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How to Sew on a Button by Hand

One of the basic sewing skills everyone should know is how to sew on a button. 

One of my first jobs was working at a tuxedo shop. So, one of my main responsibilities was to help maintain the clothing by fixing seams and sewing on buttons. I got pretty good at it!

Button that needs to be sewn on

First, figure out the placement of the button. I usually use the old threads, or holes where the button used to be. For new placement, make sure the buttons are spaced correctly and right where you need them. Maybe mark the spot with a marking pencil.

Seeing where the button needs to go on the shirt

Start by tying a knot at the end of a threaded needle. The first stitch will go through the front of the shirt so the knot is on the top. (Don't worry, the button will cover it.)

Start with the knot on the top of the shirt

 Bring the needle and thread back up to the top and put the button onto the thread. 

Add the button to the thread on the shirt

From here, it is pretty much just an up and down stitch, going through the holes, all the way to the bottom. For a 4 hole button, you can either make an X with the threads or make parallel lines with the holes. 

Criss cross the thread over the button

For a button that will be used, bring the needle and thread between the button and the shirt. Then wrap the thread around the shank of the button (the up and down threads) about 5-6 times. This will help the button go through the button hole and stay easier. If the button is just for decoration, this step is not needed. 

Wrap the thread around the shank

To finish it off, knot the thread. You can either hide the knot under the button or on the back of the shirt.  

Button on a plaid shirt

I like sewing on buttons by hand. You can do it with your sewing machine, but I find that by the time I get the machine set up, I can just sew it on by hand just as fast. I also find it is more secure when I sew it on by hand. 

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. 

Have fun quilting!


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