How to sew a button

How to sew a button

Dear friends, what better opening for a sewing blog than learning the ancient technique of button sewing.

We live in an ultra-technical society in which each little machine makes life a little easier (or complicates, depending on how you look at it). From the compact size laptop to the ionic rollers that just need to give advice, we have a myriad of gadgets that we handle at will with ease. But what happens when we buy new pants that night and it comes a little long? The most normal thing is to turn to the mother, the aunt, or the neighbor.

If you are determined to get started in the wonderful world of sewing, what better way than to start learning how to sew a button!

Let us begin!


  • button-down garment
  • button
  • matching thread
  • needle
  • pair of scissors 
Material for sewing a button

STEP 1 Prepare the thread

  • Cut a strand about 80 cm long from the spool of thread.
  • Fold the strand in half.
  • Thread the needle with the double thread. We thread the thread that has the double part through the hole of the needle (buttonhole) (it is easier).
  • Tie a knot at the end of the two strands of thread. 
Threading the needle with double thread

We use the double thread because it is more resistant and the buttons need that extra. But, if you find it a bit difficult to deal with the two strands of thread at first, you can also do it with a single strand. 

STEP 2 Sew the first stitches

  • Locate the place where the button will be sewn.
  • Stick the needle on the wrong side of the piece and pull it out from the right. 
Stick needle

The knot will be glued to the wrong side of the piece. It is possible that if we stretch with great force, the knot goes through the fabric. In this case, re-stick the needle and stretch with one hand while touching the knot with the other and making sure that the knot stays flush with the fabric on the wrong side. 

Knot kissing the back

STEP 3 Sew the first button stitches

  1. On the right side of the piece, we pass the needle through one of the buttonholes (whichever we want, because it is round), from back to front. 
Insert needle through the first hole of the button
  1. Lower the button along the thread until it touches the fabric.
  2. Hold the button with one hand so that it does not move.
  3. Stick the needle with the other hand in the opposite hole.
  4. Remove the needle from the wrong side of the piece. 
Stick needle inside opposite button hole
  • Repeat this step 2 to 3 times. In the case of using a single strand, it will be about 5 times (until we see a strong stitch but without an exaggerated thickness). 
Sewing button by hand

STEP 4 Sew the second button stitches

  • Stick the needle through the wrong side of the piece in the place of the next hole.
  • Remove the needle from the right side of the piece. 
Sewing button by hand
  • Hold the button with one hand to keep it fixed.
  • Stick the needle with the other hand in the opposite hole.
  • Remove the needle from the wrong side of the piece. 
Sew on a button
  • Repeat this step 2 to 3 times as we did in the first pair of holes. In the case of using a single strand, repeat about 5 times. 

STEP 5 Make the button stand 

If a button is very attached to the fabric, when we have to pass it through the buttonhole of the garment to close, say, a shirt, it is very difficult because it has no margin. For this reason, we will make afoot to the button with the thread itself so that it takes a little height.  

  1. In the last stitch, we will not pass the needle to the wrong side of the fabric. It will only go through the hole in the button, leaving the strand of thread between the fabric and the button.
Make a foot to the button
  • Turn the thread strand clockwise about 3 times around the stitched base of the button with your fingers. Do not over-tension the threads or leave them slack. 
Twist strand around button

STEP 6 Finish off the seam

  • Drive the needle into the stitch nest. 
Finish off a button seam
  • Remove the needle from the wrong side of the piece.
  • Pass the needle several times through the stitches to secure the thread.
Secure button seam
  • In one of the previous loops, before stretching to the end, pass the needle to tie a knot. 
Tie off a seam
  • Cut the remaining strand with scissors.
Cut the remaining strand

Clever! Just as we have sewn a button with 4 holes, you can sew one with 2, or those that directly have a little piece behind with a single hole that acts as afoot.

How to sew a button

Now you can run to the closet and get all those orphan button clothes, which you have been accumulating for years! Remember that in some garments there are extra buttons attached to the label; if this is not the case, we can always use buttons that are used less that can be transferred to another part of the garment (the button of a pocket or a collar).

In the next post we will learn about the main parts of the sewing machine, so now is the time to remove the machine and place it in a good place with natural light.

Until next time!

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