How To Sew On Satin Covered Buttons

I admit I don’t get a request to sew on satin covered buttons very often.

It’s happened twice in eight years.

You’ve seen these before, right?

They are usually seen on wedding dresses or other bridal items.

The button is covered in satin on one side and has a softly padded shank on the other.

As you know, my daughter is getting married soon and she wanted me to add satin covered buttons to the back of her dress.

I thought I could run down to the local fabric store and buy a pile of them.


They don’t carry them.

Thankfully, they were available in the big city 75 miles away.

Some of you buy them on the internet.

I thought of that, but I wanted to make sure they’d match the dress closely as her dress is not a bright white, but a cross between white and candlelight.

I took a swatch of the fabric to match and wouldn’t you know, they had a bag of bright white ones and a bag of candlelight!

So I chose the candlelight color because the bright white made the dress look dirty.

Have I lost you in the details yet?

The owner of the store (they’ve been in business 50 years this year!) told me to figure two buttons per inch, and a few extra for the bustle, (that’s if she chooses an over bustle.)

So, I put a pin in the zipper area every 1/2″, starting at the 1/4″ mark.

Use one long continuous double thread to sew them on.

Be sure and put a good knot on the end and come up from the back of the dress with your needle.

Make sure your knot doesn’t get in the way of the zipper.

Using one long continuous double thread saves me major time sewing on the buttons one by one.


Do you see how I sew these on?

As I’m sewing one button on, I put the needle in just past the next pin.

Then, I push the needle into the button shank making sure it is horozontally inserted:

Here’s a side view of the buttons after stitching them on:

They look like little mushrooms all lined up!

Then, repeat the process, following the photo:

Push your needle to the back of the dress and knot it securely.

Halfway through the sewing, I poked my finger with the needle by accident.

I drew a little blood.

If you’ve noticed on my sidebar on this blog, I mention a way to get rid of blood on your wedding dress.



In the photo below, on the middle button, you can see where I have already dabbed a bit of my saliva on the blood stain.

It was bright red, but now it’s pink:

A little bit more saliva and the stain is gone! (I’m not kidding! See the second button from the left):

In the above photo, look at the third button over from the left.

That one is not the one that had the blood stain.

This button has a flaw.

Unfortunately, I only bought just enough buttons, so I had to use this one somewhere in the lineup.

Can you relate?

I’m hoping it won’t show.

At least it’s not on the front of the dress.

See how easy it is to sew on a set of covered buttons?



25 Responses

  1. This is an awesome tip. Doing bridal parties is one of my favorites. This idea will go a long way in saving me precious time. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Saliva!!!! Who would have thought? Two thumbs up!

  2. This is going to look stunning. Do hope we get to see the dress (after the wedding of course!). And a great tip too, thanks!

  3. Yes, finding covered buttons is HARD! And getting the right fabric match is also difficult. I have found an Etsy shop that will make these buttons from fabric that you supply! The price is reasonable too. It is possible to buy the supplies in bulk and do it yourself but with carpal tunnel, I have a hard time holding the material circle and pushing the two halves together even with special tools. For these buttons visit

  4. Forgot to add my name!

  5. I had a bride that wanted me to add buttons down the back of her dress. She wanted them beaded too. I wasn’t given much time to do the job, so I found some left-over beaded applique ( I don’t throw anything away) and was able to glue them on to the buttons. It turned out beautifully and you can’t tell they weren’t hand beaded! I wish I could show you pictures.

  6. I use waxed horsehair thread to sew hand sewn buttons on. Great stuff !!!! This thread doesn”t knott up!

  7. Hi Linda,
    I came across your blog searching for information on altering the hem on some flared pants. Thanks for the information.
    Love your blog! Sonia

  8. Wow! That looks fantastic.

    I’m always impressed with the patience and quality of your work.

    • Hi there,
      Sorry it took me so long to reply. We’ve been out of town as you might have guessed.
      You made my day with your sweet comment. I’m sure your work is just as beautiful!

      Happy Sewing!

  9. your tips for sewing covered button and procedure is very nice and easy. Thanks for sharing tips.

  10. Approximately how many buttons did you use? I want this same look and the store told me to expect to pay $3/button. That could add up quickly!

  11. Do you have a favorite place to buy a corset kits, for putting in a lace back when removing a zipper? Thanks Sue

    • I don’t. But I believe there is a comment under the “How to put a corset back in” post. Type that in the search box above and read through the comments on that. I have always made my own.

  12. Hi, Great photos and instructions – I have a button press and cover buttons for Dressmakers using their fabric. Feedback that I have been getting is that the wire shank buttons don’t sit flat enough, I have done (hours of) research on the internet and found a supplier of parts to make my own canvas back buttons. I am going to send out samples to my clients and wondered if it would be okay to pass on your photos/instructions to them? Thankyou very much, Amie-Jane.

    • HI, do you use candlelite colored fabric? Not just a light ivory fabric. What is the cost per gross? Sue “I DO” Alterations

    • Hi Amie-Jane,
      I read your comment and got a spark of hope that I’d actually be able to find out where I could get the hardware to make my own canvas back bridal buttons. Are there kits for these buttons? HELP
      Any information you can give would be so gratefully appreciated. Thanks for your time, Jan…..

  13. Thank you. Thank you. For this how-to. I actually had 13 buttons left to sew onto my wedding dress that the seamstress did not put on. what a Blessing. Your method was so easy.

  14. Thank you so much for this!
    I wanted to make my wedding dress into a ball gown dye it blue, so I took all of the buttons off (there were 100!!) to dye the dress, as I was worried the buttons might not dye consistently with the dress and I figured I’d rather have a buttonless dress than a blue dress spotted with a white mushroom trail of buttons.
    Turns out they did dye pretty well, just took a two hours longer.
    I had to cut a hefty chunk of train off of my dress in order for it not to drag the ground, but I saved some of the fabric to make into something (which I’ve since decided will be an attempt at a shoulder shawl.)
    I’ve sent the dress off for professional hemming and they said they’d charge £30 for the hemming (bargain, I thought) but an extra £85(!!!!!) to sew on the buttons since there were so many.
    I thankfully found your blog and just did a practice run sewing some buttons on the shoulder shawl to see if I could do it. It was so easy and they look beautiful.
    I can’t wait to get my dress back from the dress shop to reinstate the buttons again.
    Thank you so, so much! You’ve given my wedding dress a second life and me a marvellous ball gown!

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