Sewing a button on a shirt

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HitMan009, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Everyone,

    I am trying to reattach some buttons on my shirt. I remember reading about attaching buttons to a shirt with something called the crow's foot stitch. Can someone explain to me how this is done or maybe a link to a webpage that teaches it...

    Thanks
     


  2. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    To Make the Crow's-foot Make the shape of the Crow's-foot with tailors' chalk. Begin at lower left-hand corner and carry thread upward, taking a very short, straight stitch across the top point of Crow's-foot. (Fig. A.) Turn the work and take a very short stitch across the lower right- hand point as shown in Fig. B. Make a short, straight stitch across the lower left-hand point. (Fig. C.) Continue taking each stitch just inside of and below the previous one. (Fig. D.) Fig. E shows the completed Crow's-foot.[​IMG]
     


  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    This seems like a lot of work without much real payoff.
     


  4. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    No Joke, but the man wanted to know.
     


  5. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Nightowl's crow's foot stitch is perfectly correct. However, it is different when sewing buttons. The described stitch will only work with 3-hole buttons unless you are just using the crow's foot as a backing upon which to place your button.
    The stitch I use when I want to make a 4-hole stitch that a machine cannot (or couldn't last time I checked) I call an hourglass stitch. In fact, it is a cross-stitch with the two top points of the X connected and the two bottom points of the X connected. Generally, machines only connect one or the other.

    ------
    /
    X
    / \\
     


  6. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Thanks for the quick replies. This seems a little too much work just to fasten a button. I am used to just going around the button in loops crosswise 4 times for each cross, in other words, 4 times one direction then 4 times the other direction and pulling the string back up under the button without going through the hole in the button to create a shank and then threading it back through the back, tying a knot and cutting the excess string. I noticed on my shirt I ordered from WWChan a while back that the back of the stitching for the button was just three small stitches in the form similiar to the Mercedes logo like this:

    |
    / \\
     


  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That's how I know a "crow's foot on buttons:

    Button has 4 holes:   1     2

                                  3     4
                                         
    stitch from hole 1 to 4, then from hole 3 to 4 and hole 2 to4. So you have three rows of stitching, all ending up in hole 4, which will form the shape of a petal (or a crow's foot).

    Easiest way to make a shank (for the beginner): insert a match between button and fabric. Stitch on button, pull out match and wrap thread a few times around the shank. With a bit of experience you can do it without the match: just do not pull the thread tight, then wrap thread around to stand up.
     


  8. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    That's exactly how I do it too. I had never heard of nightowl's method...I don't understand it at all.
     


  9. Rabbi Mark

    Rabbi Mark Well-Known Member

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    my mother's trick for sewing on a button (when she worked her way through college as a maid at a resort in Vermont and did a lot of such things) was to double the thread before sewing.  That is, thread the needle then keep pulling on the end you just stuck through the eye of the needle, bringing it back about a foot or so.  Cut the thread off the spool and tie the two loose ends to each other, then tie it off again just to make sure you have a good "stopper" end on it.

    Now every time you pull the needle through the fabric, you have two threads instead of just one.

    Of course, Mr. Kabbaz is shuddering and seriously considering tracking me down to thrash me with a single thread, but the buttons don't fall off when you double it up -- and isn't that the whole point?
     


  10. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    If you use regular thread, doubling the thread is standard procedure, AFAIK. For big coat buttons, I actually quadruple the thread, that is, double it and then stick the doubled end through the eye of the needle, then tie it off, leaving me with a four-thread strand to work with. If you want to avoid this, you can get thicker waxed thread to do it properly, but I'm not sure what kind exactly.
     


  11. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    Forgive my ignorance, but...where's the button go?
     


  12. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nightowl's method, which might also be called a crow's foot, is a reinforcement used on top of inverted pleats, for example a back pleat in a sport coat (not a very common design feature these days) or in the back of a traditional loden coat.

    More often, because it's quicker, the triangular reinforcement is not hand embroidered but an appliquÃ[​IMG], usually a decorative piece of leather or felt (as this will not fray).
     


  13. stache

    stache Senior member

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    On a four hole button I sew a 'square' plus an 'x' through the middle. Then I wind it around underneath a few times to make the shank. I top it off by sewing through the shank twice to lock the thread.
     


  14. gorgekko

    gorgekko Senior member

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    I usually just double the thread and then go vertically (when it's four hole buttons) on one side then with half the thread remaining switch over and do the other side. It looks like:

    | |
    -

    Never had a button fall off after sewing one on.
     


  15. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    J
    The thread you are referring to is called Cotton GlacÃ[​IMG]. Usually #24. Rabbi Mark
    Unless using silk as on a suit, glacÃ[​IMG] button thread should always be doubled. You can come out of hiding now, Rabbi. bengal-stripe
    You're quacked. That's a duck. Tiger's foot is a crow's foot. Now how, you may ask, can a Tiger's foot be a crow's foot ... losing it ... losing it. Moving rapidly on (before Bengal decides to come after me), I tried to take photos today of Monika sewing a button. If they come out clearly, I'll post them.
     


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