How to Buttonhole Stitch by Hand – (Step by Step Guide)

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

How to Sew Buttonholes by Hand: Sewing buttonholes by hand is an old-fashioned craft that will never become obsolete – especially if you enjoy the aesthetics of a handmade garment. Hand-sewing a garment adds more character and depth to its appearance while continuing to be a popular choice for luxury clothing. But, if you’ve never done it before, it can be intimidating to figure out how to sew buttonholes by hand. Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating buttonholes by hand:

Can You Make a Buttonhole by Hand?

How to Sew Buttonholes by Hand

Yes, you can make a buttonhole by hand. Though it takes some practice and patience, it is definitely an achievable task! To start:

  1. Measure where your buttonholes will go and mark the three lines box on the fabric with a tailor’s chalk or pencil.
  2. Cut a small slit just big enough for the button to fit through using scissors or an X-Acto knife.
  3. Use an embroidery needle and thread to carefully stitch along these lines in a zigzag pattern until you reach the desired length.
  4. Knot off your thread and snip away any excess fabric around the edges noting that if there are multiple layers of fabric, be sure not to cut all of them!

With practice, making beautiful buttonholes becomes easier over time

How to Sew Buttonholes by Hand? – (How to do the button stitch step by step with Images)

Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
You can use Fusible web for shrinky fabric
Choose Thread – Pearl cotton or Number 10 Emrdoidery thread
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
Mark button size by pencil
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
Star marking the fabric with ruler
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
Cut a small slit
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
Start threading
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
Carefully stitch
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
Stitch along these lines in a zigzag pattern
Sew Buttonhole Without Sewing Machine
You have made it!

What is the Buttonhole Formula?

The buttonhole formula is an equation used to calculate the size of a buttonhole needed for a garment. The formula requires your measurements for the length, width, and diameter of the button which will be used and the thickness of the fabric used on the garment. The calculation is then done using basic math equations to determine the size required for the buttonhole.

According to, “The length of your test buttonhole should equal half the circumference plus 1/8 inch. If your button is very thick, you may need to increase the size a little more.”

How Do You Make a Buttonhole at Home?

Making a buttonhole at home is a fairly simple task. All you need for this project are some basic tools, fabric, and thread. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut two parallel lines into the fabric, leaving space between them for your buttonhole. It’s important that these lines are roughly the same size as your intended button.
  2. Secure the edges of your buttonhole by stitching a running stitch (or backstitch) around its perimeter.
  3. With a tapestry needle and waxed thread, create small stitches across the top edge of the buttonhole opening to reinforce it and prevent fraying.
  4. Tack down the raw edges at each end of the buttonhole with small stitches, so they lie flat against the fabric when finished.
  5. Finally, use an overcast stitch to cover all raw edges for an even finish completely—this will also make sure your buttonhole does not fray or come undone over time!

Can I Sew a Buttonhole Without a Machine?

Yes, it is possible to sew a buttonhole without a machine! All you need are some basic hand-sewing supplies such as needles, thread, and scissors. The most common way to do this is to use a running stitch or back stitch with strong thread around the edges of the hole.

You can tightly gather the stitches together to create a secure hold before cutting a slit in the center of the fabric. It may take some practice to get comfortable creating buttonholes by hand, but it can be done with patience and practice.

People Also Ask – FAQ

What materials do I need to sew a buttonhole by hand?

You will need a needle, thread, fabric, a marking tool, and a button to sew a buttonhole by hand. Use a ruler or measuring tape to mark the size of the buttonhole.

Can I use a sewing machine to sew buttonholes instead?

Yes, there are some specific sewing machine to sew buttonholes as well. Most modern sewing machines have a buttonhole function that automates the process and creates uniform buttonholes.


Buttonholes are not only essential to keep your garment securely fastened but were also historically used as an indication of wealth and status. By making them yourself, you can have a high-quality look that will last for years and announce to the world your craftsmanship.

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