Easy Fixes for Loose Buttons

Save money on the tailor and never lose another button with these simple tips and tricks on securing buttons to inner and outerwear.

Easy Fixes for Loose Buttons

My buttons are always falling off

A little nail polish goes a long way

Life's too short to spend time sewing on buttons. Stop them from falling off in the first place by dabbing a little clear nail polish onto the threads on top of the buttons on a new garment. This will prevent the threads from fraying.

Sew them on securely

Loosen the tension

The mistake that most people make when sewing on buttons is to sew them flat onto the fabric. This leaves no room for the button to pass easily through the buttonhole and so creates tension in the threads when the garment is worn. The result — a lost button. The solution is to create a small stalk, or shank, to lift the button away from the fabric.

Most buttons have four holes. When sewing on a button, sew the thread in two separate loops, rather than crossways between the holes. The stitching will lie flatter and be less prone to fraying.

  1. Start by sewing two loops on the button, but keep the threads loose at this stage.
  2. Slide a straight pin beneath the button, between the stitches you have made — this will elevate the button from the fabric. For thicker garments, such as jackets or coats, use a matchstick rather than a pin to create a longer shank. Put in as many further stitches as you need to make the button secure. Remember not to sew across the holes.
  3. On the last stitch, push the needle through the material, but not through the button. Remove the pin and wind the thread a few times around the thread that secures the button to the fabric to create a shank.
  4. Push the needle back down through the material and make a few stitches to secure the thread.

When sewing on a shank button, one without holes on its face, you don't need to create a shank because one already exists on the button itself.

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