Attaching Buttons

I am attaching buttons to a bulky wt sweater. The button holes are too small for the bulky yarn but the yarn wt seems too bulky for thread.

ANy suggestions?



You don’t want to use sewing thread, as it can eventually tear right through the yarn. I’ve successfully used crochet thread in buttons, or even a lighter weight yarn would work.

I sometimes take a length of the yarn maybe 18" and untwist it as u would embroidery silk and then use as many strands as I can fit through the button. Hope that works for u

You can also use needlepoint yarns or embroidery floss. Unplied yarn works fine IF you test it on your swatch. Sometimes the friction of sewing with it unplied will weaken it and cause it to break. You can try using a bit of bees wax to see if that helps.

Also, make sure you’re attaching backer buttons to secure your decorative button. Otherwise you risk the dec button putting undue stress on your knit fabric and even causing damage to the adjoining fibers. (Esp if the buttons are worked a lot.) And have a shank that accommodates the depth of the fabric so the button sits comfortably in the buttonhole.


OOOOOO! Thanks for the tips, everyone! I never would have thought of the yarn friction, thread tearing the yarn, or of backer buttons. This is my first sweater so I really appreciate it.



Cristeen is right about sewing thread wearing through the yarn – tension on the thread actually causes it to cut through the yarn! But if you really want to use sewing thread or really have no other choice, there’s an old trick that sewers use where they place a second, smaller button inside the garment right behind the fastening button (so the fabric is between the buttons), then they just sew right through both buttons. Because the thread goes around the inside button instead of the yarn, it doesn’t damage it!

I’ve used this technique on several lightweight blouses – especially for that bottom button that always seems to pop off!:teehee: – and it works very well.