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Mending with Makers HQ: How to Sew a Button

Makers HQ show us how to hand sew a button with a thread shank to help extend the life of your favourite clothes.


The clothes we love should last us for years to come. Whether it’s a perfect pair of jeans that fit just right, or a trusty jumper that has kept you cosy through many winters – our favourite clothes are the ones we reach for season after season. 

With this in mind, we’ve paired up with our friends at Makers HQ in Plymouth. They’ve shared some mending tips to help extend the life of your most-loved clothes. 

The wonderful team at Makers HQ teach textile and manufacturing skills to help support the local community and encourage education and employment within fashion. Their vision is to ‘reimagine fashion’ and move towards building a more sustainable, slow and ethical fashion industry.  

With just a needle and thread and some crafty know-how, Makers HQ are showing us how to breathe new life into old favourites. Give it a go yourself with this guide to re-sewing on buttons using a thread shank. 

How to sew on a button by creating a thread shank

Step 1

Choose your thread by laying the different colours you have across your garment to find the closest colour match. 

Step 2

Start by threading a long length of thread onto your needle. As you will be sewing the button with a doubled thread, pull the ends together and tie a knot.

Step 3

Next, you need to raise the button slightly off the garment. To do this, cut a small semi-circle into the edge of some card and place it on top of the fabric so your button can rest on the card while it is being sewn on. 

Step 4

Place the knotted part of your thread on top of your fabric, where it will be hidden by the button, and sew through the fabric to the back. Next, place the card on top of the knot, and the button on top of the card. Then sew up and down through the button until the thread thickness matches the other buttons. 

Step 5

To make the shank, remove your cardboard support and with your needle at the back of the button, bring the needle through to the front right underneath the button. Next, simply twist the thread around and around the underside of the button, this will raise the button up and support it. 

Step 6

To finish, bring your thread to the back of the button and finish off by making a few stitches on top of each other to secure it. Snip the thread and now your garment is ready to be worn and loved all over again. 


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