You overdid it. It happens to everyone; maybe you had too many pieces of cake, or it could have been that signature move you throw in during the Cupid Shuffle. Or maybe you’re just unlucky and your button-up shirt hates weddings. Whatever caused it, you now find yourself in the bathroom holding a button that is no longer attached to your clothing. Luckily you remember reading a blog post on himclothing.com that taught you how to reattach it. You’re welcome.
Reattaching buttons is easy once you know what you’re doing, though it can be intimidating if you have no sewing experience. First, we’ll cover the correct way to do it (assuming you have all the supplies you need), then we can look at options for the scenario above.
Start by threading your needle. You want to make sure the thread has a clean cut or else this will be a challenge. Use one of these needle threader things that come with most sewing kits, lick the thread, give up and find a needle with a larger eye (hole) - do what you need to do to make it happen.
You can either use a single strand of thread or a double strand. The single strand requires twice as many passes and can be trickier to work with so we’re done talking about it. Pull out about two feet of thread and tie a bulky knot with the ends. I like to make several loops and stack them on each other. You can also wrap the thread around your finger several times and roll it off with your thumb, then pull it tight to create a messy, unattractive knot. Nobody will see it, but you will know it’s there. I’m sticking with my way.
If you have the button that came off, great. Use it! If not, check the garment for spare buttons that are often sewn into the inside for exactly this reason - on a shirt they are usually in line with the other buttons at the very bottom on the inside.
Starting on the inside poke the needle through the area where the new button will be (there should be a noticeable dimple or holes where the original button was). Pull the thread through until the knot stops you, then turn around and go back through the fabric about ¼” away from the first thread. Use the holes in the button to measure this, they should line up with your thread at all times. Make an X with the thread to use as a guide for the repeated passes you will be doing.
Once you have your X pull the needle through one of the holes in the button, then back through the hole diagonally across from it. Lay a needle or toothpick across the button and pull the thread tight. The needle will be removed later which will create a bit of slack so the button isn’t on too tightly.
Make about three passes in each direction going through the holes and fabric each time, then remove the other needle/toothpick. On the final pass just pull the needle through the button but not the fabric, then wrap it around the threads between the button and the shirt. This is optional as many shirt buttons are attached without this extra step, but it will make the attachment more secure. After you have wrapped it about 4-6 times, pull the needle through the fabric to the back of the shirt and tie off your thread with another bulky knot, then cut it off and you’re done!
What if you’re at a social event and didn’t think to bring a sewing kit? I think your two best options at that point are the James Bond approach or the Hulk strategy. Spies must be well dressed and prepared for anything, so think like a spy and hide a needle and thread inside your favorite pen. A pen with a cap will usually work better than one with moving parts, and don’t use a clear pen because it will look odd. For demonstration purposes I used a clear pen so you can see what I did, and it looks much like I told you, odd. Remove the ink cartridge and tape the needle to it, then wrap thread tightly around both and secure the thread with another piece of tape and put the ink cartridge back. I used about 2 feet of thread here, but you could fit a lot more if you wanted to.
The Hulk strategy is to just own it and tear off the rest of your shirt in plain view of everyone. I don’t personally recommend it, but with the right amount of showmanship and alcohol it just might work.