I was going to do this post on three different fasteners, but it ended up being huge so I split it. I’ll be posting How to Sew Hook & Eyes and How to Sew Press Studs over the next couple of days.
You will need
The first thing to do for all of these fastenings is to thread the needle and secure the thread to the fabric. A knot is fine for the hook & eye and shank buttons, but a cross anchor is a better option for flat buttons and press studs.
For a tutorial on how to tie a quick and easy sewing knot click here.
To sew the cross anchor sew an X which both marks the centre and reinforces the area. I like to do a double stitch to start out with to help really secure it. The cross anchor not only gives you a handy visual of where the button or press stud will go, but it also reinforces the area which will help the button or press stud stay in place in the future.
If you’re having trouble with the cross anchor you can knot the end and starting at the back sew a cross that way. Unknotted threads can be tricksy little things sometimes.
There are two types of buttons; flat buttons and shank buttons. Flat buttons have two or four holes in them which are there to sew through. Shank buttons have either a wire loop or are cast with a protrusion on the back to sew through.
Fun fact: the shank is there to allow for the fabric thickness. Flat buttons don’t have a shank attached so a thread shank is made while you sew the button on. That’s where that extra needle/toothpick/pin comes in handy!
Flat buttons can be sewn with the threads crossing over or running parallel.
Thread the needle and secure.
Stitch through all the holes once leaving it loose enough to put the pin (/second needle/toothpick) underneath the stitches. This gap will later turn into the shank.
Stitch the button on so the thread passes through each pair of holes another three to four times. After the last stitch take out the pin (/needle/toothpick) and bring the needle back up to the top of the fabric but NOT through the button.
Wrap the thread around six times to create the shank. After the sixth time push the needle back to the underside of the garment.
Knot the thread on the back a couple of times. Push the needle between the layers of fabric for a centimetre then take it back out. Pull it nice and tight and snip it off. The last bit isn’t really needed, you can snip the thread off straight after tying the knots, but this way it hides the end of the thread away.
Thread the needle and tie a knot. Sew a very small cross anchor to help keep it stable.
Stitch the shank down onto the fabric. Watch that you don’t pull the threads too tight – you want the fabric to stay flat rather than wrapping around the shank. Four to six stitches around the shank should do it.
Take the thread to the back and tie off just like the flat button.
That's it! Next up, How to Sew on Hook & Eyes.
Have fun sewing on buttons!
Until next time xx
I'm Beth the human behind Little Grassbird. Welcome!