Sewing buttons is one of the most common clothing “repairs”. However, using buttons and beads for decoration rather than simple functionality can be trickier. In addition to making sure that your stitches are strong enough to hold the button or bead, you need to take into account, the fabric you are working with, the thread you will be using, the placement of the beads or buttons, and the overall symmetry of the outfit.
When done properly, sewing buttons and beads on clothes can turn a simple piece of clothing into an interesting and unique outfit. Working with beads and buttons is a perfect project for beginners, since they are easy to stitch and easy to remove if you make a mistake. However, in order to save time and get it right from the get go, you should take a look at some of the tips listed below.
- Choose your fabric
Although beads and buttons can be stitched to practically anything, some types of fabric are trickier to work with. Avoid using clothing from very thin and delicate materials, because every pin or needle hole will be more visible.
- Choose your thread
Do not be tempted to use invisible thread. Invisible threads are too hard which makes it difficult to tighten stitches and lock the button or bead in place. Use a regular cotton thread and choose a color that goes well with the outfit. The color of the thread should match either the color of the clothes or the color of the beads/buttons. If both the clothing and the beads/buttons are solid color, you can choose a more extravagant and brighter thread color to spice up your look.
- Map out where you want the beads or buttons to be
If you are planning on sewing buttons or beads around the ends of the clothing piece (e.g. below the neckline of a tank top or on the hem of a skirt), fold it vertically in two and pin the beads/buttons to the hem/neckline starting from the ends and moving toward the center. You can adjust the distance between the add-ons (buttons or beads) as you go and make sure that everything is evenly distributed along the edges of the clothing.
If you are not sewing buttons or beads along the edges, use pins to attach them to the clothing while wearing it. If you attach them without having the outfit on, the end result may look very different from what you expect. This is especially true for any kind of stretchy materials, pleated or flared skirts and dresses.
If you are beading an accessory, such as a velvet hairband, covering it with some kind of fabric (e.g. lace) will make stitching easier. If you want to keep the original fabric of the accessory visible, it will be easier to start your stitch around the edges.
- Make strong stitches
One of the ways to make sure your stitches will hold is to tie the two loose ends together after stitching the bead/button. This will work only if the initial and the final stitches are very close one to the other and if you are sewing one button/bead at a time. If the initial and final stitch are not close, make a nod after your final stitch and do not pull the stitches because this will create wrinkles in the fabric.
If you are stitching a row of beads or buttons, loop the thread after stitching each button to make the stitches stronger. If you are working with heavier beads or buttons, you might want to loop the thread and tie a nod after stitching every bead/button.
Adding interesting beads and buttons to an outfit can help you create a personalized, unique, and interesting look quickly and easily. There are so many different combinations to play around with so we hope you enjoy using them as decorations.