I recently completed a series of Test Drives around my territory showcasing the JANOME MC8900; JANOME MC8200 & JANOME MC9900. Folk taking part in the TEST DRIVES  made a rather cute (even though I say so myself) purse organizer as they navigated their way around one of these machines & made the project. Absolutely every one who attended went home with a completed project and many fell so in love with the machine they were using, that they bought one & went home to play some more!

PURSE ORGANIZER  for all those bits & bobs we ladies keep in our purses.

PURSE ORGANIZER for all those things we ladies keep in our purses.

One of the things I noticed during almost every one of the Test Drives was that 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 strong fear & dislike of doing buttonholes. I really do hope I was able to dispel some of that during our Test Drives …..I sure was encouraged by the comments many of you made  at the end of the Test Drive about buttonholes being not so bad after all!

I do think that some of the reasons for the success is the sheer ease with which our Janome 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!

Buttonhole foot & stabilizer plate for maximum precision & great results

Buttonhole foot & stabilizer plate for maximum precision & great results

Many of our JANOME sewing machines come equipped with the above buttonhole foot & stabilizer plate. Certainly our newer models such as the JANOME MC8900; MC8200; MC9900 include these feet. If you have an older model, you might have a Button hole foot R which looks similar to the one pictured above, except that the one above does have some extra newer features. But both types operate in much the same way. 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.

Button placed into the foot  - this does the sizing of the buttonhole automatically for you.

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 JANOME BUTTONHOLE STABILIZER PLATE, you will be really pleased with the difference it makes.

Now if you do not have one of these feet and the plate included with your machine (only a select few Janome models do include it), then you are able to purchase the buttonhole stabilizer plate separately for many of our Janome machines. 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 JANOME  dealer who might suggest upgrading to a machine which offers these features.

Buttonhole foot with stabilizer plate engaged.

Buttonhole foot with stabilizer plate engaged.

Same buttonhole foot but now the fabric has been slipped between the foot & the plate just prior to sewing the buttonhole

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: JANOME’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 JANOME dealer today for more information, a demo of how this foot & stabilizer plate works & to purchase the JANOME  accessories you just have to have to get the job done!

About lizafrica

I work in the Education Dept at Janome & Elna, Canada and 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.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Fashion, GARMENT SEWING WITH JANOME, Horizon MC 12000, JANOME MC 8200, JANOME MC 9900, Janome Sewing Machine, MC8900, Sewing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. rkaldor says:

    Hi, just found this blog. I would like to buy a new machine but don’t want any features like embroidery or quilting. I sew my own clothes and just want a good machine. I currently own an Elna Air Electronic SU. What would you recommend in the Janome line? Thanks, Ruth


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Ruth,
      Unfortunately this blog is not really the forum for individual sewing machine recommendations. It is better to contact a local Janome dealer who will be able to assist you OR you could do some research on or for specific machine feature information.
      I do, however, know that your Elna SU was a top of the line sewing machine in its day but did not have hoop embroidery. I’m thinking you should look at the Skyline S5 which is a newer model and very popular. I would also highly recommend you look at the Horizon MC8200 & Mc8900. These are not just for quilting……they have LOADS of space, features, feet & stitches for garment sewing. I do about half quilting & half garment sewing and these are the 2 machines I work on most often (when not doing hoop embroidery). They both have 9mm stitches and free arms for those collars & sleeve insertions, plus a lot more like one step needle plate removal, one hand needle threader; etc
      Incidentally the Elna line is owned & made by Janome so you might like to look at the EL730 & EL760 which are very similar to the MC8200 & MC8900



  2. Linda Seemann0Korte says:

    Hi Liz,
    I know hwat you mean! I get it all the time in my classes! Once people see how easy they are, they are hooked on Janome machines! Love it!
    Love the purse organizer! Are you willing to share your pattern number so I can make a few for gifts? Or …. Are you coming to Saskatoon to do this??


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Linda,
      Hope you are having a wonderful summer in one of my favourite provinces!
      You are not the only one who has asked about the Purse Organizer. I think I am now probably done with that series of Test drives as we have lots of other fun stuff planned for the Fall. I had not wanted to publicize the project until then. So, yes, I will schedule it for sometime in September as all the August posts are written & ready to publish so August is pretty much “full” of posts. How about watching for it on the week of 16th September? I will give step by step instructions with pics. There as no pattern, I designed the project so will share how to make it in the post. It is actually a rather nice gift for family & friends for Christmas. You could even fill it with purse essentials like hand cream tube, compact mirror, pen, little note pad, etc.
      Janome Canada.


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