Adding buttons to a knit or crochet project can be a frustrating experience. Knit and crochet fabrics are not as stable as woven fabrics, so buttons often end up looking loose or untidy, which, in turn, affects the finished appearance of a garment. There are several different methods used to reinforce buttons and ensure that they are more firmly attached. One simple method is to attach a button backer to the wrong side of the fabric. This can be a small piece of fabric, felt, or (my favorite method) a second, smaller, button. While the main button is being sewn on to the front of the garment, the backer button is simultaneously attached to the wrong side, securely anchoring the main button in place. And, best of all, this method works with both crochet and knit fabrics.
You’ll need one backer button for each of the front-facing buttons that will be attached to the finished garment. Choose buttons that are flat, have at least two holes, and are smaller than the buttons that will be on the front of the garment. Backer buttons that are transparent or the same color as the finished garment are less conspicuous on the inside of the button band.
To attach buttons to your handmade garment you’ll need a sewing needle and the yarn used for the project or, if the yarn is too thick to easily pass through the holes in the buttons, sewing thread or embroidery floss in a similar colour to the garment (one metre/1 yard per button).
All photos by Tonia Lyons.