*Before you begin, get your manual out. I still refer to it, after 25 years.
*Check to see if the buttonhole lever is movable. It is very common for this lever to be frozen in place. If so, try Tri-flow and a blow drier to loosen it. Below is a photo of the lever in the correct position for buttonholes. You should be able to pull down to engage it.
*Prepare the bobbin by threading through the "finger". This gives a little more tension to give a good stitch. *Attach the buttonhole foot, as in this picture.
|Threaded Bobbin and buttonhole foot|
1. Set the knobs on the machine as shown the manual. Side lever up, stitch length to the top.
2. Set zig zag by moving the lever to the right until it hits the stop gently. That moves the zig zag gears into alignment. Move the needle position lever to match up white lines on zig zag control. It's a bit off here, but until I have another photo this gives an idea. Thanks to a reader for helping.
|Move to the right, these are the correct zig zag settings it should have set for you.|
Begin making your buttonhole starting at your marker to your other mark. I use pins but remove them when the presser foot is in the right position.
|First side, backwards.|
|Left stop position|
|Right side stop position|
Note: it is very tempting to pull or move the fabric. My best advice is to resist - it does better when you just let it go no matter how scary that is!
6. With needle up, push lever to the left stop. Make another bar tack, hold fabric tightly.
It will stay in place, locking the zig zag and going up the side slightly in tiny stitches.
This all sounds terribly complicated but after a few times it should take only a few minutes. Basically, here is the procedure in shorthand:
Always have needle up to move lever, hold fabric on tacks.
Far right stop, 3 stitches.
The drawback to this system is that, as like with all manual buttonholes, you have to measure each one perfectly. Another is that you can't do a second pass.
They turn out OK but if you spend a little more time the corded ones are the best. The Bernina buttonhole foot has a hook at the end to allow for string to go under the foot and under the stitches for a raised effect. I use this when using heavier fabrics mostly.
On a related topic, the Singer Buttonholer cannot be used on the Bernina 730. Finally got around to trying it out and alas, it was not very good. It did fit the Buttonholer's cloth plate, and with an low shank adapter fit the needle clamp. The machine's extension bed was in place for support. The problem is the bar that holds the Bernina presser feet secure is not positioned well for the buttonholer to fit under it. I did get a buttonhole made, but it came loose a few times causing the adapter to fall away.
Very close, but it was enough to break my needle and come apart a few times. If there was a buttonholer with a lower profile then it would work fine. Mystery solved.