How to Sew a Button

Buttons… small and forgettable, until one comes loose and completely negates the wearability of your favourite shirt or jacket. They can of course come loose from time to time, especially given how much wear and tear we put them through. Thankfully, repairing buttons is a relatively simple quick fix that you can do yourself at home…

Materials You'll Need:

  • Needle
  • Thread (matching the colour of your button)
  • Button
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins (optional)

Step 1: Thread the Needle
Cut a length of thread, usually about 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) long. Thread one end of the thread through the eye of the needle and pull it through until you have an even length of thread on each side. Tie a knot at the ends of the thread to secure it.

Step 2: Position the Button
Place the button where you want it to be on your fabric. If you have a spare button or a reference button, use it as a guide to position the new button correctly. You can also use straight pins to temporarily hold the button in place.

Step 3: Start from the Back
Insert the needle from the backside of the fabric, coming up to the front where the button will be placed. Pull the thread through but leave a small tail (about 1-2 inches or 2.5-5 cm) hanging out the back.

Step 5: Secure the Button
Pass the needle up through one of the buttonholes, then down through the opposite hole. This creates the first anchor stitch. Repeat this process several times (usually about 4-6 times) to ensure the button is securely attached.

Step 6: Create Shank (For 4-Hole Buttons)
If you're sewing a 4-hole button, after securing it in place, create a shank by wrapping the thread between the button and the fabric a few times. This elevates the button slightly above the fabric, allowing room for the fabric beneath when the garment is buttoned.

Step 7: Knot the Thread
Once you're satisfied with the button's attachment, pass the needle to the backside of the fabric. Tie a secure knot by wrapping the thread around the button stitches a couple of times and then pass the needle through the loop before pulling it tight.

Step 8: Trim Excess Thread
Carefully trim the excess thread, leaving a small tail. Ensure that your knots are tight and secure so the button won't come loose during use.

Step 9: Test the Button
Finally, test the button by fastening and unfastening it a few times to ensure it's securely attached and functions properly.

Back to Care & Repair

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