Quick Tip – Button sewing

I hope 2018 has started off smoothly for you? Luckily I didn’t blog about any new years resolutions or I would have to go back to delete that post!

It’s been a while… Blogging was abandoned while annoying distractions like work got in the way… So to ease back into 2018, here’s one I made earlier ūüėČ

A little thing that catches my eye is when buttons are stitched on so firmly that they pucker the garment.¬† If the button is sewn on too tightly, there isn’t any space for the layer with the buttonhole to fit.


Ideally with a flat button, you should leave some room between the button and the button band, so that the buttonhole layer fits nicely, and doesn’t look either squished or too loose.¬† The amount of space depends on the thickness of the layer on top.



Which brings me to my old black cardi… I’ve been working my way through some alterations – after having a big clean out of clutter.¬† I had bundles of clothes given to me by family members to re-use, along with bags of fabrics – mostly curtain remnants.¬† I sent the bulk of it to recycling – and I was left with just one box of clothes that were worth altering, and one box of clothes that I might re-use at some point.¬† All the extra stuff had just gathered over the years and was getting in the way. Now I can finally see all the pieces that I actually want to use!

One item for a quick fix was a cropped black cardi that was missing some buttons.¬† I found 6 buttons that were almost exactly the same …sometimes close enough is good enough!




I used a hairslide under the button to give a little breathing room:


Stitched through a couple of times


Then removed the slide, brought the thread up between the button and fabric and wound it around 4-5times, then brought the thread to the back and knotted it off. Job done!


I’ll keep dipping into that box of alterations, and hopefully it won’t start to grow into multiple boxes again!


How to shorten a jacket cuff…by not shortening a jacket cuff!

I try to avoid most alterations, they can become more than you bargained for – see Mrs Mole’s blog if you need to understand why!  But sometimes I will repay a favour to a friend, which is how this came my way.
 I needed to shorten a child’s suit jacket sleeve (image below).  It has three buttons and buttonholes, and was needed quickly.

But rather than mess with those buttons and hem corners, I took off the sleeves, and cut the extra length from the top.

I traced the new seamline with thread and checked the fit and new length.  Then it was just a quick trim before fitting it back into the armhole.

This could also be done with a mans suit , depending on how much needs to be shortened. Look out for a very tapered sleeve as if you move down too far you might not have enough width to fill the armhole!  Always a good idea to thread trace and check fit first ūüôā

Covering buttons – a diy solution


Apparently necessity is the mother of invention.¬† Well I needed two satin covered buttons and quickly. My solution is not something I’d recommend –¬†unless there’s no time for a better option!


I was putting the finishing touches on a friends jacket, and we hadn’t bought any self-cover buttons, because I was certain that I already had some………… Nope.

But I did have some flat metal buttons with a small shank. ¬†The buttons are purely for¬†decoration,¬†and as they won’t be handled much, I came up with a quick fix. ¬†(This is about as far from a couture method as you can get!)

I cut circles from the satin (slightly larger than the buttons),  and gathered them around the buttons ;





Then I cut two more circles slightly smaller than the buttons.



I used a lighter to seal the raw edges Рthis only works with synthetic fabrics.   Then I cut a small slit in the centre, and these were placed over the backs, like so-



A glue gun was used to attach them.



I then stitched them to the organza jacket, with a small square of organza inside the jacket as reinforcement for the light fabric.


Here’s what the jacket looked like finished – it’s almost impossible to photograph because of the transparency! ¬†Unfortunately I didn’t have time to stop and get in-progress photos. ¬†It was an interesting project, using a mix of bound and French seams.
*** If you want to have some buttons covered properly, have a look at the beautiful ones Helen used on her last dress ***


Lisette B6168 Red dress

I have yet to get some pictures of my new¬†culottes, so in the meantime I’m sharing some details from a dress I’ve been making.¬† It’s a Lisette dress from Butterick –¬†B6168.

There is a detailed sew-along on the Lisette site, but¬†their version is unlined.¬†¬†So because I’m lining my dress, some pictures might be helpful for anyone who wants to add a lining.


b6168 lisette


My main fabric is a red linen-look cotton, I bought it locally as the end of a roll.¬†Minerva Crafts looks to have something similar for sale ¬†(I’ve sent for¬†a sample¬†and,¬†if it is the same fabric, I might buy some for a light summer top)¬†.¬†¬† It is quite lightweight, so I am lining it with a lightweight cotton that I had lying around.


Lisette B6168

There are centre front pleats which could make lining it bulky, so the front bodice panels are actually underlined ( both fabric are tacked together and then treated as one piece). The pleats are then folded and held in place with pins or tacking stitches. I made a quick muslin of the bodice and it fit well – so if you’re above a b-cup, you would most likely need to alter the pattern first!


The centre front facing is being attached below:




Here’s how the inside right bodice looks:



The front tab is caught in the stitching of the facing on the right side . The facing is understitched as far as possible:




The tab is then caught onto the left bodice when sewing the other facing on:




Here is how it looks from the inside ,after the fronts were overlapped and the waist band pieces have been attached:    bod8


I am working on it in small chunks of time in between other work and it is coming together nicely.

I’ve¬†also cast on a new knitting project!!! I’m determined to have some new knits ready in plenty¬†of time for next¬†winter.¬†¬†All the fantastic entries from SWAP 2015 must have inspired me to start planning my projects ahead of time!!

P.S …..Check out this years winner Kate¬†who blogs at¬†Fabrickated¬†



Invisible Zipper finish sewing tip

*Hi there new visitors & welcome. If you find this tip helpful be sure to follow Make&Wear for future posts :)*

Sometimes invisible zips worry me that they will come open. Especially when they start at the waist of a skirt. Instead of a hook and eye (which can be difficult to see). I use a fabric loop and button – on the inside.


Before the facing goes on, I catch a loop of lining fabric onto the zipper tape as below-


Then attach the facing as normal :


And all that’s left to do is sew a small flat button onto the opposite side of the zip ūüôā That should save any wardrobe malfunctions! ! Happy sewing, Chris