Hand Sewing Buttons & Choosing Button Holes


Designer: Marcia Spencer

Instagram: @keechiibstyle




Many machines are equipped to sew buttons to garments these days but if you are anything like me sometimes you just prefer to sew them on by hand. This tutorial will show you how to hand sew on buttons and how to choose the correct button holes for your garment.


Materials and Tools:




*First things first! Double thread you needle and knot the ends.






Form an X on the fabric. Starting from the backside, pass the needle through the back of the fabric to the front.




Continue passing through the back to the front until you form an X. The X is used as a guide to sew the button.



Place your button over the X with the four holes over the four corners of the X.



Use the same pattern used to form the X to secure your button. Pass the needle through the first button hole. Pass over the middle diagonally and go down through the second hole.



Continue going front to back and back to the front through all the button holes approximately six times.


Pull the needle through the back of the fabric.



Form the shank:

Wrap it around under the button going around six times. Then pull the needle through the fabric again to the back side.



Create a few knots:

To secure the thread create knots by pulling the needle through the threads in the back and pull it through the loop you just formed to create the knot. Repeat a few times. Cut the thread and you’re done.



*Use these same steps to sew on a two hole button but instead of creating an X, create a  — (dash) with two hole stitching.






Create a two hole dash in fabric as done with two hole flat button. Pull thread from underneath, up through the top and pass needle through the shank and then through the fabric using your dash as your guide.



After you have repeated this step about six times pull needle up through the fabric close to the shank and secure and finish by sliding the needle through the top of the fabric and leaving a small loop. Pass the needle through the loop to create a knot.



Repeat this step two to three times before cutting the thread.






There are lots of different button hole settings for different types of sewing machines. I want to share four common types of button holes that you may find useful and when to use them.






The standard button hole is used for light to medium weight woven fabrics. Used for blouses, dresses, bed linen etc.






The Key hole button stitch is used for heavy weight non-stretch and firmer fabrics. Used for jackets coats and leisure wear.







The round end button hole is used for light to medium weight fabrics also for dresses, jackets, coats etc.







The stretch buttonhole is used for any highly elastic jersey fabrics made from cotton, wool, silk and synthetic fibers.



I like to use my OLFA AK-4 Cushion Grip Art Knife with chisel knife for precision cutting on my button holes.