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Tutorial: How to make button loops for the Violet blouse

Here we are in our final steps of transforming the Violet blouse pattern and I am so proud! If you’ve followed along with us by adding tucks and a lace collar, then you’re ready for clustered button loops. If not, feel free to go back to check out the tuck tutorial and lace collar tutorial or jump ahead by adding button loops to any current project. Button loops can be added in any arrangement you like, but for this tutorial we did clusters of three at the neckline, bust, and waist. Any arrangement is sure to be lovely so just have fun and feel free to experiment!

You will need:

  • Violet blouse and pattern
  • Fabric pen
  • Ruler
  • Thread
  • 10″ x 10″ square of fabric to match the blouse
  • Thick topstitching thread
  • a large hand sewing needle

Step 1: To create button loops that stretch a little bit, we first must cut 1″ strips along the bias of a 10″ x 10″ piece of fabric that matches your blouse. To do this, just center a 1″ wide strip at a 45 degree angle of the fabric. Create another line 1″ away from each side of the center strip. Cut along the lines you drew.

Step 2: Cut off the diagonal edges of each strip.

Step 3: Place two strips at 90 degree angles with the right sides together, lining up the edges. Sew diagonally across, as in the photo.

Step 4: Cut off diagonal seam allowance, leaving just about 1/8″

Step 5: Press open seam allowance.

Step 6: Right sides together, sew strip with 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim seam allowance to 1/8″

Step 7: To turn the tube right side out, you can use a loop turner, safety pin, or a thick thread. I’ll show you the thick thread and needle method here, but use whichever you like best. Using a thick top stitching thread and a large needle, stitch a few times through one side of the fabric at the end of the tube. This will anchor the thread.

Step 8: Insert the dull end of the needle through the tube.

Step 9: Push the needle through the entire tube until it is all scrunched up. Take care not to poke yourself!

Step 10: Gently coax the scrunched up fabric over the threaded anchor at the end of the tube. Once the initial bit of fabric is past the anchor, the rest of the tube should turn right side out easily.

Step 11: Once the entire tube is right side out, trim off the anchored thread.

Step 12: Cut the tube into two inch pieces.

Step 13: Lay blouse flat on table. On the left side of the blouse opening, draw a parallel line 3/8″ way from the center front. Carefully trim the fabric along that line.

Step 14: Decide where you’d like the buttons to be on the right side of the blouse, but don’t sew them on yet. For this tutorial I arranged the buttons in clusters of three at the neckline, bust, and waist. This placement corresponds with the dots indicated on pattern pieces, which should already be marked on the fabric. For the neckline, I placed a button at the 1st and 2nd dots marked along the centerfront with one button in between them. The same goes for the bust (a button at the 3rd and 4th dot with one in the middle) and  waist (a button at the 5th and 6th dot with one in the middle). If you click to enlarge this photo, you can see how the white marks on the left side correspond to the buttons.

Step 15: On the left side of the blouse, make a blue mark corresponding to the intended button placement.

Step 16: Now, overlap the ends of each 2″ tube to create a nice loop with the seam showing on the wrong side. (Photo shows the right side).

Step 17: Pin each loop to the left side of the blouse about 3/8″ away from the CF. Right sides should be together, and raw edges should be facing the center front.

Step 18: Baste the loops in place.

Step 19: Trim the seam allowance down 3/8″ along the center front edge of the interfaced facing. This way it will correspond with the trimmed blouse front. With right sides together, sew facing to the blouse at 1/4″ seam allowance along the front opening. Make sure you sew with 5/8″ seam allowance around the neck since that hasn’t been trimmed. Follow the pattern instructions for finishing the neckline.

Step 20: Turn the facing out and press. Look at those cute button loops! Resume sewing blouse according to pattern directions. At the very end you can sew your buttons on to correspond with the loops.

Related posts you might be interested in:

Rachel Rector


Jill Flory

July 26, 2011 #

GREAT tutorial! Very easy to follow and to envision how it all goes together. fantastic job:)


July 26, 2011 #

These loops make me nervous! A little more intense than I think I can handle right now, but such a beautiful detail! I love the spacing; it really brings the blouse together.


October 13, 2011 #

these are so lovely! and it’s a little labour intensive perhaps but you make it seem so clear and easy… would be lovely on a shirt dress for just the bodice and then no buttons for the skirt part. hmmm :)


September 2, 2012 #

What an amazing program ,cant wait to bet at my pc at at night there are so many new and wonderfull tips and guideline .thank you so much Leah.

Laura Lee

April 12, 2013 #

Quick newbie question. I have a machine with a one-step buttonhole function and I know how to use it; it requires the needle to be dropped at the starting point of the button hole. On your patterns is that the bottom of the “T”? Did my muslin last night and it looks right but I wanted to make sure before moving on…thank you


April 12, 2013 #

You can start buttonholes on either end. I usually like to start from the center front and move out to avoid any possibility of puckering, but if your fabric is pretty stable, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Laura Lee

April 12, 2013 #

Thank you so much! You and your site really inspire me.