When I was in elementary school, I taught my second grade class how to sew on a button as part of a learning through teaching type thing, or something like that. Honestly, I don’t know why I did it, I just remember doing it. Or rather, I remember my mother cutting up squares of brownish-orange fabric with pinking shears for me to use with teaching my second grade class how to sew on a button. My memory tends to be very hit-and-miss. Anyway, this is a tribute to that event in my life.
And so, I give you:
How to sew on a button.
Step 1: Place your buttons and tape them down. Buttons have a way of squirming around, and this is the easy way of keeping them neat.
Step 2: Stick a toothpick underneath the button. This will create a little bit of slack so that you can put the button through the buttonhole once it’s sewed on.
Step 3: Thread the needle, knot one end, then come up from underneath the fabric and through one of the holes in the button. This might take a few jabs to get it right. Then go down through another hole and the fabric. Repeat several times (I like to do around seven), then if your button has four holes, repeat the process in the other two holes. You’ll end up with either an X, or a =, and it’s important that you keep this pattern consistent with all of your buttons. Remove tape and toothpick.
Step 4: Come up again, and this time go through the hole in the button but not the fabric. Pull the thread through, then wrap it around the threads between the button and the fabric. This reinforces them to help prevent that button from popping off later. I like to wrap it around five times, then push the needle through the fabric to the underside and tie a knot.
And there you have a button.
Instead of a traditional thimble, I like to use this, which I refer to as my “finger sandal.” I was given mine by a homeless hippie woman, but they’re easy enough to make on your own — just sew some sturdy elastic onto a leather oval. It’s much easier to work with than a metal thimble, and more comfortable to wear as well.