Technical Tuesday: Buttons!

When I was re-doing the button band on my coolbreeze sweater, I came across a really interesting technique for sewing on buttons. Whenever I have sewn buttons on ANY knitting, the button pulls the knitted fabric where is it sewn on. It would stretch so in a couple months or years, that small square of knitted material is ready to leave the sweater itself! The problem here is the thread had much less give than the knitted button band.

 

PJ Coolbreeze ThreePiotr Jankowski | Team Ponam

The first time I sewed the buttons on the coolbreeze sweaters I was scared the buttons would rip right off the button band. They looked so strained that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving it buttoned up! As you know, I ended up having to re-do the finishing touches so it really wasn’t that big of a loss.

 

PJ Coolbreeze 5Piotr Jankowski | Team Ponam

I came across a video of someone sewing buttons on a knitted garment. At first I thought it didn’t really apply to what I was looking for because they were sewing on ribbon and very large decorative buttons. I didn’t want to use ribbon and my buttons were normal sized, but I kept watching anyway.

Instead of simply sewing these large heavy buttons onto their knitted sweater, they sewed the large button on the front (where you can see it) and a smaller button on the back (where it is hidden from sight). This is pure genius!

 

PJ Coolbreeze Five
Piotr Jankowski | Team Ponam

I think it might be a sewing technique because I was speaking to a friend about it and she said her mom used to do that when sewing buttons on delicate fabric. I had never seen this before at all and think it is the best thing since sliced bread!

I wasted no time in running around my house trying to find buttons that were relatively inconspicuous and the appropriate size. I don’t have a lot of buttons in general. I usually don’t put buttons on things and if I do, I run out and find the perfect button for the garment I am finishing. I ended up raiding the spare button stash in my sewing room.

 

PJ Coolbreeze FourPiotr Jankowski | Team Ponam

I have a container full of the extra buttons that come with clothes, coats, pants or any piece of clothing you buy that has the potential to lose a button. I am pretty sure I no longer own the pants that these buttons were taken from. Hopefully anyway.

After I sewed them on, I tried it out. It works like a charm. The button on the back spreads out the force of the pulling on the button band. I cannot believe no one told me about this! It is something I cannot live without. I will never sew on another button without the behind the scenes stabilization button.