Updated on July 27, 2022 by Sarina
Button Loops work as a great alternative to buttonholes. Button loops are usually used on women’s clothing and I think it lends a soft charm. They are on most ready-to-wear tops and dresses with a small vent to fasten a single button on the back. On wedding gowns they are almost always a beautiful feature.
They also work as belt loops on the waist, to fasten hooks instead of the metal eye. On girls’ clothing they are usually placed on the left side facing you.
This is the easiest. You can use a store brought soutache thread (pronounced Soo-tash, also called Russian Braid or passementerie, a simple decorative thread used for trimming and other embellishments and even to make jewellery) or elastic thread to make the button loops.
Use thin fabric straps made with fabric strips or thin roulette fabric tubes made from bias tape.
I would prefer the button loops to have some give, so bias strips are the best for making fabric button loops, instead of lengthwise cut fabric strips.
For making the button loops take a fabric piece of length 2 inches and width one inch or just less than one inch. You can check out the post on making thin fabric tubes for more details on how to make the thin fabric tubes
Here is how to fold the fabric strap for making the button loop.
Alternative method 3
Another option is to make thread button loops. You can make these easily enough with your sewing machine thread or even embroidery thread in the same colour as the fabric of your project.
If you are using the thread loops on the center back, Bind the left side and right side of center back with bias binding.
Mark the button loop placement along the edge. ( Contrary to photograph the buttonloops are made before buttons are attached; this is an old top with torn buttonloops which I am trying to repair)
Make a loop with the thread and needle. You can make as many as 10 thread loops; even 3 or 4 would do, though it would not be that thick. The more repeats you make for the loop the stronger and thicker the button loop would be.
After you have made the said loop, make blanket stitches over the loop repeatedly from one side to the other.
When the button loops are made on the center back this can expose skin if you do not sew a separate fabric strip to the back concealing the skin underneath, because the button loops are made on the edge. or else you should plan the pattern so that the side with the button loops slightly overlaps the other side. Increase center back seam allowance to at least 1″ to allow extra overlap when buttoned and also place the buttons to the inside accordingly.
The button loops are always stitched before the buttons
You can arrange the button loops 2 loops per inch if you want the button loops very close, like you see in bridal gowns.
Mark the position of the loops. Keep the loops to the inside on the right side of the pattern piece (here in the photograph I am placing on the back of the pattern as I want to bring the facing to the front as a design feature) & baste stitch each of them in place ( or else they will shift).
Keep the facing on top
Machine stitch along all the layers catching button loops
Fold in facing to the back so that the button loops project out. Understitch. You can secure the facing by hand stitching the facing to the fabric or if there is a lining, to that. Use a catch stitch which will give you some stretch and near invisibility from the outside
Mark placement for buttons on the right side and stitch buttons in place. The left side should overlap right side
Check out the post on Sundress Free Pattern & tutorial for more instructions on attaching the single button loop on the back of a dress.