Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shank that Button!

Not to be confused with "Stab that Button".

A recent thread on Stitcher's Guild reminded me of this techique.

Detachable Buttons

If you have a button that can’t be washed or dry cleaned, you can make it removable by using special safety pins. Dritz and Bohin both make styles that work for this purpose.

If the button already has a shank, it’s easy to just pin it to your garment. But what if it doesn’t? Creating a thread shank solves this problem.
To create a thread shank on a button, follow these simple steps.

Thread a needle with about 16” to 20 inches of thread, drawing the thread halfway through the needle so you have 2 equal length tails.

Leaving about a 2” to 3” tail, tie the thread around a toothpick or large needle. I’ve used a #18 chenille needle in the photos. If you use a toothpick, make sure it’s a smooth one that will be able to slide out of the thread loops. This will become clear in step 5.

Hold the pick or needle on the backside of the button, holding the tail out of the way and sew several times through the button holes, just as if you were attaching it to a garment. You will be looping the thread over the pick or needle on the backside.

When you have sewn an “attractive” number of stitches through the button holes, bring the thread through to the back. Slide the pick or need out from under the thread loops.

Take several stitches through the loops, creating a shank.

Make a square knot with the tail and needle thread. Clip. Dab a bit of sealant on the knot.

The picture is blurry, but I think you can see the shank.

Attach with a safety pin! I’m using the Bohin’s Quilters curved safety pins. Dritz makes a pin especially for this.

The front of the button gives the appearance of a traditionally sewn button but it’s quick and easy to remove for cleaning.

My jacket is coming along. Shell is complete, lining complete less sleeves and only about 2 hours of finishing work.

The bad news? The extra 15 lbs I've been ignoring? They are really there :(  So while it fit when I tried on a copy at Sew Expo last year, there is no way this will fit until I'm back to my fighting weight. I am finishing it any way. Maybe a pic or two tomorrow!


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