I recently noticed on my travels during the Spring sewing season that many of the ladies “groaned” when I said we were going to do a buttonhole. I was quite surprized as I do not think that buttonholes are hard to do. But nonetheless it would seem that there is a fear & dislike of doing buttonholes. I really do hope I will dispel some of that with this blog post.

This is the sensor buttonhole foot R (on the left) which comes with quite a few of our Elna sewing machine models.  On the right is the buttonhole stabilizer plate which is an optional extra.

This is the sensor buttonhole foot R (on the left) . On the right is the buttonhole stabilizer plate which is an optional accessory.

I do think that some of the reasons for the success is the sheer ease with which our ELNA machines can do a variety of buttonholes. We have regular ones, key hole buttonholes, rounded ends; buttonholes especially for stretch/knit fabrics etc. Gone are the days where each buttonhole was a guessing game as to whether it would work & match the others. Our machines are so technically advanced that we can rest assured that when we have 6 buttonholes to make on a project, that all 6 will look perfect & equal!

This is available as an optional accessory.  Basically if you have the sensor Buttonhole foot R into which you put the button, you can get this plate for that foot. If you have a very simple sewing machine such a front loading machine or a 4-step buttonhole, then I am afraid to say that this stabilizer plate will not work with your buttonhole foot. But you are very welcome to discuss your options with your local ELNA dealer who might suggest upgrading to a machine which offers these features.

How does it work?  You pop the button you will be using into the foot & push the clamp up against the button to hold it in place and ensure the button hole is made to the correct size for that button. This is known as the sensor buttonhole as the machine & foot are “sensing” the size you need for the buttonhole. You do not need to figure this out and manually size the first buttonhole before you are ready to do the button holes on the finished project.

buttonhole foot 2

Button placed into the foot – this does the sizing of the buttonhole automatically for you.
Well, then what is the buttonhole stabilizer plate for? I have done blog posts previously on this so do please do a search in the box on this blog home page for more information. But, in a nutshell, it provides a clever way to feed the fabric evenly when you are dealing with thick or difficult fabrics (such a coat fabric, stretchy fabrics, etc). These fabrics can be rather annoying as they tend to jam up under the buttonhole foot so that one side of the buttonhole does not match the other side. This plate assists in feeding the fabric evenly . It is also very helpful when you have a button placket or band that has uneven layers – these can prove to be very troublesome for sewing buttonholes but if you use our ELNA  BUTTONHOLE STABILIZER PLATE, you will be really pleased with the difference it makes.

buttonhole foot 12K & 8900

Buttonhole foot with stabilizer plate engaged.Buttonhole foot with stabilizer plate engaged.

buttonhole foot 3
Same buttonhole foot but now the fabric has been slipped between the foot & the plate just prior to sewing the buttonhole.
So there you have it: ELNA’S  easy way to making successful buttonholes no matter what fabric you use & how many you need to do in a row.

Please see your local ELNA dealer today for more information, a demo of how this foot & stabilizer plate works & to purchase the ELNA accessories you just have to have to get the job done!


About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.


  1. Arlene Nicholls says:

    How do you make a buttonhole if the button is too large for the buttonhole presser foot?

    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Arlene,

      Sorry for the delay. I don’t look after these comments anymore so I thought they were being answered.
      There is a large button hole foot but it only is compatible with a few machines. You dont say what your machine is so I think you may have to ask your dealer to investigate if it will work for you.
      OR you do not do the sensor button hole which limits you to 1 inch. You do the AUTO button hole with the B foot not the R foot. Then you can set the length of the button hole on the first button hole with the reverse button/switch an all subsequent buttonholes will be that long.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s