Sewing buttons on by machine is faster and more secure than hand sewing, and almost all sewing machines can do it! There are different ways depending on the machine, but with all of them remember two things: drop the feed dog and place the button under a foot designed to hold it in place while you stitch, such as Button Sew-on Foot #18.
Here are three ways to stitch 2- or 4-hole flat buttons in place:
Zigzag Stitch: Any zigzag machine can do this. Set the stitch width the same distance as the space between the holes. Sew 6-8 stitches, pull the thread tails to the back, and tie off to secure.
Universal Stitch: Very secure, as the stitch is locked every time it sews the three little side stitches (remember, the feed dog is dropped so the stitches are sewing in place).
Button Sew-On Program: Easy, easy, easy! Many computerized machines have a button sew-on program; check your owner’s manual to find out if yours does. Sew until the machine stops; the machine sews on the button and automatically ties off the stitches. If you have the option, this is a great place to use the On/Off button rather than the foot control to power your machine. Just push the button and the machine will sew, stopping automatically when the program is complete.
One more thing: If your machine is equipped with automatic tie-off and scissors, this is a great place to use them – no more clipping threads from the buttons!