How to Sew Buttons on a Knitted Sweater

Written by heidi a. reeves
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Once you've finished knitting a sweater, you still need to complete a few steps to create a truly finished garment. This includes weaving in any yarn ends hanging from the back of the fabric, blocking the sweater to size and, often, sewing on buttons. Sewing buttons onto hand-knit sweaters is a straightforward task, but if you rush through the process and don't take care to properly secure your buttons, they're likely to fall off at inopportune moments.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cotton
  • Ballpoint sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Knitted sweater

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  1. 1

    Thread a ballpoint needle with polyester or cotton-wrapped polyester cotton.

  2. 2

    Draw the thread through the needle until the thread's two ends match up.

  3. 3

    Tie the thread's ends together in a knot to secure them in place.

  4. 4

    Determine where you want to position the button. Close the sweater and adjust so the buttonhole band sits directly on top of the button band.

  5. 5

    Push the threaded needle through the buttonhole, sew under the button-band stitch in the centre of the buttonhole opening and push your needle back to the front of the button-band fabric.

  6. 6

    Slide your needle through the loop of thread and pull firmly to secure your thread on the sweater. You've just marked the stitch to which you'll attach your button.

  7. 7

    Open the sweater and begin sewing you button in place.

  8. 8

    Slide your needle and thread through the back of the button the front and allow the button to fall into place over the stitch on the button band.

  9. 9

    Sew back down through the button's other hole and through the front of the knitted fabric. Make sure you slide your needle between the marked stitch and the one next to it, and don't pull too tightly as you sew.

  10. 10

    Pull your thread across the back of your marked stitch, slide it between the marked stitch and the one next to it, and push the needle through the button hole you first sewn through.

  11. 11

    Sew through the button and the button band several times. You should now have several "legs" of thread connecting the button to the button band. These legs will form the core of the button's shank.

  12. 12

    Wrap the cotton around the legs to create a shank. After you've wrapped several times, push the needle through the centre of the wrapped threads, from the button band toward the button.

  13. 13

    Wrap the thread once more and push your needle through the centre of the shank, from the button toward the button band. Repeat this step twice more to further strengthen the button's shank.

  14. 14

    Sew back through the front of the button band and knot the thread around the stitches on the button band's back side .

  15. 15

    Cut the thread with a pair of sharp scissors.

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