Attachments · Buttonholes · Feed mechanism · Pfaff

Pfaff’s unsurpassed buttonholes

My Pfaff Creative makes unsurpassed buttonholes. It’s a computerised machine, so of course she’s got programs for several types of lovely buttonholes. But this is not unique and not particularly remarkable. The most remarkable bit is a simple mechanical aid that makes all the difference.

The first thing you notice is of course the sliding buttonhole foot, but that’s not unique – a lot of machines have that. The remarkable bit is the sliding frame that is inserted from the back: the metal strip slides under the needle plate, and the plastic strip slides under the foot.

The fabric is inserted between the foot and the frame. The plastic bit of the frame has a non-slip layer, so that the fabric is held firmly. During sewing, the foot and the frame slide together with the fabric clamped between them.

The frame slides easily along the needle plate, much easier than fabric would do without the frame. The buttonhole program is based on counted stitches, so if the feed is slowed due to fabric resistance, the buttonholes come out shortened or misshapen, or both. Even with this frame mechanism, you have to make sure that the bulk of your garment does not interfere with the transport and does not block the frame as it moves towards the back.

The best way to handle it, I found, is to keep my hands under the material left and right of the foot and lift it up a little at the back so it would not block the moving frame. But the result is beautiful and well worth it if you have to make a lot of buttonholes.

12 thoughts on “Pfaff’s unsurpassed buttonholes

  1. I love my computerized machines particularly because of the buttonholes! My Kenmore 1030 also makes great buttonholes, and it is totally mechanical.

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    1. My point exactly. The precision of a computerised machine is only as good as the feed, which is always mechanical because it has to physically grab and move the fabric! You don’t need a computer to make a buttonhole template either, there are plenty of mechanical solutions out there. But the sliding frame on this Pfaff would benefit them all, both mechanical and electronic! You do need a specially adapted needle plate for it though, so I can’t just pop it into another machine. Hence I use this Pfaff for buttonholes.

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      1. Which Pfaff do you have? I had a Passport 3.0 and returned it to the vendor in exchange for a BabyLock. The feet were really poor quality and would often snap off (not break) in use.

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      2. That’s great. I don’t know if it was before Pfaff was bought out and joined up with the Viking and Singer sewing machine labels. The Passport 3.0 was a great idea, but I didn’t like it at all. Older machines are often excellent, even computerized, if they are not mass marketed. My opinion!

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    1. It has to work with the needle plate, that’s what ensures that it moves straight. But may be there is another way? Let us know if you come up with something! 😃

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