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Tutorial: Sewing Buttons With Your Machine

Hello, friends! Holly here. I’m here today to share a little trick with you. Did you know you can sew on your buttons using your sewing machine? Who knew?! It is seriously, such a time saver. There are two ways to do it – with a fancy shmancy presser foot, and an easy trick if you don’t have one. I’ll show you both ways here.

Ok, let’s get started!

WITHOUT THE SPECIAL FOOT

1. Mark your button placement.

2. Place your button on top of your marking, and hold in place with a piece of scotch tape.

3. Remove your presser foot from your machine.

4. Set your machine to a zig zag stitch, and reduce the stitch length to 0. Lower your needle into one of the button holes, and test out stitch widths to see which will work best so that it goes through the next hole. On my machine, the standard setting at 3 worked perfectly. But all machines, and buttons, are different.

Once you have the correct setting, start sewing!

5. If you are working with buttons with 4 holes, just simply do one row at a time.

6. Remove your tape, and you are done!

USING A BUTTON PRESSER FOOT

This is what my button sewing presser foot looks like (and probably similar to yours). That middle shank adjusts up and down to accommodate for thick buttons and buttons sewn on thick fabrics.

If the first method was fast, using the presser foot is even faster, because it eliminates the need for the scotch tape.

Just like before, mark your button placement. Simply place your button on top of your marking, and then place underneath your presser foot so that the middle shank sits right in the middle of the button holes. Again, set your machine to a zig zag stitch, with the stitch length set at 0. Adjust your stitch width so that it lands evenly between the two holes, and get to sewing!

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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MadeByMeg
9 years ago

Thanks for the tutorial! One challenge I’ve had though is how to secure the thread without a back stitch, as I have found that oftentimes my stitches come unraveled. Have you had any trouble with that or is the zig zag stitch enough to secure itself.

Fenna
9 years ago
Reply to  MadeByMeg

I find, if you leave tails of thread and tie those off in the back, it’ll keep your stitches from unravelling.

Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Fenna

Oh, that’s a good idea!

Meg
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Meg
9 years ago
Reply to  Fenna

thanks for jumping in Fenna!! that’s a great suggestion!

Kieran
Kieran
9 years ago
Reply to  Fenna

Thanks for that tip! My buttons are always coming loose!

Meg
Admin
Meg
9 years ago
Reply to  MadeByMeg

hey honey!! that’s a really great question!

To be honest, i’ve never had a problem. I’ve been sewing all my buttons on this way for the last 3 years, and haven’t had one come off yet :) (and they get a tonne of wear)

Though if you’re worried – Fenna mentioned a great suggestion below for knotting off the threads in the back

hugs xoxo

Jules
Jules
9 years ago

Thanks for this post. I received one of those feet a while back and never got around to looking up what it was for! I’m of to share with my sewing friends on FB.

Cassandra
9 years ago

I’ve been sewing buttons on with just using my regular presser foot for years, but it always took several go’s to get it to stay in the right spot when lowering… that scotch tape idea is inspired!! Thankyou!!

singer sewing machine
9 years ago

I was never aware of such method to sew buttons, but u made it easy by sharing this tutorial with pics. Thanks! I would like to keep visiting your site.

Pauline
9 years ago

Great tutorial Megan! I’ve always wondered how to sew buttons by machine so thanks for making it so easy…

Miche
9 years ago

OMG! This is awesome! I am definitely going to try it out, I always end up trying to hand sew buttons and they never turn out the way I want them to!

Thanks!

ButtonsAndBirdcages.wordpress.com

Tara
Tara
9 years ago

Awesome tip! Honestly, I just use my zigzag foot and clamp it down, but it seems the taping method would work much better for exact placement.

Kristen
9 years ago

When you sew a button on by hand, you’re supposed to leave it a little loose to have that false shank so they’re easier to button with less strain. It’s especially important with thick fabrics – does sewing it on by machine keep it loose enough? Can you still do the trick where you put a toothpick or something under the button to raise it off the fabric a little bit?

Thanks!

Beth
Beth
9 years ago

What a brilliant tutorial! I still have one Kelly skirt that needs buttons, so excited to get to try out this technique :) looks so neat! xxxx

Megan
9 years ago

Wow! thanks a million for this tutorial. I hope that my button sewing machine arrives soon so I can start my project :) I will try to use a wrapping machine I got off a friend and wrap elastic thread around the button attachment. Hear this should help to make the button attachment more durable.

Faye Levinson
Faye Levinson
8 years ago

My fabric is very thick. What should I do for sewing the button?