Tagged: knit

before & after: how to sew buttons to knitted garments

stitching buttons to knit tutorial

I’ve got a tiny, simple tutorial for you today. I know the experienced seamstresses among you will say to yourselves, really? that’s tutorial-worthy?, and my reply is, sure. Because I’ve got a soft spot for you newbies out there.

I was walking around Target yesterday, buying up clearance boys’ flannel shirts to which I’ll add a few darts and wear proudly. The boys’ shirts always end up with the better plaids, somehow, plus they’re longer. And since I’m buying in kids, they’re cheaper (as in, less than $4 each). As Michael Scott would say, this is a win-win-win solution.

turquoise & orange striped gloves: beforeSuddenly I was hit with a revelation: what is it like to buy clothes when you can’t sew? How discouraged would I feel if I were forced to buy clothes exactly as they are, rather than buying them for what they could be? I can’t even imagine. I’m sure that I’d spend much more money on my clothes, and I wouldn’t be as happy, as me, wearing those clothes. So I’m planning a series of “before & after” tutorial/inspiration-based posts, meant to give a little push and instruction to those who might think “oh, but i’m not crafty”. Because modifying clothes, making them perfect for you, isn’t all that hard. And it is so very worth it.

So here’s a simple tutorial: how to stitch buttons to knitted garments. I found these convertible gloves, turquoise and orange stripe!, in the dollar spot. My favorite colors, but they had a black button! Who decided that? A change of button quickly carried these gloves to their full potential, and I’m hoping you’ll apply this simple technique to your gloves and cardigans so that they are perfect for you.

stitching buttons to knit: step 1

First, pick out a rather large needle. We’re going to be stitching through the gaps in the knit, so there’s no sense fussing with a tiny needle for this project! Cut a decent length of thread (16 inches or so, more if your button has 4 holes), and thread your needle – but don’t tie any knots.

stitching buttons to knit: step 2

Pick out the spot where you want your button to go, and insert the needle between the knit loops of yarn. You may have to stretch the fabric a little bit to find your hole, but you generally don’t want to have your thread go through the yarn because that can decrease the structural integrity of the knitted object. Be sure to leave a tail on the other side, see?

stitching buttons to knit: step 3

Pass your needle through your button, then go back into the knitted garment a few loops away from where you were before. Make sure your tail is still there on the other side!

stitching buttons to knit: step 4

Now take your tail and your “active” length of thread and tie them in a reef knot or two. Make sure the first knot is tight… this ensures that your button will not wobble around.

stitching buttons to knit: step 5

See? A nice tight knot. Don’t cut your tail!

stitching buttons to knit: step 6

Now keep going up through that first hole, through your button, and down through that second hole until your button is sturdily attached.

stitch buttons to knit: step 7

After you’ve done enough passes, pull your thread through to the back side and tie it to the tail again with a few more reef knots. Now you can trim both your tails! And you’re done!

stitching buttons to knit: finished

See? So much better than that plain black button.

sewing in striped gloves

And now I can sew in style. ;)

fashion friday

rain falls, clouds open,
sun dries the earth, whispering,
“time for something new.”

black stripe shirtLately I’ve been in a peculiarly fashion-conscious mood. While I like to think most of my outfits are fairly cute, they typically consist of jeans and either a Threadless tee or one of my handmade shirts. I think it’s an annual feeling that I share with the rest of the world: we’re going back to school! we want to look cute and slightly different from last year!

heart print t-shirtI’ve been digging through the fabric bins, finally bringing a few of my visions to life. I’ve lost the long sleeve to my favorite and vastly edited t-shirt pattern, which has slowed me down considerably. I plan on hacking through my thermals that I got on Jo-Ann’s clearance to make a few cute and cozy things for Cleveland winters, and I have some fuchsia jersey knit that I’m playing with… I’m hoping it will turn into a cute jumper-esque top.

These pictures are of shirts that I made during my spring break shirt-making frenzy, and hadn’t photographed until now. My wonderful brother has been taking loads of pictures, enough for me to decide which I look least goofy in (he typically gets me to make lots of faces, from big laughs to pure exasperation), and I can finally share them with you!

The first shirt was a recon, originally a large, overstretched, unflattering turtleneck… a 25-cent find at my favorite annual flea market. This is the before picture, although I had already severed the sleeves:

black stripe shirt before

I always cut the sleeves off as the first step in my reconstructed shirts, because as much as I dislike installing set-in sleeves, it makes the fitting process much easier. I sliced and trimmed and fixed the neck, tightened and shortened the sleeves, and made it fit. I love recons because you can re-use the bottom hem! My one regret is that I did not think to match the stripes of the sleeves with the body. They match with themselves, but not all the way across. (sigh)

The second shirt was made from scratch, and the pattern was built by tracing one of my favorite shirts that features a scoopneck and a raglan cap-sleeve. I used baby heart fabric (i always fall for baby/juvenile prints) and super-stretchy turquoise rib knit to make this cute, summery top.

Yesterday I reconstructed a men’s wool sweater to fit me wonderfully; I think it might be the coolest article of clothing I’ve made so far, and you can’t beat the $4 price tag for real wool! I’ll get pictures as soon as I can stand to wear it for more than a minute in this heat.

Another teaser – I’ve been doing lots of hair-thinking lately, and I’m debating whether or not I should get bangs… but along with this decision making came a brilliant idea for a super easy and wearable ribbon headband! (i’ve never been able to stand the pain of wearing a headband for more than a few minutes.) I’ll post the tutorial tomorrow.

have a wonderful weekend!