How to Sew a Button

I'm too embarrassed to admit how long my red coat has been missing a button. Let's just say I've found a way to tie my scarf so that it doesn't show! I finally got around to sewing it back on and made a step by step How-To that might be helpful if you've never sewn a button by hand or if you're still debating whether or not to take something to your seamstress. You will need: a needle and thread, scissors, and the button(s). I'm using white thread so it shows against the red fabric, but you should always match your thread to your fabric (or as best you can).
1. Find the spot to sew your button on. (Take into account if or how much your button will move to the right or left once you slide it through the buttonhole.) In this case, the button is not directly centered over the buttonhole but a little to the right.
2. Thread the needle. I loop it through a second time so there's 4 strands of thread. You shouldn't need more than 20 inches for 1 button. Knot the end.
3. Poke the needle through the fabric where you marked your spot and then slide the needle through the shank of the button (picture above). The "neck hole" of your button is called the shank.
4. Slide the button all the way down and get it in the right place. Poke another hole right next to the hole you already made and pull your needle through, to the wrong side of your garment.
5. Poke another hole (very close to where you are) and come right back to the front of your garment. You should see a tiny amount of thread showing on the back.
6. Make sure your button shank is resting comfortably (not pulling too tight) on your fabric and thread your needle through the shank a few times, picking up a little fabric below each time.
7. If you are working with a thick fabric, wind your thread around those stitches a few times to form a thread shank, between the button shank and your fabric (picture above).
8. When it feels like your button is secure, make a loop with your thread and tie it off. (Picture above)
9. Poke your needle through to the wrong side of your fabric and clip so that the end of your thread isn't exposed.
Make your own sewing kit...
I use an old jelly jar for my hand sewing supplies so everything stays in one spot. Here's a quick checklist:
-Needles (in various sizes)
-Thread (Usually black for moi, white for Will, and pink for Pearl)
-Safety Pins, Snaps, Hook&Eyes
-Extra buttons
I also like to keep a bag of buttons and thread that come with garments. Since I always forget whose they are and what they go with, I keep the tags with them as an easy reminder...
You can buy ready-made sewing kits at the drug store but I always find that the scissors are dull and the thread gets tangled easily. Still a good option if you're in a bind!!


Design Elements said...

lovely post!

Julie and Luke said...

This is AWESOME! Thank you for posting. I have a jacket with EVERY button missing. So, with this handy-dandy guide, I'll get some good experience next week when I get home from Austin. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks!!


Jackie said...

This is a great tutorial Jenna! Everyone needs to know how to sew on a button. Even Paw Paw likes to do that on his own and he learned in the Navy! (in WW2!)