Hand-Stitched Buttonhole

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What you’ll need:

  • A piece of fabric
  • A needle
  • A button
  • Fabric marker or chalk
  • Scissors

For this little tutorial I have just used a scrap piece of calico fabric to demonstrate. However, you can practice this technique or stitch straight onto the fabric you will be using.

The first step we need to take is to decide on a button (If you’re a button collector like me, you may find this step quite hard!). Once you have decided on the button you will be using for your project, mark out the length of it onto your fabric using a fabric marker or chalk (I used a pencil just because it would show up more for the camera).

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This next step will make it easier to keep your stitches even. Draw a rectangle around your previous markings about a ΒΌ of an inch all the way around. It should look something like this:

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Now, get hold of your needle and thread (I’ve doubled mine up so the stitches will be stronger) and knot the ends. Go ahead and cut down the middle marking you made inside the rectangle on your fabric with either fabric shears or an unpicker (Seam Ripper). This will be where the button will pass through.

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Now for the slightly complicated bit, so bear with me as I try to explain these following steps in the best way that I can. The first stitch you want to make is along the side of the rectangle, so your first stitch starts from the back of the fabric (so all the rough stitching lines will be on the back).

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Then you want to pull that thread all the way through and take the needle through the opening, at the same time, positioning the needle so it will come back up right next to your first stitch but this time don’t pull the thread tight.

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With the needle still in the fabric, wrap the thread under the back end of the needle and then under the front. Pull the thread off to the side and hold between your fingers whilst pulling the needle through the fabric with the other hand.

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Once you have pulled the thread tight you will have a knot that will look something like this:

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And that is it, keep repeating that same step and you will have small stitches all the way around. Just a little tip, I found it much easier to round the top of the buttonhole and it also created a much smoother finish. This knotted technique will stop the fabric from fraying as well.

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This technique does take a bit practice and may take a little while to complete but it’s definitely worth it if you don’t have a sewing machine or you’re after a more homemade look.

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And you’re done! If you have a go don’t forget to share your makes with us on Instagram @aboxofbuttons or on Twitter @aBoxofButtons! See you next time!

5 thoughts on “Hand-Stitched Buttonhole”

    1. I’ve just added a Pinterest button now πŸ™‚ so feel free to pin away! Also we do have a Pinterest account under the name A Box of Buttons where we pin all of our blog posts πŸ™‚


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