Skip to content

Do It Yourself: Sewing A Button

March 25, 2011

This blog is about helping students achieve wardrobe possibilities beyond their wildest dreams.  So what better way to help others than by teaching you a few basic sewing techniques? Give a college student a fixed-garment and they will have one shirt without holes, teach a college student to sew and they will have shirts without holes for the rest of their life. Isn’t that how the saying goes?



Sewing Needle – Medium size

Thread – Color that matches your garment


Alteration Trick #1:Moving The Button

You know that pair of pants that fits you just fine everywhere except for at the waist?  No problem!  This is a super easy fix that will allow you to buy those jeans you like and tailor them to your size.  Do be warned: This method typically only works if you are interested in making the waist of your pants or skirt smaller.

Step 1: Remove the button.

Use a pair of small scissors, a nail cutter, or a seam ripper (for those of you able to borrow your grandmother’s sewing kit) to cut the threads attaching the button to the fabric.

If your pair of jeans has an impossible-to-remove button, don’t worry!  Just find a button that you like in your dowdy roommate’s sewing kit. Or perhaps you are a packrat (AKA smart) and keep all of the free buttons you get when you buy a new sweater.  Any button will work as long as you like it.

Step 2: Determine where you will move the button.

Put on the pants to mark where you will need to place the button so that your pants will fit you snugly.  Try to mark the spot with a washable marker or chalk.  Do not attempt to place the button on the same side as the buttonhole!  (I have no idea why you might do that but I am trying to make this guide idiot proof.)

Step 3: Thread your needle.

This is the part where I should say something along the lines of: If you are not allowed to use sharp objects than you may want to get someone else to do this for you.  I cannot be held accountable for any finger pricks that may result!  In all seriousness, if you move slowly through this step, it is very easy.

Choose a thread that matches the color of the thread that the original button was held on with.

If you have a pair of blue jeans, it is probably best to go with a navy blue to match the color of the jeans.  Measure about an arm-length (that is from your hand to your shoulder) and cut.  Now comes time to thread the needle.  If you don’t have any needle-threading contraptions, then you will need a good light source  (and your reading glasses if you require them).  Wet the end of the thread that you will be threading through the needle eye and carefully guide it through.

If your needle eye is too small then try using a larger needle.  Once you have the needle threaded, pull the thread halfway through the eye and place the ends of your thread together to tie into a knot.  It should look as if the needle is hanging on the thread like a pendant.  Knot the ends together in a strong knot.

Step 4: Sewing the button on.

Find the place where you marked where the button should go.  Take your needle and work on putting it though the mark on your jeans from the inside of the waistband.

Once your needle is through, you can thread your button onto the needle and get it in just the right position.  If your button has two holes then you simply want to make sure that the holes are positioned horizontally and not diagonally when you place your needle in the next hole.

Continue the motion of bringing the needle through the back through the first hole and pushing it back through the front for the second.  Do this four or five times and check to see if the button feels secure: if it doesn’t then do it a few more times.  If it does then make sure you bring the thread back to the inside of the waistband to knot it.  You don’t have to do anything fancy, simply make sure it is a strong knot.

If your button has four holes then you have to make a crucial decision.  Do you want your button to be perfect or not?  I personally, would not care because it isn’t a noticeable thing but if you are a stickler then decide if you want your thread to cross in the center of the button or go around the edges in a square shape.  If you want it to cross then the next step you would make would be to place your needle in the hold diagonal to the one you came up in.  If you want to make a square then go to the left or right of your original starting point.  There is almost no wrong way to do this.  As long as the button doesn’t fall off, you are golden. Do this four or five times and check to see if the button feels secure: if it doesn’t then do it a few more times.  If it does then make sure you bring the thread back to the inside of the waistband to knot it.  You don’t have to do anything fancy, simply make sure it is a strong knot.

TA DA!  THE END!  That wasn’t so hard.

For clarification, check out any of the numerous instructional videos on youtube. Keep checking for the next DIY post, Patching Holes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Daddo permalink
    March 27, 2011 6:59 am

    Hey Babe, I did just that to a number of may shorts in Fl. I didn’t leave the old button in place thought so I hope I don’t have to reverse the process when I return.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: