Hand Sewing Mastery - Hand Sewn Buttons, Buttonholes, and Thread Loop Closures


Hi Everyone! Welcome to Part 3, Buttons, Buttonholes, & Thread Loop Closures. This week we will be looking at several ways to sew on buttons and several types of closure styles to make them functional. Shari is with us again to demonstrate the art of the hand-bound buttonhole, making it look so easy! We'll also be demonstrating how to make a thread loop for your button and the most common ways to sew on buttons themselves.

We'll be demonstrating these methods as basic tutorial exercises on small scraps of fabric as well as showing examples on both Liberty Jane and Thimbles and Acorns designs to help illustrate how the basic techniques and methods are used at a smaller scale. Follow along to understand the process, hopefully watching us in action will clarify any concerns or issues you may have with these types of techniques. 

How To Sew On Buttons:



How to Make Hand Sewn Buttonholes with Shari:

Where do you find inspiration? My inspiration for learning how to make hand sewn buttonholes first came from one of my favorite childhood books, Little Town on the the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the story, Laura took her first job as a seamstress and one of her tasks was to sew buttonholes on shirts. Laura didn't particularly like making buttonholes, so she learned how to make a quick neat job of them. Her precise buttonholes with their tiny knotted stitches impressed her employer who praised her for both the efficiency and quality of her work. If you don't have rows and rows of buttonholes to make every day like Laura did, the easy methodical way hand sewn buttonholes are made can be a rather relaxing and satisfying experience.

While modern sewing machines have made making buttonholes a snap (no pun intended), machine sewn buttonholes aren't the best choice for every application. When working with smaller garments, it can be a lot easier to make hand sewn buttonholes in hard to reach spaces. Hand sewn buttonholes also work better for smaller buttons as they are not only stronger, but you also have more control over the finished size. For historical and heirloom garments, hand sewn buttonholes add an air of authenticity and charm that you simply can not get with machine sewn buttonholes.

Watch the video below to see Shari demonstrate how to make a basic hand sewn buttonhole and download the tutorial page from the SWC Bonuses section, which shows a simple variation of the same technique. You can see a few examples of how buttonholes can be used on a smaller scale on the chemise and drawers from Thimbles and Acorns Victorian Unmentionables pattern.




The Thread Loop Closure:



Suggested Patterns For this Topic: 

  • LJ Abbey Road - hem, armscye bindings
  • LJ Opening Night - lining, thread loop for hook
  • LJ Starlight Gala - lining, hand embroidered embellishments
  • LJ Hello Oscar -  lining, hem, hand embroidered embellishments
  • LJ Sheath Dress - lining hemline
  • LJ Roebuck Bay Top - snaps under buttons
  • LJ Lace Overlay Tank Top - Thread Loop Closure
  • TA Martha - snaps, hem
  • TA Underpinnings - hems, hand sewn eyelets, hand sewn buttonholes
  • TA Fancy Shift - hems
  • TA EnForreau - hems, snaps
  • TA First Impressions - snaps
  • TA Saque Back Gown - hems, snaps
  • TA Bib Front Regency - hems, buttonholes
  • TA Sarah Hale - hems, buttonholes
  • TA 1850s Day Dress - hems, snaps
  • TA 1860 Day Dress - hems
  • TA Bustle Dress - hems, snaps
  • TA Prairie Rose - hems, buttonholes
  • TA Town Girl - hems, buttonholes
  • TA Country Girl - hems, buttonholes
  • TA Mary and Laura - hems
  • TA Carrie - hems, snaps
  • TA Waterfall Bustle - snaps
  • TA Sweet Sashay - snaps
  • TA Hunting Frock - Thread Button Loop
  • TA Charlotte - hand sewn buttonholes 


Week Three Task:

  • Watch the three videos. Practice these techniques on a piece of scrap fabric, or on a garment you have ready to finish.
  • Be sure to download the PDF that goes along with the hand Sewn Buttonhole video. It's in the SWC Bonuses section.
  • Check out the Ultimate Resource Guide for fabric and supply sources. (Find this in the SWC Bonuses section)
  • Jump over the SWC Facebook Group for conversation and project sharing.


Margaret (PEggy(
Margaret (PEggy(

July 23, 2019

Mavis, Log onto Pixiefaire.com, then My account at top of page. you will then list your e-mail and password, this will take you to SEWING WITH CINN. under this heading are several choices, Bonus will have latest lessons which you can download or copy. I hope this helps.


July 22, 2019

Hello, I joined almost a month ago and have nothing but trouble between my sewing machines and trying to download the Master classes to view offline. Can anyone out there help me? Dani, suggested I seek help here form you ladies that have been on along time. Thank you.


July 17, 2019

I have been dying to learn to do this since reading Little Women, Eight Cousins, and Little Town on the Prairie. Thank you!

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