Sewing On A Button

Sewing on a button is a very useful skill to have. There can be a sudden emergency, and with a formal event coming up. If you know how to do it, and can find an emergency sewing kit, then you can do it in just minutes. This can be very useful when you are on your own. Knowing how to sew a button will make you more self-sufficient.

Tools You Will Need

sewing a button

  • Needle – A basic sewing needle should be good. Have 2 slim needles.
  • Thread – 12” for the entire process. Use 24” to make it stronger. Select a thread to match the color of your garment. Navy and black goes well with most.
  • Button – Go with whatever is available, if you don’t have a spare of the original. In most shirts, there are spare buttons sewn on the inside. The method I will describe here is for four-hole buttons, but you can adopt for two-hole buttons too.
  • Cutting tool – This includes knife, scissors for cutting the extra thread. Use your teeth if nothing is available.

Sewing on a Button

Step 1 – Thread Your Needle, Knot the End

needle threading

Slide the thread through the needle’s eye if you have 24” and double it over till you have the same amount of thread on both the sides. Use a single thread if it is less than 24”. Wrap the thread around your finger or tie small overhand knots for tying the backend of your single thread. Roll the loops tightly using your thumb. Now slip the bundle from your finger. Use one hand to hold the loops and pull the thread’s long end tight with the other. The loose bundle will become a tight knot.

Step 2 – Creating the Anchor Point

button sewing x point

Run your needle from the fabric’s back end to the front where you will be placing the button. Run thread to the back and then to the front. You have to get a small “X” – the center of the button. The X will be the thread’s reinforced anchor as well to make sure that it is not loose when under stress.

You can choose from haute couture buttons here from a range of colors and designs.

Step 3 – Button Positioning

button positioning

Place the button on the X and sew. Push needle to the front from the back through the first button hole. Push the needle through one hole from the garment’s underside. Pull the thread till the knot snugs against the fabric’s underside. Keep the button in place with your fingertip. Turn the needle and push it all the way through the opposite hole from where you came up. Tug your thread tight. There should be a small thread across the button that connects both the holes.

Step 4 – Creating the Shank

hand sewing button

Repeat the process, but come up through your fabric, not the button. Wrap the thread around the threads located below the button using your needle. There should be 6 loops around the bridges of thread connecting the fabric and the button. Pull tight. Push the needle into the base. Tie off on the fabric’s other side.

Step 5 – Tying It Off

how to sew a button by hand

Snip off the thread and create a small knot on the fabric’s back side. A simple overhand loop that is tied with an attached needle will do the job. Pin down the thread against the fabric’s back, under the button. Make a small circle in the thread and pass your needle through it. Make it tight and cut off the extra fabric.