How to Sew a Button

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How to Sew a Button

Sewing on a button may not seem to be a hard project to undertake; however, for many people it can actually be a daunting task if they have never handled a needle and thread before. Some people who have never sewn before may not even attempt the task. Sewing in general is not necessarily complicated if a person knows what they are doing, and sewing buttons onto a garment is one of the simplest sewing tasks that there is.

There is a right way and a wrong way to attach a button to a garment. Even though the task of sewing a button is not complicated, there are things that need to be taken into consideration, such as the type of sewing supplies that are needed, how to sew various types of buttons properly, and how the type of garment the button is sewn on makes a difference in how the button is attached. Sewing supplies can be located at fabric and craft shops, as well as on eBay. Being able to sew a button on correctly is easy when a person has the right tools for the job and a little know how about the process.

Understanding the Sewing Process

Sewing is not just a task that is beneficial for a certain gender or age group to possess. Regardless of whether the person is male or female, young or old, buttons are still able to fall off of garments from time to time. Sometimes, sewing on a button is a task that can be put off for a later date, but in more cases than not, a button usually ends up falling off while the clothes are being worn and immediate access to replacement clothing is not possible.

Wearing clothing that is missing a button not only looks bad if the attire being worn is of a professional nature, but the loss of a button can also create an uncomfortable or even embarrassing situation for the wearer. At times like these, it is comforting to be able to remedy a situation by properly attaching the button than having to find an alternate item to close the gap.

The type of needle and thread used for this task may vary greatly depending on the type of garment and what type of button is being attached. It is important to know the various types of needles and threads as well as how they are often used for this job.


Many of the common hand sewing needles have a body constructed of metal, an eye at one end, and a sharp point at the other end of the body. The eye of the needle is an opening where the thread passes through, and it varies in size. Generally, the wider the opening, the larger size sewing material it can handle.

Because fabrics are fashioned out of both thick and thin materials, the needle width varies. Generally speaking, thin needles have a small eye for thin sewing materials to pass through and a thin body meant to pass through thin fabrics. The thicker the fabric is that needs to be sewn, the thicker the needle needs to be to pass through it. The type of needle that is most commonly used to sew a button onto a piece of clothing by hand is called a "sharp needle".


How a button is sewn onto to a garment largely depends on the garment itself. Garment fabrics vary in thickness so the type of thread used to attach a button back onto the material matters. It is ideal to try to match the thread material to that of the garment needing the button or at least match the type of thread that is used on any other buttons that are already attached to the garment in order to give the effect of a more tailored overall finish. Many times this is not possible, and the closest a person can come is to be able to at least match the colour of the thread to the button or material.

Generally, all-purpose sewing thread is normally best suited for sewing a button onto a garment and comes in a variety of colours. This type of thread holds the button securely in place and is easy to use. For items of clothing that have buttons intended for heavy duty purposes or ones that are opened and closed often during use, heavier thread is recommended.

Steps to Sewing a Button

Sewing a button onto a garment is a relatively simple procedure that can be done in the matter of a few short minutes. Once the tools for the sewing project have been gathered, it is time to begin the work of attaching the button in place in the correct manner. The instructions given are for sewing on a button with four holes. The table below lists the tasks that are needed in the correct order to perform this task.


How to Perform

Thread the Needle

Place thread through eye of needle and pull through until both ends are of equal length

Secure the Thread

Tie the loose ends of the thread together in a small tight knot

Place Button on Fabric

Make sure button lines up with any other buttons already attached

Make First Stitch

Push needle through underside of fabric and through first button hole pulling thread completely through

Make Second Stitch

Push needle through hole that is diagonally across from one just entered and pull thread all the way through

Make Third Stitch

Push needle up from under side of fabric an enter first empty hole closest to last stitch; pull thread through and repeat stitch pattern until all holes are filled

Sewing on a button may require various sizes of needles and threads depending on what size the buttonhole is. The thicker the material is, the thicker the needle should be and the thread that is used to attach the button.

Plan Ahead

It is usually not possible to predict when a button shall come loose from a garment and fall off. Many people try to tempt fate by wearing a garment that they know a button is already loose on, hoping they can make it through the day without it falling off. This is a common occurrence that often happens when a person may not have other suitable clothing ready to change into when they realise this, or it could be that they are running late and do not have time to change. But whatever the case may be, the button cannot sew itself back on and at some point the task of securing it has to be dealt with.

For times like these when changing clothes is not an option, it is always handy to have a small sewing kit available. Sewing kits generally come with one or more needles, small amounts of thread in varying colours, and may also include safety pins and spare buttons as well. The thread lengths included are not full-size bobbins; however, the thread supplied is usually enough to sew on a button and have extra to spare. It is also advantageous to stock the sewing kit with additional supplies like small scissors, a thimble, and thread colours that match common colours worn by the person who owns the kit.

How to Buy Sewing Supplies on eBay

Having sewing supplies handy in case of a wardrobe malfunction arises is always a good idea whether you are away from home or not. Finding sewing supplies is easy as sewing on a button when you shop on eBay. Besides the essential components needed for sewing on buttons, there are almost every other item that one could imagine in that department.

For example, if you want to purchase a variety of buttons, simply enter the word "buttons" into the search query box that is located at the top of the eBay homepage. Click on the search button icon and almost immediately a huge selection of results for buttons are displayed in front of you. Click on an item that you are interested in and then review the full listing located on that page to find out more information about the buttons that are being offered for sale. If it turns out this is not the item you want, or you want to narrow your search results, there is also a search query box located at the top of each eBay web page. You can enter more keywords to refine and narrow the search until you find what you need.


There is almost nothing as embarrassing as having a button come off at an inopportune moment. Loose buttons seem to have a way of coming off when we least want them too, which often can cause embarrassing situations for the person involved and maybe for others around them too. Sewing a button onto a piece of clothing is not a hard task when the process is understood. Some things that should be considered are the supplies needed to perform this sewing task. Assuming the button has been located, needles and thread are required, and the sewing process for attaching a button correctly should be understood.

Having a sewing kit available is a good idea, especially when a person is away from home so they can fix any uncomfortable situations that may arise. There are not many steps involved in sewing a button on and the task can be done in relatively little time, allowing the person affected to resume their day with confidence.

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