Sewing Basics: How to Sew a Button
This second instalment in our Sewing Basics series tackles the essential skill of how to sew a button. A 2017 survey done by the British Heart Foundation revealed that six in ten Brits are unable to sew confidently or at all. Out of those, 23% didn’t know how to properly sew on a button.
Similar to last week, where we taught you the basics of repairing a seam by hand, learning to sew a popped or loose button back onto your clothing is another simple task that will prove useful throughout life. Not to mention it will save you the embarrassment of having to keep asking mum for help! Here are five easy steps to help you repair any loose buttons in a jiffy.
Gather your materials.
You will need a button(s), scissors, a pin, a fabric marker, thread, and a needle. The thread should be as close in colour as possible to the material of the clothing to which you’re attaching the button.
Thread your needle with four to six strands of cotton thread.
There are two ways to thread a needle. The first is to use a self-threading needle. This common type of needle has a slit in the eye of the needle through which you can simply slide the thread.
The second way to thread a needle is by using a wire loop needle threader. A needle threader comes with a thin wire loop at one end. Push this loop through your needle eye first. Push the end of the thread a little through this loop. Now very carefully take out the loop out of the eye of the needle. The thread inside the loop will automatically be pulled out through the eye. The thin wire is fragile, so be careful.
Mark your button position.
A key step to repairing a button is to properly mark where the button should go. To do this, line up your button hole to where the missing button needs to be stitched on. Use the fabric marker to make a mark through the buttonhole. Use this mark as a point of reference to ensure you place the button in the right spot before sewing.
Attach the button.
Take a look at your button to determine which sewing style you should use. Stitch it on with either a criss-cross effect for a 4-holed button or a horizontal effect for a 2-holed button. Using the correct stitching method for the button will make the repair more durable.
Finish the repair like a pro.
Once you’ve attached the button, push your needle through to the back of the fabric. Finish off by tying a loop in the thread and pulling it tight whilst sliding it up against the fabric so that it’s secure. Finally, snip the threads, leaving a short tail so that it doesn’t unravel easily.
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