How to Sew a Button

To sew a button, thread a needle, knot the end, and poke it through the fabric and buttonholes. Repeat this several times to secure the button in place.

Sewing a button is a basic skill that everyone should possess, as it can come in handy when a button falls off your favorite shirt or pants. It’s a quick and easy fix that can save you money on repairs.

Sewing a button is also a great way to personalize your clothing, by stitching on decorative buttons to give your wardrobe a unique touch. In this article, we will explain how to sew a button step-by-step, providing helpful tips along the way to ensure a successful outcome.

How to Sew a Button


Preparing The Buttonhole And Button

Measuring The Placement For The Button

Before starting with the buttonhole, the correct placement of the button should be considered. Follow these steps to measure the placement of the button:

  • Place the garment on a flat surface and mark the spot where the button should be placed.
  • Remember that the top button placement should be about ½ inch from the collar, and the distance between buttons should be between 1½” to 2” inches, depending on the size of the button.
  • It’s best to use the button you intend to sew for measurement purposes, to ensure an accurate placement.

Marking The Buttonhole On The Fabric

After measuring and marking the button’s placement, you must mark the buttonhole’s position. Follow these steps to mark the buttonhole:

  • Using a ruler or a measuring tape, measure the distance from the button placement point and mark it on the opposite side of the garment.
  • Measure the button’s diameter and mark the center of the buttonhole with a straight pin.
  • Draw straight lines on the chosen location, and don’t forget to follow the size of the button.

Types Of Buttons And Their Positioning

As buttons come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, this is a crucial factor to consider when sewing a button. Follow these guidelines when positioning buttons:

  • Flat buttons should be sewn parallel to the garment’s edge, with the threads crossing the buttonholes.
  • Shank buttons should be sewn perpendicular to the garment’s edge, with a thread crossing the shank’s base to anchor it to the garment.
  • Four-hole buttons should be sewn with two threads, crossed in an x shape between the buttonholes, to create stability.
  • Some buttons may require additional reinforcement, such as a second button underneath the outer layer, to make it more durable.

Now that you know how to correctly position your button, you’re ready to sew it onto the garment. Remember to choose the right type of button and reinforce it properly to ensure its longevity.

Preparing The Needle And Thread

Choosing The Right Needle And Thread

Before you start sewing a button, it is essential to have the correct supplies. In this section, we will detail how to choose the right needle and thread for the project.

  • Needles: The most common type of needle used for button sewing is a sharp, size 18 or 20 needle. However, if you are working with thicker fabrics, it is best to use a thicker needle.
  • Threads: The thread’s thickness determines the durability of the button, and that’s why it’s important to choose the right type of thread depending on the fabric you are sewing the button onto. For example, if you are sewing a button onto a thick fabric such as denim, a thicker thread like a nylon or upholstery thread works best. However, for delicate fabrics like silk, it’s best to use a thinner thread.

Measuring And Cutting The Thread

The length of the thread you use for sewing a button depends on the button’s size and how many passes through the garment you want to make. The following steps outline how to measure and cut the thread:

  • Cut a piece of thread approximately 24″ long.
  • Thread the needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.
  • Hold the two ends of the thread together and cut at the point where they meet to create a double thread.
  • If you are unsure about how long your thread should be, it is better to have too much instead of too little.

Techniques For Threading The Needle

Threading the needle can be a daunting task, especially if you have poor eyesight or unsteady hands. Here are some techniques to help you thread a needle like a pro:

  • The lick and twist method: Lick the end of the thread and twist the end to make it stiff and pointed. Insert the end of the thread into the eye of the needle.
  • Using a needle threader: Place the wire loop of the threader through the eye of the needle and insert the thread end into the loop. Pull the loop back through the needle’s eye to pull the thread through.
  • Place the needle on a contrasting surface: Place the needle on a contrasting surface like a white paper to make it more visible. Hold the thread between your fingers, place the needle’s eye over the thread end, and push the needle down. The thread will slide through the needle’s eye.

By following these techniques, you can quickly and efficiently thread your needle without any frustration.

Sewing The Button

Positioning The Thread On The Fabric

Before you start sewing a button, it is essential to position the thread on the fabric properly. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Pick a suitable position for the button on the fabric and mark it with a removable marker.
  • Cut a piece of thread that is two times the length of the button plus a few extra inches for knotting.
  • Thread the needle with one end of the thread and tie a knot at the other end.
  • Position the needle and thread under the fabric where the button will go, and bring it up through one of the holes.

Techniques For Securing The Thread

To secure the thread in place, follow these essential techniques:

  • Insert the needle back through the hole on the opposite side of the button, pulling the thread taut.
  • Move the needle and thread back and forth between the two holes several times, creating a shank that will give the button room to move.
  • After creating the shank, bring the needle and thread through the fabric and tie a knot, securing the thread in place.

Different Sewing Techniques For Various Types Of Buttons

Different types of buttons require different sewing techniques. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Two-hole buttons: Sew through one hole and then the other, creating a shank between the button and fabric.
  • Four-hole buttons: Thread the needle through one hole across to another diagonal hole, creating an “x” across the button. Repeat with the other pair of holes to create another “x.”
  • Shank buttons: These buttons already come with a shank loop attached. You only need to sew the shank loop to the fabric.

Following these steps will enable you to sew a button successfully. Remember to keep the thread taut and secure the knot in place. With practice, you’ll become an expert in sewing buttons and can use these techniques to add a personal touch to your clothes!

Finishing Touches

After securing the button onto the fabric, there are a few finishing touches you can do to make it look perfect. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

Securing The Thread And Knotting The End

  • Tie a knot at the back of the fabric to prevent the button from falling off.
  • Take one last stitch through the fabric and tie a second knot on top of the first for added security.

Ironing The Button And Buttonhole

  • Iron the button and buttonhole area to flatten any bumps and ensure a polished appearance.
  • Use a pressing cloth to avoid damaging delicate fabrics.

Tips For Button Maintenance And Repair

  • Replace missing buttons as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the garment.
  • Use clear nail polish to prevent the threads from unraveling at the button attachment.
  • Keep a small kit of buttons and thread in your purse for emergencies.

These simple finishing touches not only make the button look more polished, but they also ensure that it will last longer. With just a bit of care and attention, you can extend the life of your clothing.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Sew A Button

What Equipment Do I Need To Sew A Button?

You’ll need a needle, thread and of course, a button. To make it even easier, you can use a sewing kit, which includes the essentials.

What Kind Of Thread Do I Use To Sew A Button?

Use thread that matches the button color or is slightly darker. For a sturdy hold, you can also use waxed thread.

How Do I Choose The Right Needle For Sewing A Button?

Choose a needle with a wide enough eye to fit your thread and a sharp point to easily penetrate the fabric.

How Do I Keep My Button From Falling Off?

Start by sewing the button in place with small stitches, then add a small dab of fabric glue for extra security.

Can I Sew A Button With A Machine?

Yes, many modern sewing machines have a button setting. However, for a more secure hold, it’s recommended to hand sew a button.


With these simple steps, sewing a button may seem like a daunting task, but with practice, patience and determination, you can master this skill within no time. Remember to select the right type of button, thread and needle to achieve the best results.

Take your time while sewing and ensure that the button is securely fastened. You can use these skills in the future to fix your clothes and even create new garments. Sewing a button is a simple task that requires attention to detail.

It’s a practical life skill that anyone can learn and incorporate into their lives. Don’t shy away from giving it a try; it’s a useful skill that can save you time, money and help you express your creativity. Happy stitching!

Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews is a cleaning expert with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field. With his expertise in various cleaning techniques, he has become a trusted specialist in the industry. Daniel's mastery lies in the art of vacuum cleaning, where he excels in utilizing the latest advancements in technology to ensure impeccable results. Additionally, his skills in stain removal are unparalleled, as he possesses an in-depth understanding of different types of stains and the most effective methods to eliminate them. Daniel Methews is dedicated to providing top-notch cleaning solutions, leaving spaces spotless and customers satisfied.

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