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Friday, August 4, 2017

How to Sew a Toggle Button

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  Wait... WHAT??? Me, the sewing hater, is going to teach you something about it? Yup, that's right! Unfortunately, crocheting sometimes involves sewing, which is something I absolutely despise having to do. But, hey... We can hate it, or we can just get over it and do it so we have a finished project already; right? I find toggle buttons to be one of the easiest closures to use for garments, and I'd like to show you how I (the sewing hater) make it even easier.

  You'll need a yarn or sewing needle (one that fits through your button holes), a small length of yarn or thread (plus scissors to cut it), and your crochet project. But most importantly, toggle buttons are required... Which leads to a side note: WHOOP! The local Michaels heard my plea, and now has a larger assortment of buttons available. YAY - No more out-of-town trips just to get buttons!

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  I'm also using stitch markers to mark where I will attach the button and closing loop, but we won't need our crochet projects just yet... You're going to start with the yarn (or thread) looped over, so you need to cut double the length you actually need to sew the button. I've started with 16" (40 cm), which will give me a little less than 8" (20 cm) to work with once doubled:

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  The beginning stitch is one of the things I hate the most about sewing. That's why we're going to do this the easy way... Bring the two loose ends of the thread through the eye of the needle. You'll have a loop on one side, and the tails on the other:

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  You can move the needle closer to the tails to give yourself more thread for sewing, as shown below. Bring the needle through the back side of one of the button's holes, leaving the looped thread protruding from the back of the button:

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  Bring the needle through the front side of the other hole, to the back again. I like to leave a little slack so I don't accidentally pull the thread back out of the button until it's secured:

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  To secure the thread, bring the needle through the loop at the back of the button:

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  With the thread secured to the button, there's no fighting with trying to keep the button in the right place as you attach it to your project! You can tighten up the stitch at this point, but I still leave it a little loose for the following step...

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  To give me a bit more confidence that the button won't fall off, I run the yarn through the button's holes one more time in the same direction. (You can skip that if you have more faith in your work - or its wearer - but I like to have more than one length of yarn through it.) Now with the thread at the back of the needle again, bring it under the yarn that runs through the opposite hole:

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  There, that looks about right! (In a few steps, you'll see how I run the yarn through one more time for even more security.) Now, to grab your crochet project to attach the button...

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  I have the extra trouble of trying to attach this button to lace - Oh! Why have I taken this on? Anyway, it's no big deal, really...

  For a solid-stitch fabric, you can sew your yarn around the stitches to the back of your work. For this lacy design, I'm working through the middle of the single crochet stitch:

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  Bring the yarn back around to the front, then run under the loops at the back of the button once again:

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  I want to have a little space between the fabric and the toggle, but not too much! Here's where you can tighten your stitches to place the button where you want it:

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  Now for the super-cheating-extra-security part! I separate the tails, leaving just one on the needle:

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  Run one tail through a button hole from back to front, then through the other hole to the back again. Drop the tail from the needle and repeat with the next...

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  And then, tie the tails together in a knot.(?) It's against my crocheting morals to tie a knot in my yarn, but I really like the extra security with this lacy design. Tied tight at the back of the button, the knot blends in well:

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  It's now safe to weave the tails into the project. Again because of the lace, I'm taking an extra-security step... All tails are being woven into the yarn itself, Russian-join style:

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  If you've seen my previous tutorial for this stitch, then you know I was using a super-big hook to work up super-fine yarn... This isn't the case for the loop I created for the closure - That would never work! I switched to a smaller size 0/3.75 mm steel hook, and made a chain of ten to fit around the toggle:

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  Ta da! I did it! I sewed something and actually finished it! Now, I just hope this tutorial can also make it easier for you. I may be an advanced crocheter, but I'm an inexperienced sewer. I fear my stitches looking sloppy; my back-stitches not holding; my buttons falling off. I took the experience I gained in learning how to make a shawl toggle to make sewing on a button less of a headache. It made the task seem effortless compared to the usual way I would do it. I think - just maybe - I might look forward to using this method for more garments in the future.

Happy Crocheting!
...And effortless sewing!

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