Tip: Sewing Buttons to Eliminate Distortion

Two holes, parallel to the opening, less distortion

Here’s an easy little tip I learned from the local tailor in town. When stitching buttons onto a garment, most noticeably buttons that have two holes, match the direction of the button’s stitching holes to the direction of the buttonhole. This eliminates distortion of your buttonhole and extra stress on the threads attaching the button, especially if you are making a shirt or shirt dress. Now, mind you, it’s a little thing on many fabrics, but  if it’s something you want to have for years, why not make sure it will last without undue stress, right? Think of it as sewing mindfulness.

Is it huge using a stitch that’s 90 degrees off from the buttonhole? Well, it depends. 

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Gorgeous Fabrics

I own an online fabric store, www.GorgeousFabrics.com. The name says it all!

8 thoughts on “Tip: Sewing Buttons to Eliminate Distortion”

  1. Interesting! I could see where that could matter quite a bit with a delicate fabric. Thanks! I learn much from you.

  2. Thanks for the tip! This is something that I’ve wondered about over the years of reattaching buttons. I’ve just always done it this way because I like things to be parallel–a little OCD. 🙂 I’m happy to know that I’ve been doing it the “right” way all along.

  3. As always, a fantastic tip that I didn’t think to consider. You are *the bomb*. Wear your dress in fabulous style. It looks like this weekend is going to be nice.

  4. I do that. I don’t remember where I read it, but since then I attach buttons following the orientation of the buttonhole. And I take the opportunity to use a contrasting thread to get a better look.

  5. This makes so much sense! I’m forever resewing buttons on my daughter’s school skirt and I realise now I’m sewing them the wrong way 🙂

  6. Oh pressinatrix maven of all things sewing… I am making a dress with silk georgette. The fabric for the back seam (where there is a zipper) is cut on the bias. Should I finish the edges the fabric with … a foldover of the fabric where the edge is covered in a zig/zag stitch VS a second vertical seam (vogue recs from pattern) VS no finish because bias shouldn’t ravel VS cut the fabric to the seam line at the zipper and then french seam together and press to the side?

    I’m trying to figure out how much warping I am willing to have with a second seam vs how much unraveling of the bias cut fabric will happen with good old dry cleaners.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Ah, bias seams. They are enough to make your Pressinatrix run screaming from the room at times.

      First, dear RitaS, I advocate staying the seam with a selvage of silk organza before doing anything else. This will prevent the otherwise-inevitable stretching of the seam, which can lead to disaster. Second, install the zipper. Finally, enclose the raw edges of the seam, as well as the zipper tape edges, with a Hong Kong finish of your lovely silk georgette. That will give a delightful finish that rivals the haute-est of designer garments.

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