The Button Trick

For me, the beauty of sewing is in the details. When I see a garment taking shape beneath my hands, I feel kind of powerful. But even before I get to that point, I find real satisfaction in the little things – a perfect row of stitches joining two pieces of fabric, the even line of a hem.

That’s why I love this little trick. Especially when I’m working with slightly heavier fabrics, my hem stitching can do an annoying wiggle when I pass over bulkier side seams. You can be stitching happily along, needle pulling thread through three layers of fabric and then you hit that side seam – suddenly there’s five or even seven layers of fabric and your presser foot rises up in the front like it’s going over a ski jump. Stitches slant up, slant down, and on the other side it’s a struggle to keep your original line.

But if you stop right as your presser foot starts to climb that steep slope and, with your needle down, lift your presser foot up and slip a button under the back and lower your presser foot again, you can correct the angle and get straight stitches. It’s a little magic. Here’s a video I made showing it in action.

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