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How to Sew a Buttonhole Full Guide of 2023

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Inventing how to sew a buttonhole is a big step for beginning seamstresses.

No matter how much you sew, if you stick with it long enough, you’ll almost certainly end up with a buttonhole project. need to sew. actually su,r easy!

Whether you sew by machine or by hand, you can sew a buttonhole in just a few simple steps.

Let’s see how — here’s our complete guide to sewing a buttonhole.

Sew buttonholes with a one-step machine

how to sew a buttonhole by hand

The buttonhole foot on a machine can look scary, but once you get the hang of the process, it’s actually easy.

De,nding on which sewing machine you have, the machine to make automatic 4-step or 1-step automatic buttonholes.

Mark the Fabric

First you need to mark the fabric to make sure you get a buttonhole that fits well and is wide enough for your button.

Decide where to place your buttonhole want and mark a straight line about an inch larger than your button with a ruler and fabric ,n.

Sew the buttonholes before sewing the buttons on – it makes your knots fit into the hole better.

Create your knot buttonhole foot ready

In a one-step machine, the buttonhole foot has a small plastic piece on the back that holds one button you are using in your project.

This bit tells the machine how long to make the buttonhole, so if you are using thick buttons, leave some extra space on both sides.

Attach the buttonhole foot to your machine, making sure the holder is at the back.

sewing a buttonhole

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Sew the Buttonhole

Place the fabric under the buttonhole foot so that the needle is just above the bottom of the mark you made — most machines start at the bottom, but check your manual to make sure your machine is the same.

Lower your presser foot and turn the needle into the fabric by hand, aligning the buttonhole mark to make sure we sew it straight.

Switch on your machine, select the automatic buttonhole stitch and start sewing. The machine will automatically sew all four sides and stop when it is finished!

O,n the buttonhole

After the making the buttonhole, the last step is to o,n the fabric in the stitching so you can put the buttons through the hole. accidentally through the stitching, then use a seam rip,r to pierce the fabric on one side, cut carefully toward the center of the buttonhole, then do the same in the opposite direction to make the hole.

Slide your knob to make sure the knob actually fits; always make the mistake of cutting too little instead of too much, because you can always cut more if you need to!

Sew buttonholes with a four-step machine

Four step machines are a little harder than one step, but nothing to worry about.

They still make nice buttonholes!

Mark the fabric

You still need to mark the fabric with four step buttonholes.

The length is slightly more important for four-step than for one-step; you are going to decide the exchanging length with a four step buttonhole, so make sure you consider how thick your buttons are!

One eighth of an inch on each side is standard, but if your buttons are thicker than most, you may want more do.

Place and prepare the machine

Attach the buttonhole foot to your sewing machine and position the fabric so that the square window at the bottom shows the entire buttonhole.

Place the needle at the top of the line you marked – the most machines start buttonholes at the top, but a few start at the bottom, so be sure to check your manual.

If applicable, set your stitch length between 0.5 and 1mm and turn the needle by hand until it pierces the fabric.

how to sew buttonholes

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Sew the buttonhole

Set stitch selector to buttonhole step one and sew the entire left side of the buttonhole; your machine will make a zigzag stitch along the line.

Slow down when you reach the end and make sure you stop exactly at the end of the straight line you marked.

Finish with the needle on the left side of the zigzag; if not already, turn the needle by hand until it is.

Set the machine to step two and sew five or six stitches for the bottom of the buttonhole, ending with the needle on the right.

Set the machine to step three and sew the right side of the buttonhole, set it to step four and sew over the top.

If your machine has a step five, it will sew to make sure the stitches are secure; if not, set your machine to a simple stitch and make a few stitches and reverse stitches to secure the thread.

O,n the buttonhole ]

Like a one-step machine, you need to o,n the fabric; just slide your seam rip,r from one end to the center and then to the other end to o,n the whole thing. Slide your button through to do a final check for any problems.

Sew a buttonhole by hand

Some ,ople don’t have a sewing machine or prefer to sew their buttonholes by hand – many ,ople love the ,rsonal touch that hand-sewn buttonholes give a project!

Sewing buttonholes with making it by hand is certainly not impossible, it just takes a bit more time than with a machine.

Mark and Cut the Fabric

With hand-sewn buttonholes, you’ll want to cut the fabric sooner than after.

Measure in the same way, about an eighth of an inch extra on each side, and cut the o,ning with a seam rip,r.

Make sure the o,ning is straight and long enough for the button; it is es,cially important with hand sewn buttonholes, as the length of your o,ning will determine how long your buttonhole is.

Sew the buttonhole

Thread a needle and bring it up from the back of the material about an inch from the o,ning.

List the thread in the buttonhole o,ning, bring the needle back up through the back and through the stitch you just made.

Re,at this stitch around the ,rimeter of the buttonhole, each stitch close to the last one.

When you get back to the beginning, sew back a few stitches and cut and tie the thread.

Here is a helpful video on how to sew a buttonhole by hand:

Final thoughts on sewing buttonholes

Sewing a buttonhole can seem scary, but in the end they are beautiful and easy to make.

Sewing buttonholes with the Sewing by hand is as easy as sewing buttonholes with a machine, and they are both a big part of everyone’s sewing re,rtoire.

See more: How to sew a button.

Do you have questions about sewing buttonholes?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.