How do you sew buttons back onto shirts?


WhyNot’s cite is great. And I’ve learned from this thread, thought I knew it all!

Using a pin or toothpick to raise the button just a little off the fabric is the right way to go. Also you don’t want to pucker the fabric by pulling too tightly or going for Industrial Strength mode.

Knot to start sewing:

Make a loop at the tail end of the thread that overlaps, ie if the needle is off to the East in your right hand, the tail goes completely around and overlaps (South, East, North, and West) with about 1/4" sticking out to the West for a 1/2" loop. You have this pinched in your left hand. Now you rub your left thumb & forefinger (the pinch digits) a little in just one direction, to sort of spin the tail through the loop. The good thing here is, you don’t have to be good about it, or sure that the tail has gone through the loop. Shifting your pinch a little, you pull on the needle end with your right hand, which pulls the slack out of your spun loop, leaving a lump for a knot.

You can get a double knot, a knot with a long tail, no knot and have to do it again, but who cares, it took about three seconds. If you don’t like a long tail, snip it off.

Finishing-knot: Take two or three at most little stitches just through the shirt fabric, almost on top of each other, to create enough friction for working purposes. That anchors the end of the thread.

You will observe a theme here, exemplified by: Not too much. Not too little. Just right.

See, that’s usually why I end up needing a button sewn on. The dang cleaners! What is it with those people? They gotta snap at least one button off of each one of my shirts?

:dubious: Well, alright, but you do realize this negates your right to refuse to kill big bugs.

You do not make a thread shank? Pray tell, why?

I don’t know why **pokey **doesn’t, but I occasionally don’t when the buttonhole’s a bit too lose and the buttons keep coming unbottoned. The extra firmness in the button that’s non-shanked will sometimes keep it more parallel to the fabric and elimate the “floppy-button syndrome” that exacerbates unbuttoning in too large buttonholes.

Or I could just get bigger buttons, but then I’d have to replace all of them.

Button shanks should always be created when sewing on ‘load-bearing’ buttons on pants, jackets, and coats. Indeed, a button shank on an overcoat is an indication of the quality of the coat. End of sermon.

Excellent advice both practical and comical!
Going back to this bit

Do that in the nude, otherwise you may end up sewing the button and the shirt onto your trousers.
(You shouldn’t need to ask me how I know this :smack: )