Sunday, March 14, 2010

Button, Button

Just call me Mrs. Green Jeans.

I am in LOVE with bargain shopping. When I found these Ann Taylor pants on the $1 clearance rack at Gabes yesterday and they actually FIT (how often does that really happen?) I had to buy them. The only problem was, they lacked a button.

I have a fairly large stash of buttons, so I sorted through them till I found one that fit through the buttonhole. The trick to sewing a button onto thicker clothing (like denim) is not to forget to build up a bit of a shank if your button does not have one. The shank provides a bit of space between the button and the garment. Many buttons already have a shank, but if your button is flat with holes in it, you are going to need to make one.

See how this leather button has a raised loop on the back? That's the shank.

My chosen button didn't have a shank, so I used a little trick to give it one.
Place your button where you want it and sew through the holes once, inserting needle first into the wrong side of the fabric, coming up through one buttonhole, going down through the other buttonhole and then through the fabric. The button will be loosely attached, so here's where you place a thick needle (or a toothpick if you don't have a stash of yarn needles) between the button and the fabric. Just slide it in between the two threads holding the button on. This raises the button up a bit. Finish sewing the button on as usual.
Once you have the button attached securely, bring the thread up through to the right side of the fabric but not through the hole in the button. Remove the needle (or toothpick). Wrap the thread around those stitches, under the button, several times. Once your shank is built up, you can poke the needle back through to the wrong side and tie off the thread. Easy Peasy.

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