One-minute skill: College student’s guide to sewing a button

Kyle Schrift, Beaver's Digest Contributor

Picture this: It’s 7:50 a.m. and you only have a couple more minutes left before you’ll be late to your big interview. Just as you were about to leave your room, something terrible happens and you hear the heart-sinking sound of that oh so important button on your ironed shirt falling to the floor. Now with not enough time to watch a YouTube video explaining how to reattach the button, you’re forced to rely on the very important memories you have of reading this article.

There are multiple different types of buttons, fabrics and threads, all of which will matter depending on what you are sewing. The first step then is to have your button, fabric, string and needle all ready to be used. Thread the string through the needle and tie an anchor point so that the thread stays in the needle and so the knot doesn’t pull through the fabric.

All buttons are different but if yours has a ridge in its side, then you can go ahead and treat that as the top. Starting from behind the fabric you will be sewing the button onto, push the needle through into one of the button holes. Take the needle and push it through the opposite hole from which you pulled the needle from and repeat this process about four times to make sure that button never escapes again.

If you have a standard button of four holes, repeat this process for the other two holes until you have created a cross, ‘X.’ The needle should now be on the back side of your fabric.

If you want to be fancy and have your clothes look real nice then you’re going to want to make a ‘shank.’

To create a shank you need to stick the needle back through the fabric but not past the button. Once the needle has been pulled through, wrap it around the thread attached to the back of the button four times to create a space between the fabric and the button; which will make it easier to fit the button through its hole.

Either way, finally you’ll bring your needle back through the fabric and finish your beautiful button with a ‘stitch,’ to keep it from falling out. To actually ‘stitch,’ something, just stick the needle through the fabric and have it come back out the same side. Then with the loop you’ve made, pull the needle through and tie it off.

And you’ve done it! In the nick of time you’ve managed to finish the final stitch on your button and as you tie it off you already begin rushing out your door. In a matter of minutes you make it to your interview. When your boss sees just how secure that button on your clothes is, they give you your dream job instantly. (We hope!)

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