have the fabulous tool everybody is talking about, and I have never made bound buttonholes before either. I tried making […]

On , Beth said:

Yea! Now I know what this little mystery tool in my thrifted sewing box is! Once again, you prove to be one of the best sewing resources on the internet. I can’t wait to start getting weekly sewing tips. What a great idea!

On , Emily said:

I bought a Singer 401a at a yard sale for $15. It came with all of it’s original attachments along with one of these little things. I wondered what it was… Looks like I did pretty good!

On , Teri said:

Doing some research today on a bunch of vintage items I just received and found the Rencrest version. Had no idea what it was. Anyone interested in it?

On , mary miller said:

I have found a Dritz bound Button Hole maker that you talk about on your site. you say for anyone to grab one if they see it. Well I would love to sell it. It does not have the instructions but you certainly explain it well. If you know of anyone who wants to buy one, I would love to sell it for a reasonable price. Just contact me. thanks.

On , Melinda said:

Yes!! I would like to buy your Dritz ZBBound Button hole Maker. What are you asking? I am a home ec teacher and would love to have this for class!!!

-Sincerely,
Melinda

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