Guide to Sewing a Shank Button

Guide to Sewing a Shank Button

Are you wondering how to sew on a shank button? Most of us know how to sew on a flat button but not everyone knows the right steps for a shank button. There are two basic types of buttons, shank and flat types. On a shank button, the back part is raised and this is used for sewing the button to the fabric. There are different sizes of shank depth and this is something you need to be aware of when you choose this type of button. Here are more differences between flat button and shank button.

If you are looking for shank buttons for heavy coats made of wool, find deeper shanks compared to buttons for closing blouses with lightweight fabric. In a heavy coat, short shanks won’t stay in place because the buttons will pull itself out of the hole since it won’t be long enough to remain within the buttonhole. Remember that the goal is to sew on the shank button neatly and securely.


  • Shank buttons
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle


1. Threading the needle. Then, knotting the end of the thread.

2. On the garment, locate the exact spot you want to sew on your button. Starting on the garment’s backside, put the needle into the fabric and up through the garment towards you again.

3. Make two of these stitches with no button. Next, position your shank button over the stitches you just made on the garment interior. Anchor the inside button by making another stitch. The interior button is optional. However, if you think your shank button is going to be used a lot, an interior anchor button will protect the garment from wear and tear.

4. Take your needle up and make another stitch through the button and back through the fabric and interior button if you have one.

5. Pull the stitches up through the shank around seven times and secure the stitches by wrapping the thread around the stitches holding the shank button upright. Create a thread loop on one side and bring your needle through the loops. Pull everything tightly and securely. Make three blanket stitches around every thread holding your button. This keeps your button strong and secure. Make a knot and cut off the excess thread.

6. Use similar thread colors to the garment you are sewing on. Use quilting or carpet thread for thicker garments for extra strength. If you want a button to match the garment, take some from the shirttail and wrap your shank button with it.

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