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Sewing on a Button

Martha Stewart Living, February 1997

A single missing button can put an article of clothing out of commission until the next visit to your tailor, dry cleaner, or mom. Learn how simple it is to sew on a button, and you'll quickly return all your buttonless items from the mending pile to the closet.

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1. When you sew on a button, give it a thread shank, which creates space between the fabric and button, allowing the button to slip through its buttonhole easily.

2. Hold the button in place, and send the needle from the back of the fabric up through one of the holes (above, left).

3. To create a thread shank, place a toothpick over the button, then stitch down over it into an adjacent hole. A button usually has two or four holes; stitch until each pair of holes has been bound five or six times.

4. Holding the needle and thread between the fabric and the button, remove the toothpick (above, left).

5. Lift up the button, and wrap the thread around the exposed threads between the button and the fabric several times. Tie off the thread under the button.