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Emily Explains: Sewing on Buttons

Between work and knitting for others, it’s hard to find the time to knit for myself.  I managed to squeeze some in during my visit to the Mermaid’s Purl in Wickford, RI, knitting with Lizzie and her customers, and also on a trip to Maine. I was finally able to finish this cute wool sweater that I have been working on for months. I was so excited about finishing but I had to find the perfect buttons. The sweater has a delicate feminine design, so I wanted to add a little playfulness by using a variety of white mismatched vintage buttons. My mom sent a package for me to choose from and last week, I patiently sat and sewed on each one. A former professor once taught me to never make knots when sewing things onto a finished garment.  I thought of her as I sewed on my buttons this way.

I was so excited to wear my sweater, even in the heat of August! I’ve been wearing it on the cooler mornings while I sip on my coffee and late at night when I’m up knitting.

Have you started knitting sweaters for fall?

Happy Knitting!


4 thoughts on “Emily Explains: Sewing on Buttons

  1. In sewing buttons on sweaters, I always leave a thread shank when I sew on a flat button. By doing that, I am leaving space for the thickness of the garment around the buttonhole. In addition, I start with a “not knot.” To do that, I fold the thread in half, then thread both ends of the thread through the eye of the needle. I pull the needle through the button band and through one hole of the button taking care not to pull the thread all the way through. Next, put the needle through another hole of the button and the button band and through the loop of thread on the underside of the button band. There is no knot and the thread is quite secure. Before I sew any further, I place a pin, toothpick, matchstick or other spacer across the top of the button but under the first pass of thread. After sewing on the button and before securing it on the back side of the button band, I pull up the needle between the button and the button band, wrap the thread several times around the stitches made by sewing on the button, and secure the thread end on one side or the other of the button band. By sewing buttons on this way, I rarely have to replace a loose button nor do I lose a button from a garment.

    1. Hi Marilyn, it looks like Emily used a piece of yarn that was thinner than the yarn used in the project, probably a fingering or sock weight yarn. You could also do this with sewing thread if you’re using buttons with small eyes.

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