How to sew on a button

A few years ago my youngest daughter told me she didn’t know how to sew on a button. It was like she was telling me she didn’t know how to breathe. I learned how in Camp Fire Girls and in Home Ec class. I thought everyone just some knew. I was wrong. I taught my daughter how but I still feel guilty about it. To make up for it, here’s a tutorial on how to sew on a button.

You will need to gather a sewing needle, thread, the button and where you want the button to go. If it fell off a shirt or coat, you just need to find it, the place it goes is obvious.button re 1

Stick the thread through the hole in the needle. Pull it through. This is called threading the needle. The only tricky part is seeing the hole.  Gather both ends of the threads and make them even.

button re 2Roll the ends of both threads between your thumb and pointer finger.

Give it a little tug. You’ve got it!

You should have a nice little knot. If you don’t, redo. If it’s not big enough, redo. No biggie.

The knot will be sewn  on the inside, it won’t show and you will keep the thread from pulling through.button re 3

Find the place where you want the button to go. I am putting mine in a piece of fabric. I marked it. Insert the needle in the back and pull it through, the thread will follow and stop where the knot is. Cool, yes?

button re 4Don’t pull too hard or you might pull the knot through. If you do, make the knot bigger by repeating the first step.

Slip the button onto the needle. Don’t poke yourself. Ouch! Hey, I warned you.

There are either four holes or two holes on your button. (If there aren’t there is one metal circle on the back. Those are shank buttons and easier to sew, just one choice.)

I am showing a two hole button. If yours has four you just repeat the directions for the second set of holes. button re 5

Once the button opening/hole is on the needle, pull up the thread up. Make it a bit taught. Put it back down into the other hole. (If you have four holes, work on two at a time.)

button re 6Repeat. You’re putting the thread in and pulling it through.  Repeat. Now it goes up and you pull it through.

Repeat. Up and down.  Repeat.  Front to back. This is fun, yes? Sometimes finding the hole is a little tricky. Don’t worry, it’s there.

Keep repeating until you have at least four stitches done.

Is the button snug? button re 7Yes, you’re done. No, repeat the previous step.

Now you just need to tie off the thread.

button re 8Get the needle up from the back but not through the button hole, just next to the button.

This next step is optional but I always do it, my Mom taught me this. If you are sewing a button on a coat or shirt, it’s particularly wonderful.

I take the needle and use it to keep the thread taut. I also use a thimble but I figured if you didn’t know how to sew on a button, you probably didn’t own a thimble. I’m right, aren’t I?

Then I wrap the thread around the threads that sew the needle onto the garment. It’s just an extra bit of security. button re 9

End by putting the needle into the fabric whether you wrap the thread or not. Pull it and the thread through to the back side.

Now you have to knot the thread on the back to end the whole process. It’s knot that hard.

button re 10Take the needle and slide it through the threads on the back.

Pull it through.

I always do it one more time. button re 11Then make a little loop by not pulling it all the way through.

Glide the needle through that loop and pull it. You’ve just knotted it.

Yay! Clip the thread close to the threads which are keeping the button in place.

And you’re done.

button re 12And you’ve just sewn on a button.

If it looks bad, clip the threads and start over.

Hey it was your first time, be patient.

I sewed this button on a bag I made. It’s a two part tutorial. If you follow my blog, you’ve seen it. It’s pretty darn cool. You can read the first one here and the second one with the sewn on button, here.

Almost as cool as you sewing on your own button.

Sew happy!

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