How To Cut A Buttonhole

After making your buttonhole, you will find that you can’t use it immediately. You need to cut it to make space for your button. Many sewing enthusiasts, whether beginners or experienced, fear or avoid buttonholes for this reason. You will find that many of them will prefer to add a zipper to their garments rather than have to cut a buttonhole.

How Do You Cut A Buttonhole?

There are several methods you can use to cut a buttonhole. First, you can use a buttonhole cutter. Second, you can use a seam ripper. These specialized tools that are cheap and easily available in sewing craft shops.

When you make your buttonhole with a sewing machine, you will end up needing to cut. However, if you can make it by hand, you will have your buttonhole ready as you make your stitches. You don’t have to cut buttonholes. Even so, cutting buttonholes is easy and doesn’t take a lot of your sewing time.

How To Cut A Buttonhole With A Buttonhole Cutter?

Cut A Buttonhole With A Buttonhole Cutter

  1. You will need a buttonhole cutter, a self-healing mat, or a solid working surface. You may also need a small sewing mallet.
  2. Place your garment or fabric with the buttonhole that needs to be cut on the working surface. Make sure that there isn’t a part of the fabric or garment underneath the buttonhole.
  3. At one end of the buttonhole, place your buttonhole cutter. Make sure that it is sharp. This is to make sure that it cuts straight through without leaving hanging threads.
  4. The buttonhole cutter has its end chisel-shaped. Press the buttonhole cutter on the buttonhole you are cutting. Rock it back and forth until it cuts a hole through. You can also use a mallet to hit the buttonhole cutter into the fabric to make the buttonhole.
  5. If the buttonhole cutter does not cut through the buttonhole at once, move it forward and repeat the same process on the remaining part of the uncut buttonhole. Be careful not to cut the buttonhole stitching.

How To Cut A Buttonhole With A Seam Ripper?

Cut A Buttonhole With A Seam Ripper

  1. You will need a seam ripper, marking pins, a large and solid working area, and a lot of light.
  2. Insert pins at either end of the buttonhole just before the end of the buttonhole area. This helps to prevent you from reaping off the buttonhole stitches and fabric altogether.
  3. Insert the sharp end of your seam ripper into one corner of the buttonhole.
  4. Cut gently until you get halfway through the buttonhole. You do this to make sure that you don’t rip off the stitches on the other end.
  5. Now, insert your seam ripper on the other end of the buttonhole and start cutting. Cut 1until halfway, where you have already cut.
  6. If there are any loose and frayed threads in the buttonhole, use scissors to cut them off. Make sure that your buttonhole is clean and will not cause resistance when you button up

How To Cut A Buttonhole With Fabric Knife

Cut A Buttonhole With Fabric Knife

  1. Cutting with a fabric knife is similar to cutting with a seam ripper. You will need a hard surface to work on, a fabric knife, and marking pins.
  2. Insert a pin in each corner of the buttonhole.
  3. Place the fabric on the working surface and start cutting with your knife.
  4. When cutting with a fabric knife, start cutting from the middle towards one end. Then to the other end when from the middle.

Tips For Cutting A Buttonhole

  1. There are a lot of tools and techniques you can use to cut buttonholes. Use one that you are comfortable with. However, the buttonhole cutter is the only specific tool for this task. All the other tools can be applied to other sewing duties.
  2. A buttonhole cutter makes the finest buttonhole cuts. When you use it, there will be no fraying threads you will need to cut. There are different sizes of the buttonhole cutter available cheaply in craft shops.
  3. Make sure that only the part you are cutting is on the working surface. This helps to prevent you from cutting other parts of your fabric or garment.

Fixing Torn Buttonholes

Fixing Torn Buttonholes

Sometimes, your buttonhole may get torn. Either in the edges or the stitches are coming loose. A torn button can be easily fixed with a sewing machine or by hand.

How To Fix Torn Buttonholes By Hand

  1. When you are sewing a torn buttonhole it is best to start from the part of the buttonhole that is not torn.
  2. Start sewing by knotting your thread on the existing threads.
  3. Insert your needle from behind and bring it to the right side. Then push the needle down through the fabric that is close to the edges of the buttonhole.
  4. Make buttonhole stitches around the buttonhole in the torn areas. Keep the buttonhole stitches close to each other as much as possible.
  5. At the end of the buttonhole, make a few stitches that are as wide as the buttonhole. These wide stitches will make the stitching much stronger.

How To Fix Torn Buttonholes With Sewing Machine

  1. When using a sewing machine to fix torn buttonholes, set your sewing machine to make a zigzag stitch around the buttonhole.
  2. Start stitching on one side of the buttonhole. At the edge of the buttonhole, make the stitches wider and stitch several times.
  3. With the stitch back to its original narrow size, stitch along the other side of the buttonhole.
  4. Just like the other side, make wide stitches that go beyond the buttonhole. These are the stitches that hold onto the buttonhole to strengthen the other stitches.

Tips To Remember When Fixing Torn Buttonholes

When fixing torn buttonholes, remember that sewing machines make much stronger stitches than when you sew by hand. Therefore, it is much better to fix torn buttonholes with a sewing machine.

You can also sew a patch on the buttonhole to repair it. You will have to sew the patch on the whole buttonhole. You will then cut the buttonhole open through the patch. Mending with a patch leads to your stitches being stable and firm.

How To Sew 4-Hole Button

  1. Assemble all the sewing material you need. A fabric or garment, a four-hole button, needle, and thread. Thread your needle and make a knot at the end of the thread.
  2. Place your button at the place where it is supposed to be on your garment. Make sure it is well aligned with its buttonhole. It is good practice to mark button positions when making the buttonholes. Buttonholes are supposed to be made before the buttons are sewn in place.
  3. From behind your button, push up your needle until the knot reaches your garment.
  4. With the needle up and in front, push it back down through a second buttonhole.
  5. Push your needle up through the third buttonhole.
  6. Then push it down through the fourth buttonhole. Make an X with your thread as you move from one buttonhole to another.
  7. Repeat the process of sewing through the buttonholes several more times until your button is firmly held in the garment. Make small stitches so that you have a neat stitch on your button.
  8. To finish off, make horizontal stitches on the threads you have used to sew the button. This will strengthen the stitches you have made.
  9. Cut the thread leaving enough to tie a knot. Knot the thread tightly against the button. Cut off the excess thread.
  10. You have successfully sewn a four-hole button onto your garment. Repeat these steps for all the other buttons you have to fix. With practice, you will not take a lot of time to do this.


I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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