Dear Jan,
My buttonholes always turn out even except when working close to the neckline. How can I make that top buttonhole look as good as the rest? -Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
Neckline buttonholes require more preparation because of the many different layers of fabric used for the collar, collar stand and facings. This is the spot they all come together. It is important that you "grade" your inner seams before turning right sides out. But in many cases this won't solve the whole problem. If the facings on one side are considerably higher, you need to even out the fabric before it is placed under the buttonhole foot. Use several layers of tear away stabilizer to "prop up" the lower side. This will allow the fabric to feed evenly under the buttonhole foot. This stabilizer will be on the far end of the buttonhole foot and not fall into the stitching area. Think of it like walking with a tennis shoe on one foot and a heeled pump on the other. You need to create a balance for the fabric to move smoothly. Finally, place a single layer of lightweight tear-away stabilizer under the entire area before sewing.