Blazers and sport coats have buttons on the cuffs that are only decorative. Men's suit jackets usually have a series of three to four buttons on each cuff; sports coats and blazers may have only two or three on each cuff. If one or more are missing, it is an easy task to replace those buttons. Pay attention to these small clothing maintenance details and you will always look your best--down to the buttons on your cuffs.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 6 to 8 matching buttons
- Small thread scissors
- Sewing needle
- Matching polyester core or nylon thread
Find a replacement button. Check the inside seam of your jacket--replacement buttons are occasionally sewn inside by manufacturers. Otherwise, choosing buttons to match the remaining ones might be difficult. Snip one away from the blazer and take it with you to the fabric store. Consider buying a new set of buttons and replacing them all.
On more formal jackets and blazers, the buttons are usually 1/2 inch in diameter or smaller and match the colour of the fabric. On more casual jackets, such as tweeds or corduroy, the buttons could be made of brass or leather. Remember that you will need at least six, three for each side.
Carefully snip the threads that hold the remaining buttons in place. If you have decided to replace all the buttons, you can save the ones you remove for another project. You should still be able to see where the buttons were located on the blazer cuff. You will sew the new buttons on the same location, one right next to the other.
Thread a hand-sewing needle with the thread that matches the fabric of your blazer. If you are using the traditional flat buttons with four holes, the thread will also match the buttons. If your buttons are brass or leather, the thread should match the fabric of the blazer. By knotting the two tails of the thread together, thereby doubling the thread, you can use fewer stitches and take less time sewing.
Hold the button in place on the blazer cuff as you bring the thread and needle through the fabric from underneath. The knot you tied in the thread will hold the thread in place. On standard four hole buttons, you will continue taking the thread and needle up and down through the buttonholes and fabric, in an "x" pattern, for at least 5 to 6 repetitions. If you are using brass or leather buttons, which have a u-shaped shank, you will have to make sure your needle and thread passes through the shank each time you stitch. When the buttons are secure, push the needle and thread through to the underside of the fabric so that it can be knotted and clipped. Rethread your needle, if necessary, and continue as before with each button.
Mastering this simple task will keep your clothing investment in good repair. Your blazers and jackets can even be updated from time to time with new and different buttons.
Tips and warnings
- If you have never sewn before, you could practice on a scrap of cloth with needle, thread, and button before you begin. It's a simple skill, but as with any new skill, it may require some practice.
- If the thread you use for sewing is too long, it will tangle easily. If it is too short, it will not be enough to complete sewing on the button. Your knotted thread should be about 12 to 14 inches long.
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