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Life Hacks: How to Sew a Button

Life Hacks: How to Sew a Button

Hey guys it’s me Laura, your midwestern mom, here to teach you basic life skills! When I was a little kid, my mom tried and tried to teach me how to sew and for some reason I absolutely refused like my life depended on it. Then one day, I finally agreed to sit down with my mom for a few minutes as she showed me how to thread a needle and tie a knot. She helped me pick out some green velvet to fold in half, then stitch with yellow thread to make a little pouch. For a finishing touch I added a pretty shell shaped bead with a snap as a clasp. And just like that, after all my whining and complaining, I realized sewing was fun! 

Admittedly my sewing career started and ended with little pouches and the occasional Barbie dress, but I have always been so, so glad I did finally let my mom teach me to sew. From fixing holes in my socks to tailoring a shirt to fit a little nicer, being able to sew has been such a helpful skill to keep in my back pocket. 

One of the most basic and useful sewing skills to have is being able to sew a button. Whether it's repairing your own clothes or saving the day for someone else, I can almost guarantee that there will be a time in your life when you're glad you can do this. Follow the steps below to learn this simple skill!

Thread the Needle

To thread a needle, pinch the end of the thread between your thumb and pointer finger. Then line the eye of the needle up with the thread and slide the thread through. If the thread is frayed on the end, trim it just a bit so it’s smoother and easier to thread.

Four Hole Button

For this button, I threaded the needle, leaving a few-inch tail, then tied a knot at the other end of the thread. 

This way of tying a knot in thread is a little trick I learned from my mom. Since a single knot is often small enough to slip right through fabric, you need at least a double knot. This trick takes a little practice but once you’ve got it down, it’s a super quick and easy way to get a bigger knot right off the bat.

1. Wrap the end of the thread loosely around the ends of your pointer and middle finger.
2. Roll the thread off your finger so it wraps around itself several times. 
3. Catch the end of the thread, pulling it through the rolled loop you just made.
4. Pull the thread taught, tightening your knot.

5. Push the needle through the fabric and the first hole of your button. Pull the needle all the way through so the knot is taught against the fabric. 
6. Make a stitch down through the hole diagonal from your first one. 
7. Make a second stitch, coming up through the third hole, then down diagonally through the last hole. You should have a single x of thread, using all four holes of the button.
8. Repeat this about 4-6 times, making sure the button is nice and snug. 

9. To tie off your stitching, grab a small bit of fabric on the underside of the button. It's ok if this part looks messy; you won't see it in the end! 
10. This is a slightly different angle of grabbing that small piece of fabric. You want it to be almost as small as you can make it, but still grabbing enough fabric that the stitch doesn't rip out. 
11. Pull the thread most of the way through, leaving a small loop. Pass the needle through the loop to knot the thread. 
12. Pull the thread taught. Repeat this once or twice more, keeping your stitches small. 

13. Trim off the excess thread.
14. You've got a finished button!

Two Hole Button

For this button, I decided to double the thread to speed up the process and get a smoother finish. I did this by threading the needle, then folding the thread in half so the needle is at one end and the loose ends of the thread are even together.

1. Loop both ends of the thread over each other to tie a knot at the end of the thread. 
2. Tighten the knot. Your needle will be tied into the thread.
3. Push the needle through the back side of the fabric, threading it through one hole of the button. Pull the needle all the way through so the knot is tight to the back.
4. Push the needle down into the second hole, through the fabric on the other side. Pull it all the way through. 

5. Repeat this about 3 times, ending with your needle on the back side of the fabric. 
6. Tie a knot by sliding the needle through a tiny bit of fabric, then looping it through and pulling it taught. Repeat this once or twice more, making sure the knots are nice and snug. 
7. Snip off the tail of extra thread.
8. You've got a finished button!

Happy mending!

-xx Laura