Lesson 11: Buttons and Buttonholes

Updated: May 14, 2019



Our dresses are almost finished! Today we are tackling buttons and buttonholes! Remember you can find all the lessons at Make Your Daughter a Dress. Before you look at the video below, you need to go find the manual for your sewing machine. Every sewing machine is different in how it puts in a buttonhole, so my showing you how my machine works isn't going to help you. Please find your manual and read how the buttonhole option works on your machine, and then watch the video below!


To mark the buttonholes, find pattern piece 9 for the size dress you are making and place it right along the edge of the right back bodice. Place two pins through the ends of each buttonhole into the fabric and mark with the purple marker.

With your ruler, double check that the markings are accurate. They should be about 1/2" from the side edge.

Before sewing the buttonhole, make sure to make a test buttonhole. To make a test, take a scrap piece of fabric to which you have fused a scrap of interfacing and sandwich it with a piece of lining. Make a horizontal buttonhole on the test sandwich and cut it open with your embroidery scissors or seam ripper to make sure that the button fits. Once you are satisfied with the trial buttonhole, make the buttonholes on your dress. Cut them open. Overlap the bodice backs. The center backs which are 1/2" from the finished edge should line up, one on top of another. This means there is a 1" total overlap. With the bodice backs pinned in place, use the purple marker to go through the button hole and make a dot where the button should go. Unlap the backs and make sure the marks make sense by double checking with the ruler. With regular sewing thread and your sharps needle, take two or three tiny stitches on the front of left back on the marked dot to anchor, then go up and down through the button and all the way through the bodice back. Go up and through the button 6-8 times and then tie take two or three tiny stitches on top of each other on the wrong side of the bodice to anchor the button in place. (There shouldn't be a knot on the back that might be uncomfortable!)

Here is our finished bodice back, complete with buttons! Our dress is almost there - just the hem to go

#heirloomsewing #tutorials #sewingforbeginners #sewingforchildren #dresses

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