Monday, September 30, 2013

Mending Monday: Button Replacement Tips

Today's Mending Monday may seem a bit silly to write a full post on as it's probably the simplest/most commonly done mend ever - replacing a button. My husband recently mentioned how he basically has no pants to wear since they all have lost a button or don't fit, including these cargo shorts that he loves.
Immediately feeling like a bad wife, I sprung into action. I have kind of a strange but cool section of my button stash:
My lovely friend Tara gave me a brown paper bag full of these cards with buttons on them that she picked up at an estate sale. They are cards that they button Rochester Button Company salespeople would have to show customers their products! The only draw back to this nifty little set (I have like 15 cards that are much more full of buttons than this one) is that there is only one of each button. This worked out perfectly for my situation though!
So I selected a button that not only matched the shorts best (it's not perfect, but it's close),but was also the best size - you don't want a button that is the same width as your button hole - it needs to be a little smaller so it will go through the hole. Just try pushing the button through the hole if you're not sure. Next I grabbed my matching khaki colored thread and got to work. Here is a little trick that hopefully will make this silly post worthwhile for you. If you run your needle and thread through beeswax before sewing the button on, it will make it hold better! The beeswax on the threads will bond to itself, making it much harder to break as well as protecting the thread from fraying, which would also cause a break. The beeswax is very cheap in these little containers (so you don't get your sewing box all waxy) or you could just use a block of wax - it would work either way. Once I slide it through the wax, I stitched that bad boy on.
There was still a little tuft of string where the old button sat, so I knew exactly where to sew the button on. If you don't have that, you can look for the holes, or if your fabric doesn't show holes just zip the pants up and see where the fly naturally sits when closed and sew the button there.
Remember to sew diagonally from hole to hole (make an x pattern), and keep the stitches in the same place - this will make your sewing stronger than if you have the stitches spaced out on the back of the piece. I tie my buttons off with a knot I use in knitting - you pull the thread through itself part way to make another loop, pull it down tight, then put the thread completely through and pull it all tight. It makes for added security as it's basically a double knot.
Et Voilà! My husband can now wear his beloved shorts again. Now I just have to tackle the rest of his unwearable pants :)

Check back next Monday for another adventure in mending!

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