Does Anyone Know How To Sew a Button Back On Anymore?

We need to know.

I had a date to meet a friend recently and she was a bit delayed. The cause of the holdup had been an unexpected diversion to the dry cleaner to drop off a shirt. One might assume it was in need of a clean and starch, but it turns out it simply had sprung a button. I was aghast but tried to play it off with a number of casual questions (naturally) that were probably a dead giveaway in retrospect. Was it a tricky button? Was the shirt a delicate or intricate material? Negative on both counts. My sweet friend simply had never learned how to sew a button back onto a shirt. Now before I get too high on my horse, I must admit, I would probably have the same fate were it not for my ninth grade "Fabrics and Fibers" teacher who took it upon herself to teach 30-something 14-year-olds how to tackle the task with aplomb—that and how to craft a giant papier-mâché goldfish.

Hand Sewing Button onto Gingham Fabric
Getty/Viktar Savanevich / EyeEm

Trust me on this, my girlfriend is not alone in outsourcing what to some might seem a two-minute task. It seems along with the arts of ironing and sorting laundry, many of us are also missing out on what was once an essential life skill, and I'm not talking about how to change a tire (that's one you've got me on—I do know how to call AAA though.) Is all hope lost once we as a society begin throwing white towels and a pile of gym clothes into the washer together, all willy-nilly ? Are we doomed when we begin opting for athleisure that requires no pressing under a hot iron prior to wear? That would certainly be a gloomy outlook.

Thankfully these once commonly practiced tasks are easy enough to take up on a whim once more. Snag that little sewing kit that some hotels stock on the bathroom counter along with the mini soaps and shampoo. Pull it out, thread it up, and give it a go the next time you have a loose button. And, if you need a little technique help, don't be afraid to get technology involved. YouTube is a master for all the little life skills I never knew I needed. You might just find that sewing on your own buttons actually saves more time than an impromptu trip to the dry cleaner or tailor.

For the rest of us who know how to sew a button back onto clothing, maybe today is the day we reach out to a sister, niece, nephew, or grandchild and pass on the craft. I certainly do not want a generation of non-button-sewers on my conscience, do you?

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