Machined Buttons

I have yet to learn the technique of hand sewn button holes.  Honestly I’m just happy to get a decent looking button hole that’s functional from my machine.  I was feeling pretty proud of this set of button holes.

So proud in fact, I decided I should let the machine sew the buttons on too!
Hand sewing buttons to a garment has always seemed like the right thing to do.  I never thought I needed a machine to do the job for me.  But after making my first button up blouse, I realized I’m really slow at hand sewing on buttons.  And they look a tad messy.

While flipping through my sewing machine manual, I noticed the instructions for sewing buttons on by machine.  Hmmm… so you can do that, huh?  (Sewing buttons by hand is so obvious, but how would I do them on a machine?!)  I decided to give it a try, just to learn something new and see how they turned out.

I always wondered what the little plastic plate that came with all the presser feet was for–now I know.

The plastic piece snaps into place over the feed dogs so that you can sew in one place, without the fabric feeding through.

The special presser foot is designed to fit on top of a button, holding it securely in place.


The process was so easy–first, using the straight stitch pattern, make a few anchoring stitches in the right side hole.  Next adjust the stitch pattern to zig zag, adjusting the width of the stitch pattern to fit into the left hole and stitch about 10 stitches back and forth.  Then go back to the straight stitch to send a few more anchoring stitches through to finish.  That’s it.

So far I am happy with the results–the buttons look uniform, and it was much quicker (for me) to use the machine than to sew by hand.  Only time will tell how well the machined buttons hold up compared to hand stitched ones.

What method do you use?  Any tips and tricks for hand sewing would be appreciated; I intend to keep practicing both methods.

The garment shown here is my reversible skirt–details to come, just as soon as I can get pictures of both sides.


  1. Well that was interesting Qui. I never knew that you could do buttons on a machine! Keep on doing and learning! Proud of you!

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