Position of buttons
Buttons are placed on the left side of women’s garments and on the right side of the men’s garments. They should be positioned at least half their diameter away from the edge of the garment. The larger the buttons, the wider the space. If desired, this space can be widened but should not be narrowed. Buttons are always sewn on double thickness of fabric.
Buttons are sewn under buttonholes after the buttonholes have been completely stitched and cut open. For horizontal buttonholes, the button center is generally located 1/8" from the buttonhole end closest to the garment opening. For vertical buttonholes, the button is positioned about 1/8" from the top of the buttonhole. Mark the button location by lapping the garment layers with the center fronts aligned (as if the garment were buttoned shut) and with the buttonhole layer placed on top.
Spacing of buttons
Correct placement of the buttons and buttonholes adds to the smartness of a garment. A row of tailored buttonholes and buttons is often the only trimming on the garment and hence they should be spaced carefully.
Buttons are generally spaced equally, although artistic groupings of buttons will add more interest. The standard distance of buttons in a shirt is 3” - 3.5” from each other. Generally the first and last button is marked and the distance is then divided equally.
The shank of the button connects the button with the cloth. The thicker the cloth of the buttonhole the longer the shank should be. All buttons should be sewn to the garment with a thread shank as the tight stitching without the shank draws and pulls the button and does not give a neat appearance. To make a thread shank, place a pin/needle across the top of the button under the first thread. This crossbar helps in making a thread shank. A shank is made by wrapping the thread under the button.
Position of buttonholes
Buttonholes are either worked with hand or made on machine. The buttonhole length is calculated as follows:
Width of the button
Height of the button
3-6 mm for finishing the ends of the buttonhole
The buttonhole should be large enough for the button to fit snugly and easily.
The standards of a well-made buttonhole are:
- Width is appropriate to the weight of the fabric and size of the buttonhole.
- Ends are bar-tacked to prevent buttonhole from tearing under stress.
- Stitches are evenly spaced on each side of the buttonhole.
- Buttonhole is at least 3 mm longer than the button.
- Ends have not been cut open accidentally.
- Interfacing supporting the buttonhole to match the fashion fabric.
- Buttonhole is on-grain; vertical buttonholes are perfectly parallel to the garment edge, horizontal buttonholes are at perfect right angles to the edge.