Six easy steps to sew a button back on; other tailoring tips you need to know

SAN ANTONIOEditor's note: Adulting Hacks is a series featured exclusively on KSAT News at 9.

Have you ever left a shirt hanging in a closet for months because you didn't know how to sew a button back onto it?  Or, maybe you left a pair of pants unworn because you didn't know how to hem them.

Most of us have been in this situation.  That's why KSAT News at 9 ontacted the fashion program at the University of the Incarnate Word to get some advice.

Here's a look at some sewing and alteration hacks they gave us:

The easiest way to sew on a button

1. You will need a needle and thread.

2. You will also need a toothpick.  This toothpick will create a shank.  A shank is a device that provides a small amount of space in between a garment and a button.

3. Place the button on top of the toothpick and place the fabric underneath it.

4. Sew through the button's holes until it feels tight.

5. Remove the toothpick.

6. Wrap the thread underneath the button a few times.

Melinda Adams, a fashion management professor at the University of the Incarnate Word, says these easy tips can save you about $20 it would have cost to get your button reattached at the dry cleaners.

How to hem your pants without a needle and thread

1. Make sure you have double-sided tape.

2. Place the tape on the inside of your hem.

3. Fold your pants up and press the layers together.

"They also sell double-sided fashion tape at the store," said Adams. "You just iron it on and it will hold for years."

Easy fix to a sweater snag

1. Find the loose thread.

2. Find a needle or a sharp object.

3. Pull the loose thread through to the back side of your sweater. 

This will keep the snag from growing.  Another option?  Iron-on patches.

What to do if our zipper is stuck

Adams also gave advice for loosening up a stuck zipper.  Apply some WD-40 or vegetable oil.  This should work for a metal zipper.





About the Authors:

Valerie Gomez is lead video editor and graphic artist for KSAT Explains. She began her career in 2014 and has been with KSAT since 2017. She helped create KSAT’s first digital-only newscast in 2018, and her work on KSAT Explains and various specials have earned her a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media and multiple Emmy nominations.