I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Thursday 16 July 2020

Sewing on buttons and hemming jeans

A Jaycotts post

We all need some very basic sewing skills so I want to show you how to do two of them - how to sew a button on and how to shorten jeans.

Let's start with buttons.

Usually when you buy a garment there will be a spare button included. If it is a shirt button you need they are readily available , if it's something like a coat button you may need to replace them all of you cannot find the spare.
But how to sew the button on? A lot of people can't do it so you are not alone.
You need buttons. You may have a box full or you may need to buy a new set.
Jaycotts have a great selection Buttons from Jaycotts

You will need sewing needles and beeswax
Sewing needles


If you never want your buttons to fall off again then I highly recommend this product
Fray Check

You will also need matching or contrasting thread

Sewing Thread

Mark the position of the button and thread your needle the thread needs to be double. I do not recommend tying a knot in the end but if you need to to then cut it off off after you have sewn the button on
Run the thread a few times through the beeswax. You will see that it has gaps in the cover so that you can pull your thread through easily. The reason for doing this is that it strengthens your thread and will stop it from tangling and from breaking.
 I really do highly recommend that you always use beeswax or synthetic wax, available in any haberdashery, whenever you are sewing a button on.
So a few tiny stitches where the button is going to be positioned bring your thread through to the right side of the fabric and sew your button on on as desired
You need to make sure that the button is not sewn on too tightly - it needs to be a bit loose so that there is enough room for the buttonhole.

 After a few stitches through the buttonholes, take your needle and thread to the front and wind it around your stitches a few times this will form a shank.

Then take your thread to the back of your work sew a few stitches and fasten off your thread securely

This is the best part. we are going to use fray check on the shank of the button , or you can use it on the back of the button or even on the front of the button. What it will do is stop your button from ever falling off
If I buy a garment I will always dab the stitches on the buttons with some fray check it really is a great product.
Fray check has many uses, it does what it says, it stops fabric from fraying. You can use it in lots of ways, for example on the ends of ribbons, on very fine fabric, absolutely everywhere.
 You can't see it when it's dry, you don't even know it's there.

There are lots of different ways you can sell your buttons on
You can use matching thread or contrasting thread. Buttons with four holes can be particularly decorative and you can be imaginative as you like when sewing them on. I like to use a contrast thread and choose a design ,for example an arrowhead, a square, two straight lines are just some of the ways that I can think of, and they  touch of individuality to your garment

What if you really don't want to sew button on? There are alternatives believe it or not and I do use them myself .
You can buy poppers and the tool to fasten them on with  they can be metal or plastic
There is a huge selection here, just ignore the first three which are sew on press studs and not what you want No sew poppers
You can buy jeans buttons which again can be non sew Jeans buttons

 and you can buy bachelor buttons which again are non  sew,  so there's lots of choice if you don't want to use a traditional button and buttonhole
Bachelor buttons

How to shorten jeans keeping the original hem.

Put your jeans on with the shoes you'll be wearing with them. You will need somebody to help you to pin up the hem to the length required.

Turn the jeans inside out and measure the amount is turned up

Divide this measurement in half and use it to form a fold on the inside of the jeans. You're making a pleat really . You should pin it right next to to the original stitching line. This is easier to understand if you have a pair of jeans in front of you

Turn your jeans the right side out and fold the new hem to the outside of the jeans  as in the photograph. The pins are the stitching line, Very carefully using your sewing machine ( if you haven't got one you could use a back stitch with double waxed thread)

 Stitch as close to the original hem as you possibly can removing the pins as you go

Check that the hem is even

Press the plate of fold upwards away from the bottom of the jeans. Press again carefully

And there you have pair of jeans which have been shortened without all the trouble of sewing a hem on what is really very tricky fabric and  thick fabric.

Nobody is going to notice at all.  They will see that your jeans are the perfect length and that's all
 so do give this a go it really is very easy.

I hope that this post is useful. Do let me know if you want me to show you how to do anything else .
I think we forget that most people are never taught how to do these things

Best wishes

Angela xxx