Perfect Button Holes by hand!

I love my sewing machine, but sometimes it is necessary to use other technics to get what you want. Well, let’s do some sewing by hand!

Almost everybody owns a regular sewing machine where you can make (automatically) button holes with. But sometimes the fabric is too thick for your sewing machine and your button hole looks like ….just not nice. ☺


What do you need: 

  • A needle
  • Tailor chalk
  • Pins
  • Something to measure
  • Thread 
  • Sewing machine

Note: I am using 2 different kind of fabric and thick ugly cotton thread for showing "how to".

Step 1: Measure how large your button hole has to be and mark it with pins.


Step 2: Draw a straight line between the pins and remove your pins.


Step 3: Sew with your sewing machine by using a straight stitch all the way around your marked line. 


Step 4: open your buttonhole carefully and make sure you don’t cut into your sewed line.


Now you are going to do some hand sewing! I personally prefer to use a cotton thread to make a stable base and after that I switch to the thread I want to show at my button hole. Cotton thread is thicker, so, when sewing thicker fabric I finish my button holes with cotton thread too. (see pictures)

Step 5: Start on the wrong side and go with your needle up through your fabric, right next to your sewed line.


Step 6: Go with your needle through you button hole and make sure to stay straight and leave a little loop. When going with your needle up again, you go through the loop and pull carefully on it, so it’s laying nice and flat. Go through the button hole again, let a little loop left, by going up again, go through the loop and pull carefully. Go through the button hole…..etc.



Actually: that’s all it! Isn’t that easy! ☺

I make a rough base first and after that, optional you can change your thread and fill out all the gaps. Using a same color thread definately make sense. Go round as much as you want to create an elegant small button hole or a full one for a winter coat.


Sew secure and your button holes are going to look fab!

Good luck!

(written by: Marieke de Jonge)

3 comments

Thank you!!

Karen Bush November 01, 2019

This is such a great idea and very smart as elegant!

Karen Bush November 01, 2019

So are you basically doing a blanket stitch around the edge? Cool! My buttonhole foot broke, and I’ve been doing them manually on my machine, and they look like crap. This is a helpful technique to have in my repertoire!

Heather November 01, 2019

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