How do I sew a button onto a shirt?

How annoying it is, when a button falls off your favourite shirt?! What should you do? Throw it away? NO! Give it to a charity shop? NO! Fix it? YES!

One of the things we promote here at Zola Amour is keeping and wearing clothes for longer, we think this is key to sustainability within fashion, it has been proven that simply by keeping a garment for an extra 3 months reduces it's total carbon, water and waste footprints by 5-10%...

A really simple way to do extend the lifespan of your clothing is to repair clothes as they begin to wear out, and buttons over time will inevitably fall off.

Today, we would like to explain two methods of replacing buttons that have fallen off. Hand Stitching and Machine Sewing. We will follow up with a video tutorial in the coming weeks.

Please feel free to send us a message or comment below, if you have a specific repair method that you would like to learn and we will do our best to get a tutorial out in the future!

The first method is: Hand Sewing!

You will need:

A needle

Thread to match the colour of your garment/ button.

A spare button

Scissors.

Scissors, organic cotton thread, needle.

Step 1: Most garments have a spare button on the care label, which is located on the inside of your garment. If yours does, cut this off, you will use this button to replace the lost button.

If you do not have a spare button, you will need to find a similar button in your local haberdashery.

Spare button found on inside tag of most sustainable fashion casual wear garments.

Step 2: Reel off a length of thread that matches your garment, thread your needle, ensuring that you have enough thread to have double thread.

Organic cotton thread and needle.

Step 3: Stitch the area that you would like to add the button to. Stitch over the same spot 3 times to create a hold stitch, which will ensure that your thread will not come un-stitched.

Organic cotton thread stitching into organic bamboo shirt

Step 4: Stitch out through one hole on your button. Then back through the other hole. Repeat this 4 times.

Organic cotton thread, stitching shell button on organic bamboo shirt.

Step 5: Wrap the thread around the newly stitched on button 3 times. This will help to make it more secure.

shell button being stitched onto organic bamboo shirt using organic cotton thread.

 Step 6: Cut the threads and hey presto! You have a newly stitched on button! 

 The second method is: Machine Sewing!

You will need:

Thread to match the colour of your garment/ button.

A spare button

Scissors.

A sewing machine.

Sewing machine, organic cotton thread, organic bamboo shirt

Step 1: Most garments have a spare button on the care label, which is located on the inside of your garment. If yours does, cut this off, you will use this button to replace the lost button.

Care label with shell button, stitched on using GOTS organic cotton thread and into an organic bamboo shirt.

If you do not have a spare button, you will need to find a similar button in your local haberdashery.

Step 2: Remove the foot of your sewing machine and set the machine to button hole stitch/ Zig Zag stitch.

Zip zag stitched used for sewing on buttons.

Step 3: Place your garment on the machine, put the replacement button on top of this.

Shell button, placed ontop of organic bamboo shirt and being stitched on with organic cotton thread.

Step 4: Carefully lower your needle down through one of the wholes on the button. Next, lower your foot arm down.

Lowering needle into shell button and stitching onto organic bamboo shirt with organic cotton thread.

Step 5: Set the width of the stitch required for the button hole.

Select stitch length suitable to stitching on your button

Step 6. Use the hand stitching wheel to stitch a to hold the button in place and once you are feeling more confident, gently apply pressure to the foot peddle.

Machine stitching a shell button onto an organic bamboo shirt using organic cotton thread

Step 7: Remove pressure from the foot peddle, lift the foot holder up and cut off the threads!

Hey presto! You're new button is safely secured to your garment!

Here is a condensed version of the hand sewing instructions:

Firstly, cut off the spare button off the care label, located on the inside of your garment. Secondly, unreel a length of thread and thread your needle, making sure that the thread is doubled up. Stitch through the area where the replacement button will sit, then go over the same spot 3 times (this will ensure that your button won’t come off). Next, take the button and stitch out the 1st hole and then down into the 2nd hole and through to the inside of the garment. Go back out through the 1st hold and repeat 4 times. Loop thread around the newly stitched on button and trim off the thread.

 Thank you for reading my tutorial on how to sew on a button! We hope you find it a helpful too and that it enables you to make your fashion more sustainable by extending it's life and making it last longer.

Much love,

Zola!


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