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Sewing Basics: How to Sew on a Button

Everyone has lost a button on a coat or garment at one time or another. Before you rush off to a seamstress, learn this simple skill yourself and save yourself time and money. Once you learn how, replacing buttons is a breeze and you can even replace tired old buttons with ones you like better!

  1. Select thread that will match your button. Using a striaght cut with sharp scissors, cut off at least 5 inches of thread.

  2. Lick one end of the thread and insert through the eye of the needle to thread the needle. To reduce the number of times you have to thread the holes in the button, double thread your needle. To double the thread, simply pull the thread through the eye of the needle until you have equal lengths of thread extending from both sides. You can repeat this with another thread for a super-strong quadruple-thread.

  3. Tie the ends of the thread together for a beginning knot. If you did not double the thread, tie a knot at the end of the thread.

  4. Align the button on the fabric. Make sure it lines up with the button hole on the other panel. If a button was on the garment previously, use the old button holes as a guide.

  5. Push the needle through the fabric up from the button through one hole in the button and slowly pull to the knot.

  6. Before you start stitching across the button, place a needle, pin, or toothpick across the button and hold it there while you make the first stitches. Removing this pin when finished creates the necessary space between the button and the garment so that it can be buttoned.

  7. To match the other buttons on the garment with 4-hole buttons, check whether the stitches are crossed or parallel. For parallel lines, push the needle down through a hole next to the first hole. For crossed X lines, push the needle down through the hole diagonal.  For a 2-hole button, you only have one choice!

  8. Bring the needle up through a new hole in a 4-hole button, or the first hole in a 2-hole button.

  9. Repeat the process until the button is secure, making sure the stitches are equally made. Remember, you have to do this less times with a double or quadruple thread.

  10. On the last stitch, push the needle through the material, but not through a button hole, in the area between the fabric and the button. Pull the thread through.

  11. Remove the pin or needle and pull up gently on the button to give you some space.

  12. To reinforce the thread between the button and the fabric, take the needle and wrap it around the thread five or six times.

  13. Push the needle back down through the fabric.

  14. To secure the thread, backstitch a couple times. Stick the needle into the fabric near the knot, push the needle over a quarter inch to the left and bring it back up, pulling taut. At the left end of your stitch, repeat this process. Do this a few times. You can also make these stitches at the beginning before sewing on your button.

  15. Cut off any excess thread and you are done!

 For a fun video demonstration, check this out.

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