ZJ Humbach

Sewing Buttons Quickly and Easily

ZJ Humbach
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Duration:   10  mins

No matter what your sewing level may be, at some point or another you’ll have to sew on a button. Whether this is multiple buttons on a new garment, or simply replacing a button on something off the rack, ZJ Humbach shares several tips that make sewing buttons quicker and easier.

Types of Buttons

There are several different types of buttons available on the market today. In this video, ZJ demonstrates how to sew on two types of buttons—one shank and one standard—but the same techniques can be used for other button types as well. Two-hole as well as four-hole buttons are commonly found on shirts, whereas shank buttons are more commonly found on jackets or pants where the fabric tends to be thicker.


Thread is very important when it comes to sewing buttons, as that’s what holds the button securely in place. When doing hand sewing, many people work with a double strand of thread, as this is stronger than a single strand. ZJ shares her tip on how she likes to double the thread before threading the needle, which gives her a quadruple strand of thread to sew with. This means that a button can be held in place by simply going through the holes one time, making the process much quicker and easier. It can also be helpful to use a thread conditioner when doing any kind of hand sewing, including sewing buttons. This will help keep the thread strong and keep it from tangling while sewing. There are several different thread conditioners available, and ZJ shares her favorite.

Shank Buttons

As mentioned, shank buttons are great for jackets or pants with thicker fabrics or for use with bound buttonholes. However, if you do not have a shank button, you can make one. ZJ demonstrates how the shank portion of a button can be easily made using thread. She also shows a tool that can be used that helps make creating a shank quick and easy.

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6 Responses to “Sewing Buttons Quickly and Easily”

  1. Patricia Rivard

    I like the tip about using floss to bring the double thread through. However, I don’t like knots of thread, so I bury the thread, bring the needle out, and loop the needle through that. The tail of thread is pulled, and snipped. No knots! A thimble is indispensable, also.

  2. Marjee

    I finally know how to use a button guage to shank a flat button. I didn't know what those notches were for.

  3. Speksoz

    If you start from the right side, the knot can be hidden under the button. When you are done, form a thread loop, knot and then slide the needle between fabric layers about an inch or so, then slightly pull and cut the thread. This way there are no unsightly knots or thread ends showing either the right or wrong side of the garment.

  4. Wendy Karamath

    Thank you for this video. I am now able to sew buttons easier and buy the tools to the job! One thing I had a problem with was my dental floss but I am going to invest in a needle threader (Auto).

  5. Gigi

    Another easy way to create a shank for a regular button is to lay an old dull needle on top of the button, sew across it and remove, this will leave extra space that you can then use to create a shank, similar to the way shown above. Love the tip about the dental flosser!

  6. Ellie Gumkowski

    This lady needs to use a thimble or is that not used by a seamstress now days.

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