Button Loops – Vintage Embroidery And Sewing Techniques Part 6

Part 6 of my ‘Vintage Embroidery And Sewing Techniques’ series with two 1950s samplers with fabric button loops, seam finishes, and a fabric-covered belt buckle.

vintage 1940s 1950s embroidery techniques sampler fabric button loops fabric covered belt buckle waistband

The first sampler is for a skirt or dress with self-fabric button loops at the side.

vintage 1940s 1950s self fabric button loops

The button loops are set in between the outer fabric and a self-fabric strip, so both sides are pretty with invisible hand stitches. (See sampler 2 for detail pictures)

vintage 1940s 1950s waistband hooks eyes bias binding detail

There’s a waistband at one side of the sampler. The waistband is sewn with tiny stitches by machine; the hooks are covered with bias binding.

1940s 1950s waistband bias binding cross-grain
‘Folded out’ waistband, wrong side of sampler

The waistband is just attached at the top, then folded to the wrong side and pressed (the crease in the picture) – the typical waistband finish of nearly all skirts my grandmother (a dressmaker) has sewn.

vintage 1940s 1950s seam finishes hem hand sewing bias binding

The sampler shows different seam and hem finishes; all are sewn with a slip stitch or blind stitch, so that no stitches are visible on either side. There’s also a placket which is bound with bias binding with invisible hand stitches on one side.

vintage 1940s 1950s hand bound skirt placket bias binding cross-grain
Inside view of skirt placket with bias binding (with raw edge) and hand stitches
vintage 1940s 1950s hand bound skirt placket bias binding cross-grain close up
Close-up of hand stitches on the inside

vintage 1940s 1950s fabric covered belt buckle overcast stich overhanding

The sampler also has a self-fabric-covered belt buckle. The belt buckle is completely covered with fabric on both sides. The fabric is joined at the back of the buckle with tiny overhanding or overcast stitches. The buckle is attached with some hand stitches.

vintage 1940s 1950s fabric covered belt buckle overcasting back view
Wrong side, hand stitches to attach the belt buckle

vintage 1940s 1950s fabric button loops imitation pearl buttons

The second sampler has button loops and imitation pearl buttons.

1950 sketch how to make fabric button loops
1951 sketch by my grandmother: how to sew fabric button loops

Here‘s a tutorial about how to make fabric button loops.

1940s 1950s fabric belt loops close up
Close-up of button loops
vintage 1940s 1950s button loops inside view wrong side
Wrong side

The button loops are set in between the outer fabric and a strip of fabric, as on the first sampler.

1940s 1950s button loops seam hem slip stitch blind stitch by hand

The raw edge of the fabric strip is turned under and finished with slip stitches by hand.

how to sew on buttons 1950s sketch
How to sew on buttons

Some more drawings which my grandmother sketched in 1951.

1950s lapped zipper drawing 1951
Lapped zipper
1950s hook and eye closure sketch hook and bar 1951
Hook and eye/ bar closures


Here you’ll find part 5 and part 7 of the 1950s vintage sewing techniques series.

If you’d like to see some more pictures or have a question about the samplers, please post a comment below.

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