I've been using a home machine to sew buttonholes. There's a bit of discussion about this subject at AAAC: http://www.askandyab...wn-OCBD-at-home
With a little tweaking I was able to get passable buttonholes:
It's not going to be as strong as a real buttonholer because there's no purl stitch. The home machine's feeding is also awful
and it pulls the shirt in to sew the hole, so it's hard to keep it straight. It sometimes gets jammed on buttondown collars (then you've got to pull all the buttonhole stitches and start over...) But once it's done, the buttonholes seem to hold up okay. It works much better than the industrial single-needle attachment buttonholer I tried (which was very weak since it didn't tack the ends).
The machine I used is a Kenmore (Janome) 386.18221. Single-step buttonholer; not expensive: ~$150.
Someone in the AAAC thread also suggested sewing the holes lightly by machine then going over them by hand. Might be a good solution for the cuffs and collars if you're worried about durability. FWIW I've never had one of the Kenmore machine's buttonholes fail (though I did accidentially cut some of the satin stitches in my early efforts).
Edited by P.T., 22 November 2010 - 02:09 PM.