By David Pew
The thread is waxed and anchored, the cord is set in place. Take half a stitch; wrap the threads clockwise around the point of the needle; pull the needle through to complete the stitch. Always pull the thread in exactly the same direction. Always exactly the same tension. The tailor’s precision must be absolute, their focus unwavering.
In our world, when something new is born, it often comes with some manner of fanfare. An eggshell cracking, a supernova igniting, a child being agonizingly shed from the womb into the arms of an overjoyed, exhausted mother. We almost universally think of birth as a tremendous event.
But it isn’t this way with buttonholes. As exciting as they may be to somebody like me, they truly are born of an almost perfect tedium. There’s no heaving of muscles or escape from a shell; there is only one tiny stitch after another, after another. In fact, even as a community, buttonholes are tedious by nature. When you’ve finished one, you move on to the next and begin the routine afresh.
This is, of course, the outside perspective. What the holder of the needle sees can be very different.
To the team at Sew Generously Bespoke, a hand-sewn buttonhole is a work of passion. An opportunity to try to brush up asymptotically against perfection; to know we will never achieve what we desire, but to struggle anyways, because the struggle is meaningful.
To us, a hand-sewn buttonhole represents the difference between a “custom suit” and a Sew Generously Bespoke suit. The difference between creating a garment that is (hopefully) good enough, and creating a garment that represents the piece of our hearts we put into it, from the initial consultation until it leaves the shop with its new owner.
To us, a buttonhole is a totem of the individuality in craftsmanship that comes from the most miniscule permutations of human error. Each suit coat (with surgeon’s cuffs) will house around 10 completely unique expressions of effort, each of which was made specially to cradle an equally unique button. And what’s more, a buttonhole is a unique expression of the sewer who made it, almost like a signature.
When you have machine-sewn buttonholes on your suit, nobody will notice them. And the fact of the matter is that when you have hand-sewn buttonholes on your suit, it’s quite likely that nobody will notice those either. That’s okay. We didn’t sew them for those people. We sewed them for you. And while those people may not know that you are enrobed in one of the most exquisite buttonhole collections of all time, they will see it in your stride.