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ladies buttonhole placement

hermosa | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello,everyone. This my first post to my first group ever. Off and on, I have been a Threads reader since the 40’s issues and I love it. Somehow, I missed # 58 which I heard had a tip on proper placement line for buttons. It may even have been in another book. I’ve read so many. I’m almost seventy and still making my good garments carefully.
Mainly because they fit so well and I can wear all the cotton, silk and rayon I want. Department stores don’t carry what I want in my price range (or out of it either). I’ve been sewing all my life, I have seven machines, starting with a Singer treadle, so I guess I will be forever creating and sharing. I would love it if someone would direct me to where I can find my chart.I actually have a small business where I help people look their best, so I need to always look great.Thanks a heap in advance. By the way, hermosa is spanish for gorgeous. I’m also a long time member of the American Sewing Guild. Bye for now.


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    Hi and welcome! By chart, did you mean for the button placement? While this is not from the article, at least I don't think so, I put my first button at the midline of my bust, then the next at the top of the bodice. I use that measurement to then do the rest of the buttons below the bust. I am quite petite, however, so that may not work for you but I have seen similar described in some publications. Es un placer ayudarle!

    1. hermosa | | #2

      Thank you, yes, I was looking for a chart. What I remember seeing was a chart that showed how far in from the edge of the extension to place the edge of the button. Because some buttons are larger than others, the extensions may be different widths. Up and down is a personal need and like, but center front to edge of fabric is a little different. thanks again, I'm excited to be in this group.

      1. Brine | | #3

        I don't know if this is the information that you are looking for, but the overlap should be equal to the diameter of the button and the button is placed on the center line. Vertical buttonholes are placed on the center line and horizontal buttonholes generally extend 1/8 inch past the center line on to the extension.

        1. hermosa | | #8

          Thank you so much

      2. diday | | #4

        It's not exactly a "chart" but does explain button positioning on garment. "Machine Buttonholes Made Easy," Guide C-231 from New Mexico State University:http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-231.html

        1. surya | | #10

          That's a useful article. Thanks for the link. Is the Bra line they refer to at the apex of the bust or directly out from the bottom edge of the bra itself? It is hard for me to tell from the picture.

          1. diday | | #11

            The bust apex, or full bust. Here's another reference for buttonhole positioning.http://sewing.about.com/library/weekly/aa060399.htm"Buttonholes are generally evenly spaced on a garment. The areas to determine first for placement, are the neckline, center (or fullest) bust line area, and waistline. . . ."

      3. Teaf5 | | #5

        Most patterns come with a button placement pattern piece that corresponds to the size of the button recommended and the size of pattern you're using. They also take into account the amount of overlap.If not, you can cut a long strip of tissue the length of the overlap and use it to test different button placements. This makes a visual guide rather than a mathematical one and works very well for "the overall look" of a garment. (It's also easier than a chart for us math-challenged folks!)I cut this tissue exactly the length of the hemmed & finished center front, and use pins to get a sense of vertical placement. Then I draw "buttons" in those spots on the tissue and hold it up to the garment as I'm wearing it to get a better idea of spacing, widths, etc. It's fast and easy to make several different options in tissue, and I get a much better sense of what will look best.I've noticed that sometimes buttons aren't exactly the same distance apart, but they appear to be so because of where they fall on the pattern or on my body. Numbers may be more precise, but they're not always more flattering.

        1. hermosa | | #9

          Great tip. I also know that the shape, texture and color shadings of a button can change the way it looks on the garment. I remember a summer dress that had a large motif all around with a center front closing. I had cut the cloth so carefully so I wouldn't disturb the flow of the pattern and got a great match at center front. I took tracings of where the buttonholes would be and sewed them in. Taking great care to see what colors in the buttonhole area I needed, I then made covered buttons. ( I love covering buttons, they look classy and save a lot of time shopping. I once went 50 miles to find a set of buttons for a long jacket which I no longer have. I still have the buttons.)
          When I finished , the buttons themselves were almost invisible. I was so proud of myself.

  2. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #6

    I'm glad to see that someone else treasures their treadle machine. If we get caught in a big power outage we can still sew.

    Brine put it nicely. Practically speaking though, only up to a 1" button. The usual amount of fabric from the button to the edge of the extension is about 1/4" to 1/2" depending on the size of the button. For a button larger than 1" make the extension (from the center line) 1/2 the width of the button plus 1/2". The buttons should look centered down the front.

    1. hermosa | | #7

      Thanks, every detail counts in the end result. I have a Burda jacket in the making for a fashion show in Sept. I have also just bought a book on european pattern drafting to compare with the american method and, after all the initial work , button placement is sooooo important to me.

  3. ctirish | | #12

    Welcome Hermosa,  I am so glad you joined our group.  I wish I could help you with your question, but I am a beginner when it comes to clothing for adults. 

    Your  voice of experience is a great asset for all of us.   Please come often and share your knowledge.  And of course, if you have questions we will all try to assist you. Thank you, jane

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