Button Band "How To"

My last installment included a grey linen camp shirt with buttonholes that were created by piecing a band to the center front.  It is a little tricky to figure out how that happens just looking at the finished product.  So here is how that happened....

I am using some 'loud' contrasty fabrics to make it easier to see what's going on...I hope it works!

Pretend that the blue is the front of the shirt, the pink is the buttonhole band and the check is the binding.  The buttons here are 3/4 inch, so I wanted a 3/4" finished band.  You can decide what proportion looks best for your buttons and fabrics.

I serged the edge of the blue because it will be turned to the inside to form the front facing.

To get a 3/4" band with a bound edge I cut a strip 
1 1/2" wide (if you are going to finish the edge with a slip stitch, add a 1/4" seam allowance...1/2" total... to the strip)  

If you are making the band a different size, double your finished width for the bound version and add 1/2" for seam allowances for the slip stitched version.

Mark a center line on the strip, leaving spaces for the buttonholes.  In this example the spaces are 7/8" long.

Pin your strip to the shirt front matching the center marking with the center front of the shirt.  Adjust the strip up or down to get the buttonholes where you want them!

In this case I assumed a 2" facing would be turned back on the shirt front.

Stitch the band to the shirt, leaving the spaces for the buttonholes unstitched.  It's easier to see this from the back side of the shirt.  Make sure to secure your stitching really well on either side of the buttonholes so it doesn't pull out when you button and unbutton your shirt!

Now turn the 'facing' to the inside of the shirt and fold the band in half lengthwise along your stitching line.  This is what makes the buttonhole.

At this point you have a couple of finishing options...  

For this example I am using a 1/4" bound edge to finish the buttonhole band.  I "stitched in the ditch" to catch the backside of my bias tape and finish the binding.

On my grey shirt, I turned the raw edges of the band to the inside and slip stitched the edge.

Sew your buttons to the other shirt front and you are in business!

Obviously, this finish can be quite subtle as on the grey camp shirt... or fun and colorful as my little sample.  Whichever version you pick, it does make a really clean buttonhole.

Hope this is helpful! 😊


  1. Thanks for this, Becky. It's a great tutorial that I'll use!

    1. Glad it makes sense! I had used it in the past, but had forgotten about it until I saw it on one of Diane's garments. It's back in rotation.

  2. This is an excellent idea and a clear tutorial. Thank you!

    1. Glad you like it. It gives a really tailored look. Enjoy!