Can You Sew on Buttons with a Sewing Machine?

Sewing on buttons is often the last step in a sewing project – when you just want to get that thing finished. The time-consuming step of hand sewing each button into place can be a real drag when you’re ready to show off your new project!

But your trusty sewing machine can make the process of sewing on buttons easier and faster! If your sewing machine can sew a zigzag stitch and allows you to lower the feed dogs, you can sew a button on with the machine.

Note that your sewing machine will only be able to attach sew-through buttons (the ones with holes in them). Unfortunately, all those fancy shank buttons in your stash will still need to be sewn on by hand.

Some sewing machines have built-in automatic button-sewing stitches. So be sure to check your sewing machine manual and follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer to sew your buttons.

Below, I have some general guidelines to sewing a button on with a sewing machine – but of course, don’t forget to check your manual for more detailed instructions!

  1. Tape your buttons to your project with clear scotch tape.
  2. Put the button foot on your machine if you have one. This foot helps hold the button still.
  3. Set your machine to a zigzag stitch.
  4. Use the handwheel to find the right zigzag width to sew through the 2 holes of the button.
  5. Lower the feed dogs.
  6. Sew several zigzag stitches across the holes of the button.
  7. Tie off and trim your thread tails – you’re done!

 

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