This article teaches you how to sew common fastenings, how to sew with buttons, poppers, hooks & eyes. It has been written by Little Miss Fancy Frocks – the dynamic mother-daughter duo who lovingly create handcrafted clothing for adults and children. Visit their Facebook page here.
Minerva Crafts have kindly sponsored this article. Visit them for all your sewing and crafting needs.
Fastenings are used to join two pieces of fabric together enabling the wearer to put on and take off a garment easily. They are also used extensively throughout the craft world. Buttons, poppers and hooks & eyes are three of many types of fastenings available today.
Did you know that buttons have been in use for over 5,000 years. Hooks & eyes first appeared in the 17th century and poppers, also known as press studs and snap fasteners, were invented in 1885 by Herbert Bauer.
Today all three types of fastenings are available in a range of sizes and an array of materials. They can be functional, decorative or a combination of both.
Fastenings are always worked through three layers: the top fabric layer, the bottom fabric layer or facing and the middle layer, and an interfacing which stabilises the fabric and strengthens the fastening.
To work the samples you will need a needle, thread, a button with a shank, a button without a shank, a press stud, a hook & eye, fabric and interfacing. For your samples use a double layer of fabric with interfacing in between.
Buttons with a Shank
Buttons are available with or without a shank. A shank is the rigid loop on the underside of the button. It allows the button to sit proud of the fabric surface enabling the buttonhole to sit comfortably on top of the button when buttoned up.
Mark the position of the button. This will be shown on commercial dressmaking patterns. Using double thread work one stitch and another stitch on top of the first stitch; this is known as a double back stitch.
Thread the needle through the shank and through the fabric, repeat three times.
Turn to the wrong side of the fabric and loop stitch the threads together.
On the last stitch wind the loop around the needle twice (forming a knot) and bring the needle out between the two layers of fabric and cut off.
Buttons with Two Holes and Four Holes
Buttons can have two or four holes. Buttons without a shank must also sit proud of the fabric and the shank will be made by hand.
Mark the position of the button in the same way as the button with a shank.
Stitch through the two holes and the fabric four times and at the same time position a pin or cocktail stick between the button and the fabric.
Place the needle between the button and the fabric and wind around the button four times. This will form a shank. The underside is completed in the same way as the button with a shank by loop stitching the threads together.
Stitch the next two holes using the cocktail stick.
Remove the cocktail stick and insert the needle between the button and the fabric and wrap it around the threads four times.
Turn to the wrong side of the fabric and loop stitch the first set of threads together and then the second set which will form a cross.
The protruding part of the popper should sit on the top opening and the sunken hole on the bottom fabric opening.
Stitch through the fabric layers with one stitch through each hole to secure the popper.
Loop stitch through each of the holes securing the top part of the popper.
Rub the protruding part of the popper with tailors chalk and press onto the fabric where the bottom popper will sit. The tailors chalk will mark the fabric.
Stitch the bottom popper in the same way as the top popper.
Hooks & Eyes
The hook and eye should be placed either side of the opening allowing the opening to lie flat.
Use double thread and work several stitches securing the eye to the fabric through all layers. This will prevent the hook from slipping out of place.
Loop stitch around the curved part of the eye to the centre.
Stitch the other half of the eye in the same manner.
Use double thread and work several stitches securing the hook to the fabric near the edge of the fabric and near the curved parts of the hook.
Loop stitch the hook in position in the same manner as the eye.