Finishing a felted bag

I feel like an idiot for having to ask this but I need the answer. I have 4 buttons (decorative only) to sew onto a felted bag and I want it to look neat on the inside which will be visible. Since the buttons I sew on anything else are far from neat I’m wondering about how others do it.

First- what kind of button? Is it the kind with one hole behind it in a shank, is it two holes through the front, or four holes through the front?

If it is a shank button, just carefully stick your needle through at the same spots every time you go in and out of your fabric. You want enough thread wrapped through so that it’s sturdy, but going overboard with stitching makes it look sloppy. You can’t avoid tying a knot, but make it as close to the stitching as possible. I tie three square knots on top of each other (they look like one knot).

If it has two holes, making a shank will hold the stitching against the inside of the bag, which will be neater. How to make a shank: attach the button to the bag as you would usually do, BUT don’t pull it tight against the fabric, leave about a quarter inch of space between the outside of the bag and the button (it will look like it’s dangling and that’s good). Push the needle and thread from inside the bag to the outside, but don’t go through the button, instead wrap the thread around the loops beneath the button a few times. This makes the shank which is like a stem for the button. Push the needle back down through the inside of the stem (that’s important or it won’t look right) and fasten off on the inside of the bag. One bonus to a shank- your material won’t pucker when you close the button, because it’s not pulling on the fabric.

If you have a four hole button-the only instruction I have to add to the two hole button directions is this- decide whether you will sew the button in an cross or parallell lines-- X or ll --then stick with that shape so that it will be neat.

If this seems confusing, I recommend “Sewing for Dummies” or “Everything Sewing” in order to see pictures. Or you could google “sew a button” and see what you get. Good luck!

Thanks for the info. I do know how to sew on a button and I think there’s little danger that felted wool is going to pucker. The one piece of information that I wanted was how to keep the thread on the inside of the bag - which will be visible - from showing. I guess I’ll just try one and see how much the knot blends with the felted wool.

Maybe I can help a little. My name is Karen and I am brand new to this forum. However I have been sewing for almost 50 years.You might want to use a trick we use with coat buttons. Place a small flat button, the same color as the bag on the inside --i.e. behind the decorative button… Sew them both on at the same time and then hide the final knot behind the button. If you keep the thread pattern neat in the small button, folks will think you are really good at what you do!

Good Luck

Karen W.

Do we get to see your bag? :smiley:

Thanks, Karen. I wish I had thought of that before I went ahead and sewed the buttons on. The bag is for an auction and I took it in today. Normally I would have time to “fix” it but I’m also chairing the auction and wearing more hats than I care to count so I’ll just hope it’s OK. Actually it looks pretty good…the felted wool covers a lot of sins.


kewsew’s button trick sounds cool. Good Luck with the bag at your auction. :smiley: I’m sure it looks great!

What a great idea, kewsew! I’m going to use that from now on.

hmm, that reply made me feel really good… :rollseyes: