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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scraps:Covering Buttons (Letter to Sharmila)

Dear Sharmila,

In sewing class the other day you asked me about the covered button I'd made for my vest using scrap fabric from the project. Here's the lowdown.

* The covered button forms are available in normal places, like Joannes. There is a version with a tool or a no-tool one. I just get the no-tool type and snap them in place with my fingers. Maybe the other kind is good for heavier fabrics? I'm not sure.
There are different sizes of button forms
They come in round head
or flat head style
I have also used the flat head style for
creating beaded buttons, using
scrap fabric as a base to attach the
Make sure the beads don't go to far out if you
do that, but far enough to cover the scrap fabric
You really need to make a test covered button with
the same sized forms to figure that out!

* I use a piece of scrap paper (like a recycled mailer card) to match the pattern on the back of the package. It's just a half circle, but of course I cut out the entire circle. Some covered button packages have multiple circles depending on the size you bought.

* Then I center the pattern over a great design in my fabric. I have also cut up an old stained embroidered linen napkin, making use of the embroidery and cutting away the stain. (I need to find the jacket I put that on and photograph it!)

* I glue stick the circle on top of the rounded button form. When you and I were talking about this, Ronda suggested that you could interface with a lightweight fabric, like silk organza, if you were using a light or sheer fabric, like the beautiful sari fabric you were sewing with when I first met you.

* Then I turn the form over and catch the edges of the circle on the teeth on the back of the button form. I have to do lots of smoothing of the edges to avoid puckering.

* Once I'm happy with the placement of the fabric and it's caught well on all the teeth I snap the button back in place. I always get confused by which side goes inside, but one part has grooves that fit better. I have to push hard, but eventually it snaps in place with a satisfactory click. They don't come apart after that.

* Sometimes I make them up with scrap fabric, not knowing how I will use them and just put them in my button collection.

Hope you enjoy making some. I'd love to see what you come up with!

Your sewing buddy,


I forgot I had these with me yesterday.
I made three different types and tried them all out on my vest.
I might use one like a pin on the vest, just for decoration.
They are also nice on a purse or bag.

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