Hey y’all – true story. One day a girl walked into a fabric store to see if she could pay someone to sew buttons back on her shirt – because she didn’t know how to do it. So today I’m going to show beginners how to sew a button back on, and please don’t skip this post if you’re more advanced, because I’m going to blow your mind and show you how to use your machine to sew on buttons. What?! (And if you’re already a pro at using your machine to sew on buttons, fist bump for you! See you next post).
I’ve got a video showing how to do this below, or if it doesn’t load for some reason you can also watch it here. For more details, keep reading.
To sew on a button by hand you’ll need (affiliate links)
- Hand sewing needle
- Thread (match thread on your garment)
- Or you could get both in a basic sewing kit. This one is cute.
- A pin or a toothpick
Start with a threaded needle, with the thread doubled and knotted at the end.
Bring your needle up through one hole of the button, then down through an opposite hole. Put your pin or toothpick under the thread before pulling it tight. If your button has 4 holes, then come up through a new hole and down through the hole across from it. You can sew two rows of straight stitches or stitches X-ed over each other, just make sure that all your stitches cross over the pin or toothpick. This makes sure that the thread of the button will have enough slack for you to button the button later.
After you’ve stitched 4-5 times through each set of holes in the button, take your needle to the back side of the fabric and knot it by wrapping the needle through the loop 3-4 times then pulling it tight.
On the right side, pull out your pin or toothpick and above is what your button will look like. You’re done!
To sew on a button by machine you’ll need a button sewing foot. The one that came with my machine is shown below. If your machine didn’t come with one, you can get them in add on presser foot packs like this one (affiliate link). The foot may look slightly different than mine, but it works in basically the same way.
Some machines (like mine) have a stitch specifically for sewing on buttons. If your machine doesn’t, you’ll set it to a zig zag with a stitch width the same as the width between the holes on your button and a length of 0. Place your button under the button foot to hold it in place, using the flywheel to hand crank your needle down and line it up with the hole in the button. Then hand crank to make sure that it hits the other hold correctly and adjust the stitch width if needed. Then stitch away.
If your button has 4 holes, do the front two first, then move your button to do the back two holes. If your machine doesn’t knot the thread for you, make sure to leave thread tails on the back side of the fabric to tie off.
And here’s what my machine stitch button looks like!Get access to my free pattern gallery - sign up for my newsletter!