Sewing Basics: How to Sew a Button


I often hear my beginner sewing students say, "I don't even know how to sew a button!" Sewing on a button is rather easy in theory, and yet, there are some tips that will take the most basic sewing situation to new levels.

Follow along with my easy steps to have a button that looks just as gorgeous from the right side as it does from the wrong side! Then apply those skills in your favorite Bluprint class, like The Classic Tailored Shirt by Pam Howard.

Ready to master the basics? Here's a step-by-step tutorial teaching you how to sew a button!


Step 1: Gather your tools

  • Fabric
  • Button
  • Small scissors (this is much easier with a small pair of snips or 5" scissors)
  • Thread (can be buttonhole topstitching thread if needed in a strong place like on a jacket)
  • Hand sewing needle (appropriate to the weight and content of the fabric you are using)
  • Marking tool

Tip: If you choose to use regular thread, use thread from a bobbin instead of from a spool to use some of the extra bobbin thread up!

Step 2:

Thread the needle by looping the thread through the eye of the needle, then cutting at the end so there are two lengths of thread. Knot the ends of the two threads together.

Step 3:

Using your water soluble marking tool, mark the spot on the right side of the fabric where the button is to be sewn.

Step 4:

Insert the needle into the right side of the fabric at the spot marked in step 3. Do not insert to the wrong side of the fabric, rather go in and out at the dot so you remain on the right side of the fabric.

Step 5:

Your knot and thread and needle should all the on the right side of the fabric.

Step 6:

Trim the excess thread after the knot at the end of the threads.

Step 7:

Insert the needle into the button, passing from the underside up through the button.

Step 8:

Place the button on the spot it is to go, then insert the needle into the opposite hole on the button. Sink the needle directly next to the thread hiding under the needle and pass through to the underside. Continue going through the eyes of the needle from side to side, and from the right side of the fabric to the wrong side of the fabric until the button is secure.

Step 9:

Once the button is sewn tight, pass up through the eye of the button so your needle and thread are on the right side of the fabric. Insert the needle into the other eye of the button, only going through the button and not through the fabric.

Step 10:

The thread should now be coming out from under the button as pictured above.

Step 11:

Insert the needle into the fabric, directly under the button.

Step 12:

Pull the threads, leaving a loop of thread.

Step 13:

Insert the needle through the loop and pull the threads tight to form a knot that is now hidden under the button. Repeat if necessary to secure the threads.

Step 14:

Clip the thread under the button just after the knot formed in step 13.

Step 15:

The underside of your button sewing should now look perfectly clean and free of all knots as pictured above!

And the button on the right side is perfectly sewn on as well! This is by far my preferred method of sewing on a button, as both sides are clean and free of any excess threads and knots, so when the underside of the button is viewed, it's just as good looking as the side with the fancy button.

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Sewing Basics: How to Sew a Button