Learn to sew: How to sew machine buttonholes in 4 steps

In today’s sewing class we are going to show you how to sew machine buttonholes in 4 steps. There are two different ways to make buttonholes on your machine. The first, and quickest, are automatic buttonholes. This option usually comes installed in medium to advanced level sewing machines. The second and most frequently used option when starting to sew, and if you have a more basic machine, is the 4 step buttonhole. Many of our patterns have buttons therefore we think this is a class that we cannot miss out on. You will soon see just how easy it is to follow all the instructions and tips that we are going to give you. There will no longer be a pattern with buttons that you can resist.

supplies for machine buttonholes

How to sew machine buttonholes in 4 steps

buttonholes in 4 steps

Buttonholes are made with a minimum of two layers of fabric. And in the majority of cases they also have a layer of lightweight interfacing between the fabric layers to make the buttonhole more resistant and durable.

It is very important that you practice making the buttonholes, with the chosen button size and a piece of the same fabric as the project, before making the final buttonholes on your garment. Therefore, you will establish the perfect size hole for the button, bearing in mind that the button should be slightly difficult to push through the hole so that it doesn’t come undone easily.

To start, you must select the buttonhole option on your machine. In this case you will find it on the stitch length dial between 0 and 1.

select buttonholes lenght

If you are going to make them on a dress, shirt or skirt button band, you must fold the fabric and attach the interfacing as shown in the photos.

buttonholes in 4 steps button band

Mark the length and ends of the button in the correct position using a fabric marker pen or tailor’s chalk.

Mark the length of the buttons

Attach the buttonhole foot to your sewing machine.

4 STEPS

Select step 1 on the dial. This is the step to work the bottom part of the buttonhole. Press down on the machine pedal and work approximately 6 stitches. Position the needle out of the work and as high as it will go.

buttonholes step 1

Without touching anything else, change the dial to step 2. This is the step that will work the left side of the buttonhole with a narrow row of zig-zag stitch. Stop when you reach the end of the buttonhole as marked. Position the needle out of the work and as high as it will go.

buttonholes step 2

Select step 3 on the dial. This is the step to work the top of the buttonhole. Press down on the machine pedal and work approximately 6 stitches. Position the needle out of the work and as high as it will go.

buttonholes step 3

Lastly, select step 4 on the dial. This will work the right side of the buttonhole with a narrow row of zig-zag stitch but with a little more length. Stop when you reach the end of the buttonhole that is already sewn. Position the needle out of the work and as high as it will go.

buttonholes step 4

You have just sewn your first buttonhole! Congratulations. To finish, you only have to open it correctly with the stitch unpicker. Do this in various steps, always inserting, unpicking and taking out the unpicker in small areas to avoid cutting too much fabric or the stitching.

stitch unpicker

buttons size

Practice until you get perfect results. Now you are ready to sew one of our awesome patterns with buttonholes.

machine buttonholes in 4 steps