Common Mistakes in Making Buttonholes.

1.   Badly cut hole; out of proportion to size of button Not cut with the thread of the material.

2.   Buttonhole commenced at wrong end.

3.   Cotton not drawn tight.

4.   Stitch not uniform in depth.

5.   Ends finished badly.


A button is a knob or disk of bone, metal, or wood, often covered, having a shank, perforation, or other means by which it may be sewed to one part of a garment, which it joins to another part by passing through a buttonhole.

Buttons are sometimes sewed to garments for ornament, and are frequently made of very rich materials. A button of gold, crystal, coral, ruby, or other precious stone is worn by Chinese officials, both civil and military, on the top of their hats as a badge of rank.

Buttons are sewed on the right side to a fold of the material; it is often advisable to have an extra fold of the material used as an interlining so as to prevent the button pulling away from the garment.

Buttons without shanks require to be stemmed. This is done by leaving the thread a little loose while sewing on the buttons, and then twisting it around the sewing


ILL. 85. - Various Methods of Sewing on Buttons.

several times, between the button and the material, before fastening the thread.

A tailor puts his stitches through the upper goods and interlining only, pointing his needle back and forth, not up and down.

Materials. - The materials required in this lesson are:

A strip of muslin, which, when folded, is two and a half inches wide and eighteen inches long; buttons of various kinds to illustrate the lesson; needles, "sharps"; coarse silk or cotton; tape measure.

Marking the Place for the Buttons.

1.   The buttonholes are necessarily made first.

2.   To mark the place for the buttons, lay the right sides of the garment together, and stick pins through the outer ends of the buttonholes.

3.   These pins may be taken out and the spot marked either with a basting.stitch or French chalk.

4.   In sewing a four-holed button, use as fine a needle as possible. (A fine needle prevents making unnecessary holes in the goods.)

5.   Double the thread.

6.  Avoid making a knot, as the point of the needle is apt to strike against it and break.

7.   Begin with two small backstitches directly on top of the spot marked for the button.

8.   Put the needle through hole No. 1 of the button.

9.   Place a pin or coarse needle on top of the button and keep it there until the four holes of the button have been filled up. See Illustration No. 86.

10.   Draw the needle through and take it down hole No. 2.

11.   Continue sewing until holes No. 1 and 2 are filled.


ILL. 86. - Sewing on the Button (Position of the Pin).

12.   Sew in like manner through holes No. 3 and 4. See Illustration No. 86.

13.   Take out the needle or pin, and draw the button up from the garment; in this way loosening the stitches under the button.

14.   Bring the needle up between the button and the cloth very close to the stitches.

15.   Wind the thread around these stitches; in this way forming a stem or shank.

•16. Take the thread through to the wrong side and fasten it securely.

17.   Watch the stitches on the wrong as well as on the right side, in order to keep them neat.

18.   The thread is sometimes fastened by taking the needle two or three times through the wrapping between the button and material.

Note. - Instead of placing a pin on the top of the button, it is sometimes slipped through the backstitches before the button is put on the needle and withdrawn when you are ready to make the stem.

Sewing on Shoe Buttons.

1.  Use linen thread.

2.   Double it before putting it through the needle; this makes four threads for each stitch instead of two.

3.   Make a knot on the end of the thread.

4.   If the thread is waxed before sewing, it will prevent its twisting and snarling.

5.  Do not finish the thread off at each button, but carry it from one button to the next on the wrong side of the shoe.

. 6. Fasten securely on the wrong side with a backstitch.


Loops are frequently used instead of eyes in connection with hooks, as on chokers of dresses, etc. They are also used instead of buttonholes in extremely thin or thick places, where it is impossible to make a buttonhole.

Loops used in place of eyes should be made to lie very flat on the material. Those intended to take the place of a buttonhole are usually placed at the edge of the material and are made large enough for the button to pass through. Use thread a little coarser than that required for sewing the garment.

Materials. — The materials required in making a loop are: A practice piece or a garment; needles, "betweens" or "ground downs"; cotton or silk as required; scissors.

1.   To make the bar, bring the needle up from the wrong side.

2.  Make a small knot on the end of the thread.

3.  Work from left to right.

4.   Make four stitches one-fourth of an inch long directly on top of each other. These form the bar.

5.   Begin buttonholing the bar by holding the thread down with the left thumb, and taking the needle under the


ILL. 87. — Loops, Showing the Needle in Position.

bar just made, and over the thread. See Illustration No. 87.

6.   Be careful not to catch the cloth in with these stitches.

7.   Draw the thread towards you so that the purl edge of the buttonholing will come on the outside of the loop.

8.   Fasten the thread securely on the wrong side with a small backstitch.

A Loop in Place of a Buttonhole.

1.   When the loop is to take the place of a buttonhole, the foundation stitches must be taken loosely enough to cover the button, and the buttonhole stitch worked very closely over these strands.

2.   Push the stitches closely together as each one is made.

Loops of Tape.

Loops for hanging up a garment are frequently made of tape.

Loops for hanging up dresses are usually sewed flat and are placed in the armholes or collars of dresses and on the belts of skirts. Loops are sometimes sewed on towels in a similar way. Two loops are better than one for most garments, as the weight of the garment when hung up is then more evenly distributed.

Tapes to tie various parts of a garment together may be sewed on in a similar way.

Materials. - The materials required in this lesson are:

A towel or any garment requiring a loop; tape or binding; needles, "ground downs" or "betweens"; scissors; cotton; tape measure.

1.   Cut off a piece of tape the desired length.

2.   Fold it in the middle; overseam it down one inch;


ILL. 88. -Showing the Method of Sewing a Loop on a Towel.

flatten out the overseam and turn it so that it will form a point at the top.

3.   Turn the ends down one-fourth of an inch on the right side, and place them on the wrong side of the towel.

4.   Hem the loop on the three outside edges.

5.   Turn the towel over on the right side and backstitch it down to the tape. See Illustration No. 88. Or, simply double the piece of tape and first backstitch it on the wrong side, and then turn the loop and hem it to the towel.

Hooks and Eyes.

Hooks and eyes are used instead of buttons and buttonholes where invisible fastenings are desired.

If the eye is liable to show on a garment, the loop of it should be covered with a buttonhole stitch.

In dress waists, the hooks and eyes are frequently sewed alternately instead of putting all the hooks on one side and all the eyes on the other. This prevents the dress from becoming unfastened.

Materials. - The materials required are: Two strips of material folded similarly to that used for buttonholes; needles, "betweens" or "ground downs"; coarse cotton or silk, as garments require; scissors; a card of hooks and eyes; tape measure.


ILL. 89.-Sewing on Hooks and Eyes.

1.  Mark, with a stitch, the places for the eyes on the folded edge of the strip of muslin.

2.  Make a small knot.

3.   Place the eye on the wrong side of the material, with the loop extending a little beyond the edge.

4.   Hold the eye firmly in place with the thumb and first finger of the left hand.

5.   Overseam closely around the rings of the eye, being careful not to let the stitches show through on the right side.

6.   Take two or three stitches over the loop of the eye above the ring. Do not break the thread, but carry it from one eye to the next.

7.   Mark the place for the hooks, by placing the wrong side of the eyes to the strip on which the hooks are to be sewed and marking it with a stitch.

8.   Place the hook as far inside the edge as the eyes extend beyond it; hold it firmly in place.

9.   Overseam closely around the rings and across the back of the hook. See Illustration No. 89.

10.   Carry the thread as in sewing on the eyes.

Eyelet Holes.

An eyelet is a pierced hole, worked with an embroidery or buttonhole stitch, to prevent it from fraying. Eyelet holes are frequently used when it is desirable to lace instead of fasten a dress in another way. They are also used on shirt fronts for studs.

Materials. - The materials required: The hem of the practice piece may be used; "betweens" or "ground down" needles; cotton; a piercer (sometimes called a stiletto); scissors; tape measure.

1.   Push the piercer carefully through the muslin until the hole is made the desired size.

2.   Bring the thread up from the wrong side and work the edge of the hole over and over with very close, even stitches.

3.   If the buttonhole stitch is used, the purl edge should form a ring on the surrounding material and not fall on the edge of the hole as in a buttonhole.

4.   After it is worked, again push the piercer through the eyelet to perfect the shape.