Perfect Button Placement Can Be Sticky

Lazies, In order to get perfect button placement on a project, wouldn’t it be great if buttons were stick-on and you could plop them down on your project right where you need them? Well, we can make that happen! Here are some Maggies I made recently, and I used a simple trick to hold the buttons in place while stitching them on using my sewing machine.

Large and small ‘Maggies’, item LGD126.
Fabric is ‘Blush’ by Moda. Great colors and patterns.

A show-stopping button
If your button is a show-stopper, then its placement better be perfect. I like to add a big fabulous button to adorn the large size Maggie bags. Sewing the button in place is the last thing I do when making a Maggie. So that means the Velcro is already fused on the lining side. And sewing a button through all those layers and the Velcro is not something I want to do by hand. No thank you!

When I need to place a feature button perfectly, I use double-sided tape from the office supply store on the back of the button to hold it in place while I sew. I use a piece of tape that is at least twice the width of the button and center it on the back of the button, usually over the holes that will be sewn through. A bit of tape sticks out past the edges of the button.

On my machine, I drop the feed dogs and select a zigzag stitch. Set the stitch length to zero. Adjust the stitch width to match the holes on the button. I usually do a few practice stitches on a scrap of fabric, then hold the fabric up to the button to see how close it matches. Place the button on your project and slide your project under the presser foot. Gently lower the presser foot and manage the button so the holes are visible through the opening in the presser foot. Lower the presser foot.

Give it a whirl, literally
By hand, gently crank the wheel to lower the needle and see if it is lined up with the button hole. Continue to gently crank the wheel by hand until the needle does its first zigzag and heads for the other button hole. Adjust the stitch width as needed to make sure the needle will hit both holes without hitting the button. When the stitch width is just right, sew that baby in place with a few stitches.  You can leave a long thread tail and pull it to the underside with a hand needle if you like. I add a drop or two of fray check on the underside.

Fabric is ‘Simple Abundance’ by Moda. Love it!

Twice the fun
The big button above had four holes. I used the same technique and simply lined the button up twice for sewing. I did take it out of the machine between stitchings and cut the thread tail. I did not want the thread to go from one stitching to the next and be tight against the button where I couldn’t get to it with my scissors as shown below on a previous project. Shame on me for not fixing that.

I Lazily didn’t cut the thread between stitchings and ended up with an extra thread
crossing the center of the button.

After the button is sewn in place, simply grab the tape and tear it away. If the tape covered the holes, then the stitching would penetrate the tape and make it easy to tear at the stitching and come right off. Otherwise, snip the tape with the end of your scissors to get started.

If you get a little tape gunk on your needle, it’s easy enough to clean off with a little rubbing alcohol on fabric. Or pick up some of the little alcohol wipes at the drug store and keep some with your sewing tools.

I filled each of these large Maggies with a pack of tissues and the smaller Maggies for gifts recently. I used four fabrics from Moda layer cakes to make each set of Maggies.