How to Sew Buttons on a Wool Coat

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Sew buttons on a wool coat when they become loose.
Sew buttons on a wool coat when they become loose. (Image: button image by Pefkos from Fotolia.com)

When your wool coat buttons become loose or fall off, you can sew them back on and restore your coat’s function and appearance. Because the buttons on a wool coat generally receive use each time you wear the coat, they often need sewing again to keep them secure. Use a heavyweight thread that will withstand frequent use to keep your buttons tight on your wool coat.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Dressmaker’s chalk
  • Matching buttons (flat or shank-style)
  • Matching upholstery-weight thread
  • Long and sturdy hand-sewing needle
  • Straight pin
  • Scissors

Determine the proper placement of the buttons on the coat. Use a ruler, if necessary to ensure you place each button the same distance apart and the same distance from the edge of the coat. Make a mark with the dressmaker’s chalk where you will sew each button.

Thread the needle with a 15 inch length of thread. Pull the thread through to the halfway point so you have a double length of thread coming off the needle. Tie the ends of the thread in a double knot.

Position the needle at a chalk mark and insert the needle up through the backside of the wool coat until the knot on the ends of the thread stops the needle.

Insert the needle through a hole in a flat button or through the shank hole of a shank button. Insert the needle back down through another hole in a flat button and down through the wool fabric. For sewing a shank-style button, insert the needle straight back down through the wool fabric.

Position the pin across the wool fabric immediately under the point where you are sewing a flat button on the other side of the wool fabric. The pin will act as a spacer to create a small amount of extra thread that will keep you from sewing a flat button too tightly to the coat. As you stitch the button to the coat, make your stitches over the pin as it lies across the fabric, and then you can remove the pin when you finish sewing.

Stitch four or five more stitches to sew a shank-style button to the coat securely. If a flat button has four holes, make four stitches in each pair of holes, and if it has two holes, make six stitches in the single pair of holes.

End the stitching with the needle on the underside of the wool coat. Tie a small and tight knot snugly against the wool fabric and snip off the excess thread on the other side of the knot. Remove the pin if you were attaching a flat button.

Stitch the remaining buttons to the coat using the same techniques.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a thread shank for a flat button for additional strength. After stitching the final stitch and the thread is on the underside of the wool, insert the needle back up through the wool fabric under the button but do not insert the needle through a buttonhole. Wrap the thread four or five times around the threads beneath the button and then insert the needle back down to the underside of the wool. Tie a knot and clip off the thread.

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