Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane



You know how it goes… you’ve just spent the better part of three weeks tailoring and hand stitching and whatnot and you’re coming to the end of a mammoth jacket make but it’s Wednesday evening and all the shops are shut and you need three buttons! Just three matching buttons….

You also know that buttons make or break a garment, so any old ones will not do. You want this jacket finished so what do you do?

Take three right sized buttons of any colour: cut some circle-shaped self-fabric like this – big one for the button and a smaller one for later. Using basting thread, sew the button face down on the larger circle with a few loose stitches (holding only)


Thread a strong needle with a long double length of matching thread, knot the end and sew a fine running stitch around the edge. Pull tight.


Sew a criss-cross of stitches to hold the gathers.


Trim any loose threads carefully but do not cut the needle thread. Remove the holding stitches.


Place the smaller circle over the gathers, turning under the raw edge. Using a small and tight whip stitch sew the small circle all the way around the button.


Push the last bit under with your needle.


Press the living daylights out of the covered button to flatten and shrink the fabric.


Now you have three matching buttons and you didn’t even have to leave the house.


Make the jacket buttonholes, sew on the buttons (finding the holes can be a wee bit difficult to start with), press and wear.


You’re welcome!


35 thoughts on “Buttons

  1. I found home-made buttons like these in my gran’s button bag (my inheritance). I remember the outfits they had once belonged to. Once the garment was past its best, the buttons were kept in the hope they might be useful again.

    Look forward to the nice jacket reveal!

  2. This good, old days! I remember doing such buttons very often – There was not so much at shops at these times. I still find home made buttons better. Yours are so wonderful! Great job. I am curious this jacket! I hope to see pictures of you wearing it soon.

  3. Yes, I have also made these buttons. So easy to do, and convenient. In the past I have bought the kits, but found them very fiddly and not professional looking. This way is much better.

  4. I did not know how to make them like this. Thanks!

  5. Genius!!!

  6. I do love me some covered buttons! Thank you! for this wonderful tutorial doing it with what’s on hand. So well-made! What an awesome vintage look!

    • And Karla I never thought that this would be a vintage look but you’re right – it adds a a real old-fashioned, custom made touch to the jacket that I’d never even thought of. I adore self covered buttons too because it avoids the whole ‘what button’ question.

  7. Well I never did! Very useful tip. Thank you Ruth.

  8. Thank you so much for enlightening me to something I should have worked out years ago!

  9. Very clever! I made one once but it not as pretty as yours.

  10. as they say:- necessity is the mother of invention – very resourceful

  11. Thanks for sharing this tip……………………as you have shown us and pointed it out it seems so obvious……….but I had never thought of it.
    Clever lady for thinking of it and being generous enough to pass it on.

    Can’t wait to see the jacket.
    Would you ever consider posting more technical information on the tailoring techniques of this jacket. I keep threatening to work on a project that requires pad stitching etc. Have the fabric, but need the final push into the water!!

    • Meant to say, if ever you decided to do a tailored jacket sew along, I would sign up immediately………

      • Thank you so much Marysia – you are are a constant motivator.
        However, as for a sew-a-long, I do think it would be me and you, but maybe. As they say, never say never…..

  12. Very cool buttons, Ruth! Normally I use the kits but with thicker fabric it can be a b*tch! You make it look so easy and if you lose a button you can always make an extra. Thanks for such a great tutorial!

  13. I’ll say clever you. Outstanding, like Mrsmole I use the kits. What a great idea. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Linda, I’ve used the kits many times too but in this instance I didn’t have the bits I needed. Bear this in mind for those times when you couldn’t be bothered to go out/don’t have any spare cash/it’s easier do do this right now/ shops are closed/etc….. It’s kinda nice to have a completely hand-made jacket.

  14. I agree, what a great idea – no shank, as there is with the kit buttons. And as you say, an easily accessible idea.

    • Hi Sarah – yes, no shank and I thought that would be an issue on a jacket but no, just leave a long loose thread when sewing the buttons on and wrap a length of thread around the excess. Works the same way. I’d like to point out that since the first photo, I’ve moved the buttons to remove the bunching up of the jacket so it now lies flat. Thanks.

  15. That sounds easy, i have tried this with fabric covered snaps once, but it is not without any experience. Your buttons look perfect!

  16. Pingback: Fashion Icons in Adelaide | He Cooks… She Sews!

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s