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Buttons & Buttonholes

There are several problems that can arise with buttons or buttonholes. Most of them are easily solved, if you simply take the time to do it. Here’s what you need to know to handle these minor problems with ease.

The only tricks are to match the button if the original is lost. Then match the thread used to sew the other buttons, and sew it on with approximately the same amount of thread.

First, check the lower seam allowances. Sometimes manufacturers will sew on extra buttons there. Other clothes come with one button in a tiny plastic bag with the label. If you saved it and can find it, you’re in luck. A good place to keep them is in your sewing kit or in one of your jewellery box drawers. If your button was lost and you can’t quite match it, see if you can’t move a button from the least conspicuous place and put your almost-match in its place. Avoid the problem of matching buttons as often as possible by noticing loose buttons and restitching them before they come off.

If the button has torn the fabric beneath it, mend the hole with an iron-on patch or by darning, then replace the button. If you have darned it, reinforce the area by holding a small square of twill tape behind the mend and sewing the button through it as well as the fabric.

Cut any loose threads. Line the exposed raw edges of the buttonhole with tiny buttonhole stitches, using thread that matches the other buttonholes as closely as possible. Also, use the other buttonholes or the needle holes from the lost stitches to determine the depth of your stitches.

1.   Hide a small knot on the underside of the garment, or take three stitches on top of each other to anchor your thread.

2.   Bring the needle and thread to the outside through the buttonhole to begin.

3.   Insert the needle back through the buttonhole and out at the end of the stitching line.

4.   Loop the thread around the needle going behind the eye end and under the point.

5.   Pull the needle through, adjusting the thread so the “knot” you’ve just made is at the raw edge.

6.   Repeat steps 3 through 5 very close to the last stitch.

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