Monday, 16 January 2012

A bit of a cover up.. how to cover buttons

Just thinking it has been a little while since I've written something vaguely useful for those interested in sewing.

I've become a big fan of fabric covered buttons and it is a great way of giving your item individuality and a nice finish. It can also be a cheaper than buying ordinary buttons. You  can use the same fabric as your main fabric or use a coordinating fabric- it is more difficult with thick or heavy weight fabrics.  I use the plastic type of buttons, although you can get metal ones, and they come in a range of sizes. It is something that is very easy to do and doesn't take very much time.

The buttons come in 2 part, a front and back, which clip neatly together.

Cut out a disc of your fabric about double the diameter of the button,  if the buttons come in a pack you may find a template on the pack itself.

Do a small running stitch around the edge of the fabric disc- not too close to the edge or  your fabric will  fray.

Centre the top part of the button in the fabric disc, with the shank upwards, then draw in the thread. Make sure all the edges are tucked in and then place the back of the button on over the shank- with this type of button the convex surface faces out.

The plastic end of a bobbin of thread can be used to push the back in place. You can get devices to do this but a bobbin is cheap, available, and I find effective.

You can get machines to cover buttons but they can be quite costly- perhaps if you plan to make large numbers of buttons worth investing in.

I use the fabric buttons a lot on my cushions- in actual fact it saves me time as I don't spend ages finding buttons I like, and I know I've always got the right  buttons!

The buttons are really versatile and I've made fabric covered buttons to brighten up cardigans and jackets by replacing the old buttons- it's a great way of giving an item a new look. There are all sorts of imaginative things you can do when covering the buttons- what about a little bit of embroidery or beading on the fabric disc before putting the buttons together? The covered buttons can be used to make brooches and in corsages.

The buttons are readily available online and from good haberdashers,and the process of covering them is very easy with a little practise. They're a great fab way of adding a little individuality and a great finish to your item .