Having sewn for several decades now, I wonder how many bad sewing habits I’ve picked up along the way. Almost every time I do a hand sewing task, I wonder if there’s a better way to do it. How about you?
I don’t recall exactly where I learned to sew on buttons, or who taught me. Was it Girl Scouts? Junior high school home economics class? My grandmother? It doesn’t really matter. I just know I’ve become sloppy at it, and I could use a refresher.
When Barb sent me a link to a tutorial from a Savile Row tailor, Thomas Mahon, I clicked on it right away. Button sewing envy ensued! I never knew a sewn-on button could look so beautiful! Using clear writing and good photos, Mahon gave me a couple of good tips in his blog post.
Using part of a wooden matchstick to form space for a thread shank is brilliant. I’ve usually used a tapestry needle or toothpick, but they always roll away until I get them well-anchored. That flat little bit of wood isn’t going to go anywhere! Mahon has me brainstorming for smaller, non-rolling items I could sew the button over to create shorter shanks for shirts or dresses. Any ideas?
Waxing the thread is another thing I never do. I’ve heard of it – I even own a little beeswax thread thingy. But have I practiced it? Never. I suspect it is the secret to that strong, stiff thread shank shown in the tutorial photo. Note to self: find thread waxer and keep it next to my sewing chair. Speaking of that shank, how did he get it so even, so perfect? Lots of practice, I’m sure.
Now, I don’t expect my next button sewing project to look as terrific as Thomas’ does. Years of sewing buttons on jackets has given him opportunity to hone his craft to near perfection. But I do expect my next button sewing project will look better than my last.
How about you, readers? Do you have any tips for sewing on buttons? Any kind of buttons, any sorts of tips, we’d love to read your helpful hints here. In fact, we’re so eager to read your tips that we’re having a contest. The SB staff will vote for their favorite tip, and the winner will receive $5.00 toward her/his next button purchase. So get on board and let us know what helps you sew on buttons beautifully!
P. S. We’ll announce the winner March 15, so be sure to enter before then!