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 the last eight years.

But, you’ve seen satin covered buttons before, right?

A pile of satin covered buttons

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

The button is covered in white 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.

Here’s a link to buy satin covered buttons from various vendors on Etsy. The prices are very reasonable.

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.

You can see how I did that in the photo below:

pins every half inch for putting in satin covered buttons

To begin, use one long continuous double thread to sew them on.

Be sure and put a good knot on the end of the thread and come up from the back of the dress with your needle. I’m doing this because I want to hide that knot.

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. You don’t want to cut new thread, thread the needle, and knot the thread for each and every button, right?

So, let’s look at how to sew on satin covered buttons in the easiest way possible.

Look at the photo below. 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. You can see the very tip of my needle poking through the fabric just to the left of the next pin to the left of the button. I do this so that you cannot see the thread on the under side of the fabric, or the underside of the dress, to be more precise.

I’m making my stitches through the dress, like going through a tunnel, not letting my needle go to the underside and show. If you flip it over, all you’ll see is zipper tape and no stitches.

Does this make sense?

a close up of stitching a satin covered button on a wedding dress

Then, I push the needle into the button shank making sure it is horizontally inserted all the way through the shank. I want that button laying as flat as possible against the dress. And I run the needle as close to the shank as possible…going through the thickest part of the shank., as seen below:

close up photo of pushing a needle through a thread shank.

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

side view of the satin covered buttons lined up like mushrooms on the surface of the dress.

They look like little mushrooms all lined up!

Then, repeat the process, following the photo below. Do you see that you backtrack about 1/4″ with that current button before pushing your needle to the next button spot? You are bringing that needle up a little past the point of the next button placement:

close up of the entire stitch when putting on satin covered buttons.

when you are finished sewing on all of the buttons, push your needle through to the back of the dress and knot the thread securely. Trim off the thread.

(If sewing with one continuous thread scares you a little, sew half the buttons on with one thread and the rest of the buttons on with a second thread. Or use three if you need to, but this method will surely make your job go quicker!)

Halfway through attaching these buttons, I poked my finger with the needle by accident.

I drew a little blood.

Do you know how to get blood off your wedding dress?

There are all kinds of chemical solutions out there, but the very best solution I’ve found is….


Yes. Saliva!

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. Sorry, I know that sounds gross. But, when it happens to you, you won’t forget the remedy!

saliva removed from a wedding gown after a little blood from a pin prick

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

another photo of a satin covered button after the blood was removed with saliva.

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. It looks like there are wispy little threads under the surface of the satin. I didn’t want to take the risk of ruining the button by trying to remove them because, unfortunately, I only bought just enough buttons to do the project, so I had to use this one somewhere in the lineup.

I also didn’t want to drive 75 miles for another button, or shop online and wait for it to come.

Can you relate?

I don’t think it will show. I don’t think anyone will be looking that closely to that area of the dress.

I’m glad it’s not on the front of the dress.

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

P.S. If your buttons have a metal shank, you sew them on the exact same way, but the shank is very thin so your stitch to hold them on would not be a full 1/4″. You could do it with a much smaller stitch.

Happy Wedding Day!

If you are sewing on buttons that don’t have a shank, here’s a post on how to sew on buttons with a thread shank.