Any tips for inserting the button side of the busk?

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Any tips for inserting the button side of the busk?

Postby melissabee » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:03 pm

So I had no problem getting the loop side of the busk into the front piece of my first attempt at the TV110. But the button side? Ugh. I'm having a heckuva time using an awl to get holes that are big enough to push the buttons through.

For the top layer I'm using dupioni flat-lined with coutil; for the lining layer, another layer of coutil – not that the lining matters for this step. I can't seem to get clean holes through the flat-lined layer – it looks frayed, on both the silk and the coutil, and pushing the button through is very difficult. I'm using a (very sharp!) woodworker's awl that's about 1/4" thick at its widest point.

Fortunately my failed attempts have been made on scraps of silk & coutil basted together. I haven't ruined the actual pattern pieces.

Does anyone have tips for how to do this cleanly? Or is it just this hard, end of story?
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Postby Heather » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:37 pm

It's just hard. Especially with 2 layers of fabric to contend with. I use a tapered awl, that has a very sharp point at one end, and about 1/2" wide at the base. I would think that 1/4" would get you a big enough hole, but I really like the full range of sizing you get with the tapered awl.

Just work the awl through to get a good spread, let one or 2 threads break if you need to, but try to keep the breakage to a minimum. Then you need to work the hole over the knobs. Use your fingernails against the knob to spread the hole over the knob. It will close up once you get the knob through, so 1-2 threads broken will not be noticeable. Just work at each hole, one at a time, until you get the fabric over the knob.
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Postby smt22 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:48 pm

I find it's a bit easier if you push the awl through the fabric from back to front, rather than front to back, since that is the direction that you have to push the knobs through.
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Postby valleyviolet » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:11 am

All I've got is a crappy little awl from Joann's, so I jam that in and then replace it with a tapered chopstick to widen the hole enough for the busk knobs. There's still a lot of pushing and twisting though, it's not much fun.
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Postby ljt » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:25 am

When I make my corsets I first make an eyelet with my sewing machine (buttonhole). I am able to then push my awl pretty hard without fear of tearing my fabric. My awl was bought in the leather working section of my hobby store and is more cone shaped so I can go wider that a normal sewing awl.
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Postby melissabee » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:00 pm

Thank you all for the advice! Hearing that it really is just that hard helped me be more patient. I was able to get all the knobs in this morning. I wouldn't call it easy, but the fraying is really only noticeable if you're looking for it – which, of course, I am. Must. Stop.

I'll have to try the machine-eyelet method for my next corset... it sounds promising.
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Postby Miranda Miller » Tue May 20, 2008 5:36 pm

I go crazy with fray check at each point I'm about to put in a knob since it dries pretty clear. And then go through with the awl-- I feel your pain about a cruddy awl!

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