How to sew a button on pants

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Most people, especially men, are of the opinion that sewing is not a manly task. Therefore, men end up living this task to their moms, wives, sisters and other female relatives whenever they need to sew a button on their pant.

What is fascinating is that men of yore never relied on females to replace the buttons for them in case they lost them. They knew how to replace the buttons themselves so in case they lost the button while in battle, sailing or travelling the world, they could replace it on their own.

Likewise, in modern times, knowing a bit of sewing skills is still of great value especially in particular circumstances.

For instance, when you lose your pants’ button right before attending an important meeting. In such a case, having an emergency sewing kit at hand along with extra buttons will come in handy.

But, before carrying the emergency sewing kit and the buttons, you need to knowhow to sew a button on pants. After reading this article, you will be ready to sew a button on any pant, whether yours or someone else’s.

What you need

Before getting on the nitty-gritty of how to sew a button on a pant, it is important to first go through what you are going to need. You will need:


If possible, have two needles. Any basic needle will do but the needle should be slim.


For the whole process of sewing, a 12-inch thread will do. In case you want to double over, then a 24-inch thread will do.

For obvious reasons, the thread should match the color of the garment or the color of the thread used to sew the other buttons on the pant. However, if you do not find the matching thread, then go for black, pinch or navy threads.


If possible, get a button similar to the original one. Most garments come with an extra button. In case finding a similar button is impossible, then use a button that closely resembles the original one.

Most department stores will have an extremely similar button to the original one. Some buttons have two holes while others have four.

Even though the methods are different for both types of buttons, the method applied in sewing a two-hole button can be adapted and applied on a four-hole button a two-hole button.

4.Cutting tool

You can use a pair of scissors, a knife or any sharp object to cut the excess thread. You can even use your teeth.

The process

Step 1: Threading

If you have a 24-inch thread, go ahead and double over. Doubling over means sliding the thread through the needle’s eye and the doubling it over until you have an equal amount on both sides.

You can knot the ends in a basic square knot or you can use a similar method to a single end.

If your thread is less than 24 inches, you have to use a single thread. To make a single end, wrap the thread around your finger a couple of times, use your thumb to roll the loops into a tight bundle and then slip the whole roll of thread off your finger.

To make a tight knot, tug the long end of the thread tight using one hand while gripping the bundled loops with the other hand.

Another way of making a single end is by tying a few overhand knots.

Whichever method you use, you are going to use the tied knot as the first anchor to prevent the thread from coming loose.

Step 2: Create an X stitch

Starting from the back of the fabric, run the needle from the back to the front where the button is needed. Run the thread from the back to the front and create a small X where the button is going to be centered. The X stitch will ensure that the thread does not loosen when under stress.

Step 3: Position the button

Place the button over the anchor X and start sewing by pushing the needle through the first buttonhole from the back to the front. The second can be used as a spacer at this stage.

You can also use a small stick or toothpick instead of the needle. Use your finger to hold the button in place while pulling the thread all the way through the buttonholes until the knot snugs on the other side of the fabric.

Turn the needle and then push it back through the hole next to the one the needle came from. Push the thread all the way through until tight. There should be a small single line of thread connecting the two buttonholes. Repeat this process six times, three passes for each set of the buttonholes.

Step 4: Create the shank

The shank serves the purpose of making your button more secure. On the last passing of thread from the previous step, come back up via the fabric and not any buttonhole.

Come back up as if you were passing through the button but then turn aside and bring out the needle from underneath the button.

Use the needle in wrapping the thread around the threads under the button. Make six loops around the threads connecting the button to the fabric. Pull tight and then push the needle back into the base to tie it off on the other side of the fabric (the underside).

Step 5: Tie It Off

On the under-side of the fabric, make a small knot. You can either snip the thread off the needle or then use your finger to tie the knot or, you can use the needle in guiding the thread through a knot. Either way, you want the knot to be snug up on the back of the fabric.

The easiest way to tie off the thread is to make a simple overhand loop tied when the needle is still attached.

Simply pull the thread to the back of the fabric, make a little circle with the thread a little beyond your fingertip then pass the needle via the circle. Tighten the circle then cut off excess thread.


Besides being used on sewing a button on a pant the above directions can still apply when sewing a button on shirts, dresses, skirts or suits. Hopefully, the directions will help you replace your pant button by yourself the next time you need to and add yourself points on self-sufficiency.

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