Griest/Greist Template Buttonholer Attachment

Griest buttonhole attachments were made in the following model numbers, each for a different style of machine:

#1 Side Screw Clamping – Singer, White, Brother, Morse, Atlas, Kenmore, Domestic, Free Westinghouse and most all imported straight stitch sewing machines.

#2 Top Clamping – White, Kenmore, Domestic, Majestic, Franklin, Worlds, Dressmaker and all Rotary machines made by White & Domestic Sewing Machine Corp.

#3 Top Clamping – Kenmore (49, 71, 76), Free Rotary, Free-Westinghouse, New Home (Rotary), Stratford, Most all machines made by Free & New Home Sewing Machine Company.

#4 Top Clamping – Eldredge, National, Montgomery Ward, All machines made by National Sewing Machine Company.

#5 Slant Needle – Singer only.

#6 Low Bar (1/2”) – Left Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

#7 High Bar (1”) – Left Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

#8 All Pfaff Sewing Machines except models 139, 239, 1221 and 1222.

#9 All Necchi Straight Stitch and all Low (1/2”) Centre Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

#10 All Necchi, Pfaff (Models 139 and 239) and High Bar (1”) Centre Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

Low and High Bar are different terms for low and high shank.
Left Needle Position and Centre Needle Position refer to the resting position of the needle before it commences a straight stitch. In other words, is the needle at the centre of the slot in the needle plate or is it to the left of it.  The model numbers are printed on the end of the box.

In use, these are definitely the easiest button hole attachments with which to achieve a well tensioned and nicely balanced buttonhole.   The attachment comes with five templates, one of which is already in place in the machine.  These standard templates are 5/16”, 5/8”, 13/16”, 11/16” for straight buttonholes and 11/16” for the keyhole type.  Additional templates are available as 3/8”,  1/2”,  15/16” for the straight type, 5/8” for the keyhole and an eyelet style.  Each template has a guide on the back of it so that the button may be placed against it to reckon the right one to use.

The stitch width may be adjusted by moving the slider on the side of the attachment to “N” for narrow, “W” for wide and any point in between.  It is usual to use a narrow setting for small buttonholes and a wider one for longer buttonholes as this is generally more in keeping, visually, with the overall proportions of the finished buttonhole but you may, of course, adjust this accordingly if your fabric is, for example, thin and your button large.

A feed dog plate is provided with the machine but as this affects the amount of clearance under the attachment, do just dispense with it and drop the feed dogs if this is possible on your machine.

It is possible to make a larger buttonhole than the size of the template will allow.  This is done by twisting the adjustment knob which moves the template through its cycle and stopping when the needle position is in line with the second line from the front of the cloth clamp on the left hand side as you face it.  This is now your new starting position and when you have run the attachment through its cycle until it reaches the same point on the opposite side to where you started, stop with the needle down in the fabric, carefully raise the presser foot lever.  1″ of your buttonhole is accounted for in what you have already done so you need now to decide how much bigger it needs to be.  Each line on the cloth clamp represents and extra 1/8 “ on the buttonhole.  If two lines will suffice, move the adjustment knob clockwise to cycle around the open end, down the left hand side (as you look at it), around the bottom and then take care to stop when the needle is level with the chosen guide line on the clamp.  Drop the presser foot lever and continue to sew.  This will allow the correct extra length to be added to the resultant buttonhole.  That may sound fiddly, but is an excellent way of achieving an extra-long buttonhole where some modern machines would certainly fail to allow it, guided (and limited) as they are by the diameter of the button which  will fit in the buttonhole foot.

The Griest Buttonholer and templates.

The standard templates supplied with the attachment.

The buttonholer in use.

The finished buttonhole.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kiki Roumel
    Feb 06, 2018 @ 00:23:58

    I love this post! Thanks. I have a Singer Featherweight 222 and a Kenmore 1410. Do you have any idea which Greist buttonholer attachment would work for these? Or either one? Or do you have an idea where I could go to find such information? Thanks so much.


    • Offspring
      Feb 06, 2018 @ 08:15:00

      Hi Kiki, I have a 222k too so can confidently answer that it takes the #1. I’m not sure about the Kenmore but I believe that the swing needle machines are categorised according to where the needle is positioned when the stitch commences. 🙂


  2. Elsa Mikus
    Jan 23, 2018 @ 00:22:25

    I had this buttonholed when I was growing up and learning to sew. It made the BEST button holes. Is there a model that can be used on a newer machine? I have a Pfaff Tiptronic 2030. I hate the buttonholes it makes.


    • Offspring
      Jan 23, 2018 @ 11:25:15

      Hi Elsa, hmmmm…I’m not sure, I’m afraid. I’d hate to recommend one and have it not fit or – worse still – damage such a lovely machine. I reckon the safest alternative might be to keep your eyes open for an old Singer straight-stitcher such as a Singer 99k and just set it up as a dedicated buttonholer with one of the #1 models, which seem to be the most common. 🙂


  3. Georgia
    Oct 05, 2016 @ 19:53:50

    I’ve got a Rotary Buttonholer from Greist. Booklet says 1956 like Alison’s 2014 post, but there’s no model number to be found anywhere….I also can’t seem to get the fork arm to fit with the needle at it’s highest point on my Necchi…so I’m thinking maybe it’s the wrong size?


  4. Lorraine Thomas Merrell
    Sep 30, 2016 @ 22:58:23

    I have a #6 but have no idea what it all means. Is there anyway to know what sewing machines it might fit?


    • Offspring
      Oct 02, 2016 @ 14:09:49

      Hi, I’m afraid that question has me scratching my head! At a guess, I’m wondering whether the needle comes to rest at different positions (left, right, centre) depending on the machine and that some of these (the left ones) require the attachment foot to be slightly offset in order for the buttonhole to be stitched correctly within the feed plate. I might have to do a little research and get back to you on this…


  5. Accacia
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 15:03:04

    Do you know anything about Greist 46A? There’s one for sale in my local craigslist and I’m curious about what it might fit.


  6. Purple
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 21:20:30

    Look at the box on one end. It should have # and a number. I can just about make out the number on the box I have, so you might need to look very carefully!


  7. Alison Cummins
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 21:25:38

    Thank you for this.

    I have inherited a Greist Buttonholer but it is not identified by model number anywhere. The booklet dates to 1956 and is titled ‘Greist Buttonholer.’ The box is labelled ‘Greist Products Rotary Buttonholer.’

    Do you have any idea which model number it might be equivalent to or how I could find out?


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