Sewing: buttons

I’ve been delaying finishing certain projects because I hated and feared sewing buttons and because I didn’t know how to sew button holes. But, a recent pattern included directions on how to sew a button on correctly. It even said in the sewing directions, “believe it or not, there is a correct way to sew a button on.” The trick is to use a thin wooden dowel — like a toothpick — to create some slack. The slack is then released when the toothpick is removed, and the threads below the button are wrapped to create a shank. The shank provides the space for the fabric with the button hole to sit easily behind the button.

As for the button hole? It turns out my sewing machine will do one automatically. It does take a certain amount of set-up and difficulty to get the sewing machine to produce the first button hole. But the setup works for all of the others in a sequence. And they get easier with practice.

This is going to change my life.

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  1. Believe it or not, many sewing machines have options on sewing on buttons. I had a cheap little sewing machine that can do this as well as a much more expensive machine. Look at your user manual and check. Last summer I made lots of garments for the grandchildren with buttons added.

  2. I put off projects with buttonholes forever because my machine didn’t do them well. I learned how to make them by hand – ok if you need to do a couple but pretty tedious for a whole shirt. My new machine does a great job with them. So worth it to learn an automatic buttonhole.

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