How to sew a button hole

Today I had to complete a dress with a pattern I had drawn a while ago. And as a result, I had no button hole guide and no way to instruct me on how to sew the button hole. However, I have done plenty of sewing in my life and fortunately I know how to sew a button hole without a pattern.

So in the explanation below, I will walk you through a step by step instruction on how to sew a button hole without a pattern. The first thing you need is your fabric and your buttons. The buttons are very important because when you sew the button holes you need to know how big it’s going to be. You cannot sew the button holes and get the buttons later as the buttons may not match the size of the button hole. You use the buttons to measure the size for the button holes.

Step one in learning how to sew a button hole is to spread the buttons out according to the way you want to sew them on. Have a look at the picture below. I have spread the buttons out where I want to have the button holes. The next thing I do is that I mark the size of the button with a line above the button and a line under the button. You can use a sewing pin or a pencil to do this. You could also use a pattern marker. See the following two images on how to sew a button hole below.

How to sew a button hole
How to sew a button hole

When you have done the markings for the button holes, you move your fabric to your sewing machine. The next step is to sew the “frame” of the button hole. For this setting, your sewing machine needs to be on the button hole 1 setting like I’ve indicated in the image by the place on the sewing machine that says “type”. The size of the stitch should be on button hole if your sewing machine has that size, otherwise make the stitch small. The goal is to sew a “frame” around where you want the button to go through the fabric.

How to sew a button hole - machine setting

One you have sewn the left frame, change the sewing machine setting to 2-4 which will sew the bottom part of the button hole. Complete the sewing of the button hole by sewing with setting 3 back up on the right hand size with leaving a tiny bit of fabric in the middle for the button to pass through (about 2mm) and then finishing it with another 2-4 setting at the top. You should now have a rectangle, with a tiny bit of space in the middle. The image below shows how we made the rectangle for the button hole.

How to sew a button hole - machine setting
How to sew a button hole

The next part in my page titled “how to sew a button hole” is where you take your seam unpicker and unpick the fabric in the middle of the button hole that was not touched by the thread you sewed onto the button hole.

How to sew a button hole

Once you have done that, your button hole is complete! To see how to sew on the buttons for a button hole, you can click on the link or just navigate to the page “how to sew on a button for a button hole“.

It’s easy to sew on a button hole and with a little bit of practice you could easily become a professional at sewing on a button hole. It’s easy and now that you know how to sew a button hole, you can go ahead and use this piece of knowledge on a lot of your sewing projects now.

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