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Button placement on bodice front

Alexandra | Posted in General Discussion on

Recently a Threads article said, when placing buttons down the center front of a blouse to put one level with the bust point.  This would then line up your nipples with the button.  Years ago, some sewing maven I was watching/reading said to never line up your button with your nipples!  I never have and was somewhat taken aback by the directions to do so in the Threads article.  So what do you do?  Line ’em up or put the button up or down from the nipple horizontal line

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  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    Years ago I read to put them at the widest bust part.  It seemed logical and I've done it since.  I believe it keeps things from gaping.  What reason would there be not to put it at the fullest point? I can't think of a logical one, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.

    1. user-51823 | | #2

      i'm thinking that if the nipples line up with that button, there'd be potential to create a strong impression of a horizontal line running across your chest and drawing attention, which i don't want.
      however, i'm like you, i'm not flat and i get gaping unless the top is oversized, which i tend to prefer anyway

      1. thehat | | #13

        I just made a blouse and I put the bottons 2inches apart and that stop the gap

  2. Teaf5 | | #3

    The advice on not to line them up make sense if the buttons are decorative accents and contrast with the fabric; the eye would then be drawn to that center point.

    However, a full-busted person doesn't want to call attention to that area with brightly contrasting buttons anyway, so it probably doesn't matter tremendously. A neutral or coordinating button at that point solves a lot of problems for the full-busted woman who is probably embellishing necklines to draw the eye upward anyway.

    The fact that the sewing maven said this "years ago" suggests that it might have been one of those suggestions--like not wearing shiny shoes because the boys could see up your skirt--that focused on avoiding any hint of sensuality in women's clothing. Ironically, placing the buttons in a way that allows that area to gape open on a full-busted woman seems to accomplish just the opposite!

  3. mem | | #4

    MM I think this could be the beginning of a whole new thread on "the most ridiculous advice we have ever been given" . I think that unless your blouse is see through and you areny wearing a a bra! (In which case button placement would be the least of your worries),placing a button where gaping is most likely to occurr is definitely the best policy.I remember reading in a tips section in a past Threads that using groups of three buttons beginning with one set over your bust was a good idea . I have tried this and found it to work very well.

  4. Josefly | | #5

    I agree with mem's humorous assessment that a button should be put at the fullest part of the body. Seems to me that even contrasting buttons down the front of the body would cause the eye to move vertically, not horizontally?

    1. SewNancy | | #6

      Agree, it reads as a vertical line. Years ago I made a jacket and didn't place the button at the full bust point and I never wore this jacket closed. It gaped. I have a D cup and always make sure that the button is at fullest point. I also make sure that the stance alows me to place a button here as it is much more flattering.

      1. Alexandra | | #7

        It's funny the advise/tips we glome onto, I have been putting the buttons off the horizontal nipple line so long I wonder if I'm capable of doing anything else without major angst!

        Thanks everyone

        1. dotty | | #8

          As a full busted person, I have a definite opinion about buttons.I always use them! The verticle line takes off pounds, lessening the potato sack look. I don't really like t shirts partly for that reason.I usually start at the fullest part of the bust and do my button spacing from there. If the buttons are very small and therefore close together, I don't worry about gaping if the garment has sufficient ease.

  5. LindaG | | #9


    Your note reminded me of a pet peeve:

    When I look at ready to wear double breasted women's jackets, it seems to me that there are decorative buttons placed just at the peak of the bust, one on either side. I always wonder why the buttons were put right there --- since they are not functional.

    I wonder whether the old advice was to avert this particular reminder of what is under the clothing.


    1. solosmocker | | #10

      The shaped bra cups in vogue today hide any thing that may be underneath so the nipple issue is mute in my opinion. Until recently I have been a D cup in my adult life on a 110 LB frame. If I didn't learn quick and early to put that button at the fullest part of the bust I would be turning more heads than I'd ever care to. If it gapes do a full bust adjustment but only after lining up the button placement properly, right between the breasts.The original silly advice - sounds like a Victorian holdover!

    2. ctirish | | #11

      You are so right, I remember when the blouses with the amulets and the tabs on the sleeve were in style, they all had two pockets on the front with buttons where your nipples were underneath. I wore the blouse because it was a hard color to find, but I hated taking my jacket off. 

      On RTW I think they take the length of the front and divide by the number of buttons they should use, subtract one to save money and then they gape because  the buttons are too far apart.

  6. thehat | | #12

    just a laugh in what age group your in  in your teens  up high in your twentys a little lower and inyour forty`s alittle on  the down side and when in your seventys can we all laugh and say what nipples or where did they go  ha Ha

  7. stitchintime | | #14

    On the blouse I just finished I also followed the Threads tips to

    1. place a button at the bust point

    2. use 2 buttons grouped together instead of one.

    I used 4 sets of 2 but I'm only 5' 1 1/2" tall. It made for a very interesting finish and no gaping.

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