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Tips & Techniques > Buttons - Handmade with Fabric

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Posted by: Vonnevo
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About Vonnevo starstarstarstar
QLD Australia
Member since: 10/25/04
Reviews: 52 (tips: 2)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 177 people
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Posted on: 4/23/06 6:48 PM
Last Updated: 1/11/09 2:32 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 12 people   
Web site/URL: photo
Buttons - Hand Made with Fabric

Please click on the link and continue through the album for step by step photos. You can also see the review for the jacket I made using these buttons here:

Notion & Fabric Requirements
1 x Fabric Strip cut on Weft (across) grain - 50cms long x 2.5cms wide or 20" x 1"
1 x large metal or plastic Outer Ring - 3.5cms or 1&3/8"
1 x smaller plastic or metal ring to fit inside the larger ring Inner Ring 2.5cms or 1"
Centre hole on inside of inner ring 1.5cms or 9/16"
1 x suitable flat metal or plastic washer (plumbing supplies)
1 x Bodkin
1 x circle matching fabric and trace around the end of a thread reel
Fusible web tape or piece of vlisoflex
Adhesive tape
Bag ties from the kitchen
Note: Velvet or Satin Ribbon could also be used.

1. Making the Button Base - The inner ring was a plastic stopper from a pack of writable CD's and the outer ring was metal, from my stash. Flat nylon/plastic washers would also be suitable.
Secure the smaller ring inside the larger one, with the bag ties.Position ties equally around the ring

2. The Fabric Strip - Cut the fabric to the size listed above. Fold and press under one edge only.
Thread the fabric strip throught the bodkin eye and secure to the bodkin with adhesive tape - this will reduce bulk.
Secure the end of the strip to the underside of the ring and wind the strip around the rings in a clockwise direction with the folded edge, covering the raw edge.

3.Continue winding the fabric strip clockwise & position the folded edge to cover the raw edge as you wind the fabric around the rings.
Tuck the raw edge under at the end of winding.

The centre of the button became quite bulky and I needed pliers to pull the bodkin through, when nearing completion.

4. Secure the end of the strip on the underside with pins.

5. Turn the end under and stitch firmly around the edges.

6. Button Backing - Place the circle of fabric onto vlisoflex and bond with hot iron. When cool, peel off paper and place fabric circle wrong side onto the underside of the button. This will give a neat backing. Alternatively, use a piece of fusible web and press between the backing and button underside.
Use FrayCheck to prevent any loose threads on the backing.

7. Stitch the button securely onto the jacket with upholstery thread. Stitch through the button centre and wind thread around itself on the underside of the button, to make a small shank. Make only a small shank as otherwise the button will not sit flat on the jacket. Secure well on the inside of the jacket facing.

This is the first time I have made these buttons, without the help of any instructions.
Please feel free to add any extra tips.

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nicegirl said... (3/1/07 10:22 AM) Reply
This is very cool! My only question is sewing it on--so you put your needle through the center hole and sew basically only through the tacked down end and circle cover? No sewing through the wound around bits? Does it feel secure?
Vonnevo said... (8/23/06 6:03 AM) Reply
***** Rosiemdosie I have used those regular covered button kits from sewing suppliers since the year dot too :))
Rosiemdosie said... (8/22/06 1:04 PM) Reply
I'm wondering why go to all this trouble when you can purchase a fabric button making kit in Australia. In various sizes. They are available in most fabric shops, and Lindcraft stores.
Sewing 4 Me said... (5/8/06 12:57 PM) Reply
Thanks for taking the time to share your great ideas and photos with us.....
Loreli said... (4/27/06 2:13 PM) Reply
Thanks for the great tutorial! The Jacket is beautifull and then these special buttons.
hongkongshopper said... (4/24/06 7:28 PM) Reply
Thanks for the tip. Very clever buttons.
BjP said... (4/24/06 5:15 PM) Reply
Thanks for adding this very helpful tip!
Suzanne R said... (4/24/06 3:07 PM) Reply
What a wonderful jacket....It really turned out beautiful...I love the buttons and the sleeve hem treatment along with the collar...bravo!
AnneM said... (4/24/06 9:30 AM) Reply
Nice buttons. Great instructions. The only part that I wasn't clear just from the pictures was the button base, which you explained nicely here in your tip.
Patzee said... (4/24/06 2:26 AM) Reply
Clever! When I read your review I wondered where in the world you found those buttons. Aha!
els said... (4/23/06 8:14 PM) Reply
Thanks for this great tutorial, your knock off buttons are inspirational and I have put these on a file.
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