sewn button by machine

Sew button – how to do it by hand and machine

Here is a blog post on dressmaking – how to sew button. Sewing a button is not as easy as putting a needle with thread thru a hole in the button. Tie it off and you are done. Yes, of course, one can do that as well nothing wrong with that. However to make the button stay longer and have better finishing. As a result of a more professional looking.

sewn button

You don’t need to know how to sew or have a sewing machine in order to sew buttons. It’s a great skill to have as one can mend that button which have come off your shirt or coat. So many reasons they come off mainly due to wear and tear. All it takes is to a knot to give way and the button get detach from the garment.

The high end sewing machines do come with a sew button function. I have recently got one as I wanted one that does have a embroidery function as well.

Whatever you reason for looking at this blog post. The garment you are making for functional buttons you will need a buttonhole. Here is a link to that blog post. Buttons can also have a decorative purpose as well.

Before I go into how to sew button. I will go thru the different types of button. As this will affect on how you sew the button.

Different types of button

With a shank or without a shank. Some buttons come with a extra indention at the back or a built shank/ notch. Shank buttons are the ones you see that has got built in height at the base of the button. It is design to give the extra height in place to fill up the space between the buttonhole and base of it. Therefore it is recommended to use for heavy fabrics like coat and the other for lighter weight fabrics. It also depends on the size of the button. the bigger it is for heavy/ thicker fabric.

Some button/s come without this extra height. So one will have to built/ create this extra height when sewing the button on the garment.

button without a shank
button without a shank

This a button without a shank i use on a silk organza blouse that i have sewn not long ago. 

How to sew a shank button by hand

It is very easy to create this notch in this shank. However one needs to take of the tension of the thread and not to take too much of fabric in. Otherwise it will buckle at the edge of where the button is sewn. This is classic technique on how to sew button on buttons with any notch. I will go further latter to explain how to sew one without a shank.

Below it’s a illustration I have been working on to demonstrate. Have a needle and thread and your button ready. 

needle thread & button

Thread the thread onto the fabric as near as possible to the place where you want to set the button. Make an anchoring stitch using two continous small loop.

small anchoring stitch
small anchoring stitch

Place the button over it this anchoring stitch. Then add a pin head need to create the shank. For regular button without a shank just leave this headed pin out.

headed needle over button
headed needle over button

Then just sew the button onto the fabric/ garment. Like this picture below.

button being sewn
button being sewn

Then after sewn remove the headed pin. there should be a gap in between the button and fabric. This is the shank created. If no shank needs to be created then the button is sewn and now can be finished in place. this done by putting a few knots using the needle in place.

extra space created for shank button
extra space created for shank button

finished sewn button at the bottom
finished sewn button at the bottom

Sewing button by machine

Yup you got me right one now can sew button by machine. who would have thought. The higher end sewing machines now come with a button sewing enable function. Fantastic!! I love the idea but in my opinion hand sewing will always have a place in sewing. It’s just more control can be donw with hand sewing a lot less with a machine. I am sure there are commercial machine in the garment making industry that does a superb job in sewing buttons by machine.

Anyway here it is. I have got an sewing button function y Janome atelier 9. A great machine by the way. On the control panel got to the button function and select the button function. How to sew button is also in the janome manual that comes with the machine.

Then use the button sewing attachment and sew the button in place. One can also sew shank using the shank maker.

janome button and shank attachment

When sewing button with machine one needs thread all the loose end threads in the right place. In a machine sewn button there will be 4 that needs tidying up and to make a shank.

Thank you for dropping by. Here is a post on how to sew buttonhole.

thread at machine sewn button
thread at machine sewn button

If there it is for regular button sewing just the ends away and that’s it. Sewing button by machine is very fast and effecient. However, the corect tension needs to be adjusted to create that perfect sewn button. In some ways hand sewing is easier as this tension can be controlled easily.

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  1. Pingback: Making fabric cover buttons at home - Maker gardener

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