A Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing a Button

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Gone are the days where we throw out a beloved shirt because of a missing button or two. No need to head to a professional seamstress or buy a whole new blouse, this is a problem you can solve all on your own. To sew a button, all you need is a needle, some thread, a button, and a little bit of patience. As shown in the video, it may take a few tries to get started. (Simply figuring out how to thread a needle is sometimes the trickiest part.) Once you get the hang of it, though, you'll know how to sew a button on a shirt, pants, or anything that needs mending—and you'll never sweat a lost button again. Watch the video above and follow the instructions below for a step-by-step guide to sewing a button. You'll soon be patting yourself on the back for learning a new and forever useful skill.

How to sew a button on a shirt:
Grab your shirt, a replacement button, a sewing needle, some thread, a pair of scissors, and you'll be ready to sew.

1. Cut a piece of thread to your desired length.
2. Pull the thread through the needle and fold it in half.
3. Tie the two ends of the thread together into a knot. (Repeat if needed to ensure the knot is big enough to keep from going through the fabric.)
4. Put the button in place on the shirt. Poke the needle up through the back of the fabric and pull through one of the buttonholes.
5. Pull the needle back down through the opposite hole and the shirt fabric. Repeat this process through the opposite set of holes to make an "X" pattern.
6. Repeat step five about six times or until the button feels secure.
7. With the needle and thread pulled through the backside of the button, push the needle under the stitches to create a loop.
8. Next, pull the needle back through the open loop to create a knot. Repeat this process two to three times to make the knot tight and secure.
9. Cut the excess thread.

Bonus Tip: Not sure where to sew your new button? Hold the garment closed and insert a pin through the buttonhole. Mark this spot with a dot of chalk and center the button over the mark.

Now that you know how to sew a button, you won't have to bring home clothes that need mending for someone else to fix. Basically, you're one step closer to independence. Happy sewing!

Hi, I'm Gretchen.

I am going to be attempting to sew on a button

somewhere on this shirt.

So I have some scissors.

A tiny pair of scissors.

These are needles.

I know that.

I'm ready to go.

[GIGGLES] Go all the way through.

I guess.

[INAUDIBLE] right?

I'm going to call my mom.

I don't know.

I-- I called you because I did not genetically

learn how to sew from you.

And I need help sewing on something.

A button.

A button?


On this shirt.



I think this is actually your shirt, so it's older than me.

Oh, wow.

That's kind of a vintage shirt, isn't it?

Show me the other buttons.

Looks like a little like X, I think.

So, in a cross.


So that's how you want to do this one.

So, let's show you how far I got.

I could find the needle.

And you got--

Look at those scissors.

This little baby, I got it.

Take the thread at the very end,

like you've got, and bring it around your finger.

And now, just roll your finger.

Pull it out.

Now pull it against it.

Pull against it.

Did it make it?

[INAUDIBLE] OK, let me try again.

Put that thread into there in a way it will make a knot.



Just keep-- keep-- it doesn't have to be the very end.


Now, you feel it.

Feel it.

Feel how big that knot feels like.

Very small.

Do I have to do another one?

Probably will stay in that material.

--same place.

Is there something that you have to--


You probably won't.

That's almost impossible.

They're just two separate through.

SHARON CATHCART: Put it through, and see how-- how well

it holds into your material.


And goes straight up.

I dropped the button.

Button is crazy.

Well, don't pull that-- don't put the button on yet.

Take-- put it down, and put the thread through.


That makes sense.

SHARON CATHCART: [INAUDIBLE] on and that will be easier.


Yeah, now put the button--

one of the button holes in there.

It just went through.


Then the knot's not big enough.


So, more knots around your finger.

And then you just roll it, roll it, roll it, roll it in.

So it-- it-- it will usually just roll right in.


I'm not being able to do that.


It just went straight through.

OK, let's try it again.

SHARON CATHCART: That should work.

Eight time's the charm.

Don't pull too hard though.

Should it be--

Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] through.

SHARON CATHCART: OK, now put the button on any-- any hole.

Doesn't matter.

Like this?


So in picture, look at the button.

The button has a front and a back side to it.

Usually, it's a little bit--



So now-- now you're doing a diagonal,

then make it into an X. So--

How many to [INAUDIBLE] again?

About six.


Oh, I almost like a [INAUDIBLE].

So, now go to the back, you're gonna go just

through some of the material-- some

of the stuff you've just sewn.

You're gonna make a loop, and you're gonna

come around into that loop.

Uh-uh, did you go all the way through?

That's OK.

Something I'm supposed to?

Yeah, you're gonna make a-- you're gonna make a knot.

But it doesn't matter you did that.

Go one more time.

The loop you make with that.

Yeah. Yeah.


You're gonna get-- take that needle

and go through that loop, and that will make the knot.

And I usually do that a couple of times just

to make sure it's nice and snug.

Yeah, see the knot?

Good enough.

So do that one again.

Does this look good?

Oh, yeah.

They're good.

Oh, thank you.

I love you.

And you can see his shirt is now so nice.

I'm very glad I called my mom.

Maybe next time I won't go home and bring

stuff that I need her to mend.

Maybe I can do it myself now.

Date published: February 03, 2021