How do you sew a buttonhole?

what is a buttonhole

How do you sew a buttonhole?


What is a buttonhole?

For your different sewing projects, knowing how to sew a buttonhole is a technique to master. More precisely, the buttonhole is the part which the button passes through to fasten the garment.

You will need:

A button in the shape and colour of your choice.

Sewing thread

Chalk or felt tip.

Your favourite sewing machine.


How much bigger should a buttonhole be than the button?

How do you determine the length of your buttonhole? Simply add the width (diameter) of the button to its thickness. To make it easier, you can just add 2 or 3 mm to your buttonhole. For example, if your button is 10 mm wide and 2 mm thick, the length of your buttonhole is 12 mm.


How do you place the buttonhole?

how to place buttons

Buttonholes are generally placed horizontally for thin fabrics and vertically for thick fabrics, on the left for men's clothing and on the right for women's clothing. It is important to place the buttonholes at regular intervals. They are usually placed about 1 cm from the top of the garment and 3-4 cm from the bottom. It is also important to mark the place of the first and last buttonholes, but the number of buttons depends on your taste and the style of the garment. Now you need to draw the buttonholes. You have to draw a line corresponding to the length of your buttonhole and then at each end of this line, you draw two other perpendicular lines a few millimetres wide.


Sew the buttonholes on the machine:

how to sew buttonhole with sewing machine
  1. Set your machine to a zigzag stitch.  
  2. The stitch width should be set to between 0.5 and 1.5 and the length to 0.5.  
  3.  Lift the foot, raise the needle, slide your fabric under, right side up.
  4.  Place the fabric so that the needle tip is 1 mm to the right of the buttonhole mark.  
  5. Lower the sewing machine's foot.  
  6.  Sew until you reach the end of the mark, rotate the fabric around the needle, and continue in this way, lifting the foot and rotating the fabric around the needle.
  7. Finish with a few stopping stitches and cut your threads.

Sewing buttonholes by hand

  1.  Mark the location of your buttonholes.
  2. With chalk or felt pen, draw two vertical lines a few millimetres apart from the slot.
  3.  With a pair of fine-tipped scissors, open the buttonhole slot on the mark.
  4. Thread a needle with a thick thread.
  5.  Make a few tacks at the top or bottom of the buttonhole. - Insert the needle into the fabric and push it out through the slit.
  6.  Push the needle back into the fabric, 2-3 mm from the slit.
  7.  Continue in this way until you have sewn all the way around the buttonhole, sewing in very tight, close stitches.
  8.  Pull the needle out to the wrong side of the fabric and knot the ends to stop the seam.


cool buttons sewing

Related: how big should a buttonhole be, how to size buttonholes, what size button for buttonhole, should buttonholes be vertical or horizontal, how to sew buttonhole with sewing machine 

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