This tutorial details how to mark the button / buttonhole placement on your patterns. I tend do this when the garment is already made, as it can be difficult to pick the right buttons before the piece is made. The choice of buttons can really make or break the aesthetic of a piece, and it can be worth taking the garment to the shop and laying a number of different buttons on the piece to see what works best. You may decide on a totally different shape, size or material than you had in mind, or may consider using less or more than you had planned. This way, you get the perfect button and won't let any go to waste!

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Once you have your perfect button, take the pattern piece in which the buttons will be placed.

Remember, when it comes to womenswear, the garment is "left over right" (which means the buttonholes are on the left hand side and the buttons on the right. while, for men, it is the opposite.

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Work out the location of your first buttonhole. It needs to be close to the neckline of your piece (or waist if you are placing buttons on a skirt), but not so close that the button will extend beyond the seam line. I think 1.5cm - 2cm down is a good place to start.

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Mark your first button hole.

To work out the length of your buttonholes, measure the diametre of your button and add the width of the button, plus 3-4mm for "wiggle room." Or you can use the automatic buttonhole function on your sewing machine (if you have one) on a scrap piece of fabric, and measure it (it's always good to have a test run before getting started anyway!)

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Before working out the position of your second buttonhole, consider the location of the third buttonhole. The third buttonhole (in the centre front of a shirt or blouse) is a very important button as it lies on the bust, and prevents flashes of parts of the body that most of us like to keep private!

Mark the third buttonhole on the bust line (by referring to your original bodice block and transferring the placement, or holding the pattern up to your body and marking the location).

As an indication, there is 14cm between my first and third buttons on this pattern.

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Now, place the second buttonhole, halfway between the first and third button hole.

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Place the rest of the buttonholes equidistant apart. 

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The process is the same if you'd prefer vertical buttonholes.

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