I'm not sure which is larger, my bag collection or my button bin. Maybe that's why I am always excited to find a new crochet bag pattern that fastens with a fabulous button. Attaching buttons to crochet can be a little trickier than sewing them on fabric. Interweave Crochet Spring 2011 included some great information on sewing buttons on crochet projects.
Backing buttons keep the front button from pulling or puckering the crochet fabric. The backing button spreads the tension against the button over a broader area, reducing the possibility of stitches being pulled out. Use backing buttons for stabilizing flat buttons that do not have a shank. The backing button is usually plain and should be smaller than the decorative front button but with the same number of holes.
To sew on a backing button, line up the back and front buttons with the crochet fabric between them. Lay a spacer-a toothpick or needle (across the front button or between the front button and crochet fabric, leaving holes in the button exposed). This space will allow the crochet fabric to lie flat without compressing. Sew the front button and the back button together through the crochet fabric, working securely around crochet stitches, creating either and X or parallel lines across the top of the front button and carrying the thread over the spacer if it is on top. Remove the spacer.
Another option is to use a piece of felt on the back of the fabric. The felt allows for more flexibility in the buttonband while giving similar stability. A felt backing can also be used for additional stability when attaching a button with a shank.
Creating A Shank
Shanks provide a sturdy space between the button and fabric, and they are especially handy when paired with thick crochet fabrics. If you are in love with a shankless button for your project, you can create a shank by wrapping yarn around your stitches, creating a stronger attachment than you would get by simply leaving a space between the button and the fabric.
To create a yarn shank, place a spacer as noted above for the backing button. For thick fabric, use a larger spacer, such as a thick tapestry needle. Sew the button to the crochet fabric and remove the spacer. Bring the needle down through the button but not through the crochet. Wrap the yarn around the shank of yarn-the part that runs between the button and the fabric-several times. Then take the needle through the fabric and secure it on the back.
Discovery great crochet patterns, articles on crochet techniques, tip and how-to editorial, and more with your Interweave Crochet subscription. Now with digital subscriptions you can read your issue on your digital device. These digital issues allow you to zoom in on pictures and stitch diagrams and bring your pattern wherever you go.
Order your digital subscription today and explore Interweave Crochet!
P.S. Do you have tips for sewing buttons on crochet?