This first photo shows the finished bound buttonhole using the “railroad” method. Note the lips are uneven.

railroad_front

Below is the back side of it. It’s a bit skewed and uneven. Ick.

railroad_back

Below is the front of second sample. For this one I used the concepts of the welt pocket tutorial as best I could. By “best as I could”, I mean that I wasn’t allowed to fuse the area, nor the welts, I didn’t have a jig and lastly, had to use the pre-cut fabric squares supplied for the exercise. Still, it came out much better than the first one.

my_way_front

And below is the back side of the second sample using the welt pocket process.

my_way_back

By the way, if you want to see a comparison of what a bound hole would look like under optimal conditions, see the sample I made before I went to the class. Keep in mind that the last time I made one of these was 30 years ago.

My point is not to downplay any errors I might have made but to stress that someone can go 30 years without doing one of these suckers but still get a great result if the process one is using is well defined and controlled. I think it is more rewarding for beginners to have a perfect or a near perfect result by using a good process to compensate for their lack of skills than it is to raise the barre and force people to practice over and over to develop skills before they can get a good result. Personally, I would be discouraged. If a process can reduce defects regardless of skills, what’s not to like? If the goal is to hold a skills competition, it should be over something that matters, not one isolated component of the product. Just my opinion…

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