How do I sew buttons onto a leather coat so they don't get loose and fall off?
By Carol from Virginia Beach, VA
I am sure there is a "pattern" to sewing ona button. probably something like a criss-cross from hole to hole.
But if you buy some clear fishing line you can thread it to a suitable needle and use a couple of stitches of it to really secure the existing buttons.
I would use some heavy duty thread, like quilting thread. You can add a touch of a good glue (tacky glue) or something on the last couple of rounds of sewing for extra stability (carefully on the glue).
Use dental floss to sew the buttons on, or to reinforce the existing stitching. If the white floss stands out too much, use a marker to color the floss to blend with the coat. The buttons on my leather jacket have lasted 3 years so far.
On my leather coat there is a second button on the inside of the coat that has been sewn at the same time as the front button. I think that helps keep the button used to actually fasten the coat from tearing the leather. Also, it looks as if the front button was sewn with a spacer under it so that it is easier to button it has an extra length of thread between the coat and the button so I can wiggle the button into the hole. I can't believe how nice this coat is. I paid $10 for it at a discount leather store in OR.
Either use dental floss (you can color it with a permanent marker) or buy a spool of "buttonhole twist"--a heavy duty thread. Place a wooden matchstick or round toothpick under the button to allow a shank of thread. After sewing the button on, pull the matchstick out and wind the thread around the shank, then bring thread through to the back of the coat, and knot and cut. Try to keep the threads going in and out of the same holes in the coat, since you don't want to weaken the coat material.
I was going to suggest thin fishing line too. ;-)
Use the button on the back side of the main buttons, but also sew the main button on loosely then take the thread and wrap around the loose threads behind the main button before tying the knot. This will give some looseness to the button so it will not want to break.
I highly recommend button hole twist heavy thread for buttons. You can also try painting the threads on the inside of the coat after you've sewn the button(s) on with clear nail polish( it hardens the thread so less likely to fall off so often. There is also something called bachelor button fasteners they are for non-sewers and are made of plastic with a plastic button end. Just thread through the hole or holes of your button the through the lock in in the plastic button, pull tight and cut off. They last a long time.
The best things for this are either a fishing line, or dental floss. Try the dental floss first, it's terrific for buttons! :-)
There are some buttons that cut the thread no matter how many times it is sewn or with what, I have found. Years ago I learned that if I used the eye part of a hook and eye fastener I put the eye through the button and then sew the eye onto the garment. I have used this many times and have not "lost a button" since. It also gives space between the fabric as is needed. One can buy them or they can be salvaged before those old bra's are tossed.
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