How to sew a button with a shank

How to sew a button with a shank

Sewing a button with a shank: a step-by-step guide

Sewing a button with a shank may seem like a daunting task for those who are new to the art of sewing. However, mastering this technique is essential for creating professional-looking garments and ensuring that buttons stay securely in place. In this comprehensive article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of sewing a button with a shank, providing clear instructions and helpful tips along the way. Whether you're an aspiring fashion designer or simply interested in improving your sewing skills, this article is a must-read for everyone looking to achieve flawless button attachments with an elegant shank.

Choosing the right button for a shank


Factors to consider when choosing a button for a shank

When selecting a button for a shank, there are several factors to keep in mind.

  1. Button Size: Choose a button size that matches the thickness of your fabric. If the fabric is thin, opt for smaller buttons to maintain balance and prevent drooping. For thicker fabrics, larger buttons provide more stability.
  2. Button Material: Consider the material of the button and how it will complement your garment or project. Plastic buttons are lightweight and versatile, while metal buttons offer durability and an elegant look. Natural materials like wood or mother-of-pearl can add a unique touch.
  3. Button Style: The style of the button should match the overall aesthetic of your garment or project. Traditional round buttons convey a classic look, while novelty shapes like hearts or stars can add personality. Vintage-inspired designs can enhance retro outfits.

Taking these factors into account will help you choose the perfect button with a shank that not only serves its functional purpose but also enhances the appearance of your finished project. Remember to experiment with different options and trust your creative instincts!


Gathering the necessary materials and tools

How to sew a button with a shank 

To sew a button with a shank, you will need:

  • A needle: Make sure it is suitable for sewing buttons and has a sharp point.
  • Button thread: Choose a sturdy thread that matches the color of your button.
  • Scissors: Have a pair of small scissors handy to cut the thread.
  • A shank pad or spacer: This is optional but can be helpful if you want to create additional space between the garment and the button.

Before you start sewing, ensure that all these materials are readily available. Having everything in one place will make the process much smoother.


Positioning the button on the fabric


Positioning the Button on the Fabric

Before sewing the button, it is important to position it correctly on the fabric. Here are a few steps to help you with this process:

  1. Mark the Placement: Use tailor's chalk or a disappearing ink pen to mark where you want your button to be placed. This will ensure accuracy and prevent any mistakes.
  2. Consider Button Size: Take into account the size of your button when positioning it on the fabric. A larger button may require more space between stitches, while smaller buttons can be stitched closer together.
  3. Buttonhole Alignment: If you're sewing a button onto an existing garment with a pre-made buttonhole, align your marked placement with that hole for proper alignment when fastening.
  4. Balance and Symmetry: Consider if there are multiple buttons involved; make sure they're evenly spaced for aesthetic appeal and functionality.

By carefully considering these factors before stitching, you'll achieve professional-looking results in no time!


Securing the button with a knot


To secure the button in place, tie a double knot at the back of the shank. This provides added strength to keep your button from falling off.

  1. Once you've threaded your needle through both holes of the fabric and shank, bring it back up from beneath.
  2. Loop the thread around two or three times to create a small bundle close to the fabric surface.
  3. Pass the needle through this looped bundle to form an initial knot.
  4. Repeat this process once more for a double knot that will hold everything securely.

Now that your button is securely attached, trim any excess thread and use a sewing gauge to ensure consistent placement for all remaining buttons on your garment.


Reinforcing the button for extra durability


To ensure that your shank button stays securely in place, it is important to reinforce it. Here are a few steps you can follow:

  1. Start by threading a needle with strong thread or dental floss. Double the thread for added strength.
  2. Pass the threaded needle through one of the holes on the fabric and bring it back up through another hole adjacent to it.
  3. Repeat this process several times to create a sturdy base for your button.


    • Tip: You can use a small piece of scrap fabric as reinforcement behind the area where you will sew the button.
  4. Once you have created a solid base, position your shank button on top of it and pass the needle and thread through one of its holes.
  5. Pull tightly, making sure that there is no slack between the fabric and button.
  6. Additional reinforcement can be done by sewing several stitches in an "X" pattern across each set of adjacent holes on your shank button.

By following these simple steps, you can effectively reinforce your shank buttons, ensuring their long-lasting durability even with regular use. Remember to choose durable fabrics and threads that match well with your garment so that they blend seamlessly while providing strength to hold everything together!


Finishing touches and trimming excess thread

How to sew a button with a shank 

  • Trim off any excess thread

Before finishing, make sure to trim off any excess thread that may be sticking out from the button. This will give your sewing a neat and polished appearance.

  • Check for loose threads

Take a closer look at your button to ensure there are no loose or dangling threads. If you spot any, simply trim them with a pair of sharp scissors to achieve a clean finish.

  • Secure the shank

To further secure the shank on the back of your button, you can add a small dot of clear fabric glue or fray check adhesive. This will prevent it from unravelling over time and keep it in place.

Remember, attention to detail is crucial when finishing up your sewing project. Taking these final steps will ensure that your sewn button with a shank stays securely attached and adds an elegant touch to any garment.


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