here is the result:
I am glad Yoda is not here to make me work another 989 buttonholes, because the next one will be made straight on the cape! (By the way, I know it is far from being perfect, but I got another week of relatively warm weather here and then it's over!)
Now, I wanted to thank all the commenters for being so helpful!
Suzy, you always motivated me and I really suggest you give it another try! These buttonholes get only better with practice.
Sherry, I knew you would be there to comment on yet another sewing challenge - Thanks! Readers, if you don't know Sherry, check out her blog - she hosted a great RTW Tailoring Sew-Along. Besides that, you will find many examples of great garment construction on her blog and tons of tutorials, both on RTW and couture techniques!
By the way, Sherry and Browser, I did find that video by Jeffery D earlier today and it helped a lot! It is probably the only useful video tutorial on hand-worked buttonholes!
AND don't miss this great tutorial by Paco Peralta. Paco, thank you for posting the link. In fact, I was trying to find it on your blog earlier today, but then Marie-Noele mentioned you and, then, you commented!.. Readers, I was sure Paco had something on hand-worked buttonholes - just check out his garments and impeccable construction!..
As for my cape buttonholes, I won't be testing your patience, readers, and won't post any further practice posts. I think I got the feel of it and just need to practice more. But here is one tip that helped me make some progress (of course, I am not including anything you can find in Jeffery's and Paco's tutorials) -
Focus on every stitch, but work it as part of the whole. In typography (I happened to study it), there is a process called kerning where you adjust the spacing between letters so the text looks balanced. Kerning can be tiring as you need to adjust spacing between every letter. Ed Bengiat, a great typographer and my teacher, taught me to look at three letters at a time and adjust space comparing the positive and negative spaces of the neighbouring letters. Now, in buttonholes, when you start working on you stitch, keep in mind how you did the previous one - the length, the space, the tension, everything - and make just exactly the same stitch... and another one... think how it can affect your next stitch... three stitches at a time, no distraction... patience, precision and focus is the key to making progress...
If this tip didn't inspire you, check out this insightful video (yes, I am a big Star Wars fan):
Feel the Force, readers!