The Pillow Effect
Take a look at these three pictures below and try to guess: what is common and not so right with them? The garage background! Yes! But not on this topic. Take a closer look once again at the buttons and the button bands. Do they remind you an old-fashioned pillow with the side buttons on the pillowcase when the pillow is slightly too big and tries to break free? Exactly! There are two reasons why this happens:
1. Fronts are too narrow. Fronts, if put together, should be wider than a back, but this is not the topic of this tutorial. We'll talk about that later.
2. Wrong placement of buttons and buttonholes. Button bands when buttoned should overlap each other and stay in this position when being put on. So the right button band covers the left band and the left band never shows up.
That's not the end of the world if your garment is affected by the Pillow Effect. But take a look at the three pictures below which are pillow-free. And make your choice.
To get rid of the Pillow Effect you need to do small changes in your habits when working on buttonholes and sewing on buttons. It doesn't matter what stitch pattern has been used for your bands or how dense is your band's gauge. It will stretch anyway: the buttonhole gets wider and longer, the shank of your button will grow pulling the threads out even if you sewn on flat buttons. Fronts are always eager to open so the initial spots of your holes and buttons change with time. All you need is to predict and prevent those changes off-centering your buttonholes and buttons and moving them farther from the band's edge and closer to the front itself.