How to Attach a Button with Your Sewing Machine
Most people know that their sewing machine has a stitch for creating buttonholes, but did you know that your machine can sew buttons onto your clothing as well? It's not difficult to sew on a button by hand, but it's much quicker (and more secure) to attach it with your sewing machine instead! Here's how to take advantage of this sewing shortcut:
First, get the button you're planning to use.
Measure it to see how many millimeters there are between the holes.
My sewing machine has a specific stitch for sewing on buttons (#63), but if you don't have this particular stitch, you can also use a regular old zigzag stitch (#3). Be sure to set your stitch length to zero if you use a zigzag stitch because you want to sew in place, rather than moving forward with each stitch. The button stitch doesn't even allow you to change stitch length--it's automatically set at zero. Now set your stitch width based on your button's measurements. I set this to 4.5mm for my button (although the photo below shows 3mm).
Be sure to use your darning plate to cover the feed dogs (or drop your feed dogs, if you have that option) because, again, you don't want your fabric to move forward--you just want to sew in one place over and over. You can use a piece of clear tape to hold your button in place (it'll tear off easily afterward). There's also a specific presser foot for holding buttons in place while you sew them on. My sewing machine manual called for just the general purpose presser foot and darning plate, so that's all I used.
I like to sew the first few stitches using only the hand wheel, just to make sure that I've centered the button. You don't want your needle to accidentally hit the button itself. You can also adjust the location of the button or the stitch width if necessary at this point. Sew back and forth until you've secured the button to your satisfaction.
Trim your threads and you're done!