Have that button that always pops off?  You know the one.  Whether it is on a pair of pants, on a shirt, or most often on a coat- buttons tend to loosen and fall off.  Sometimes this is because the edge of a button is rough or slightly sharp.  The edge of the inside of the button wears down the thread.  Sometimes buttons fall off because strain is put on the fabric and the thread gives way, or even pulls a hole in the fabric.

Fixes:

Use two buttons.  Putting a thin, flat button on the opposite side of the fabric can solve this problem beautifully.  When you sew them on, the thread goes through the outside button, then through the fabric, then through the inside button and back again.  When the outside button pulls the thread, the thread then pulls not at the fabric, but at the back button, anchoring it nicely.

Give the button a shank.  If the button on the coat is sewn very thoroughly and tightly, it can be so tight that there isn’t room enough to button it.  A winter coat can be thick and you will need to accommodate for that bulk when sewing on the button.  To do this, leave some give in the thread as you sew on the button.  When you are ready to finish, wrap your thread around the give, and that will make the button stand out a bit from the fabric.  Then, knot your thread as usual and you are ready to go!

Another fix:  Is the button sharp or rough on the inside?  A light coating of clear nail polish can smooth rough spots without plugging the holes in the button or making it look too weird.  Paint on the back side of the button.

Did the button pull a hole in the garment?

The fix:

Find a small bit of similar fabric, the size of a quarter will do, and put it behind the hole.  If possible, nest the new fabric piece between the outer fabric, and the lining.  Then with a small machine stitch and a thread that matches the garment, sew row after row of small stitches over the hole.  Think of it like overdoing quilting, but in a very small space.  The stitches you are putting in will show, so cover the whole and the fraying fabric, but try not to make a big enough sewing area that the button wouldn’t cover most of it.  What you are doing is making a very strong patch!  You can then sew the button in the original spot, where the hole used to be.

Side note:  The patching method works amazingly well with holes in jeans if you get the right fabric for the patch and use the exact right thread color and stitch length.  Properly done your patched area will be as strong or stronger than the original!

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