Making a Shank on a Sew Through Button


Cynthia Guffey


As sewists, we are applying buttons to garments all the time.

Cynthia Guffey, a wonderful instructor who teaches classes both for our live and online Martha Pullen Co. events, recently shared a great tip with us concerning making a shank on a sew through button. The shank needs to be, in its size or depth, the same size as the thickness of your fabric on the overlap side.

Watch the video tutorial:

Learn many more of Cynthia Guffey’s helpful tips and tricks at one of our online or in-person events! We’ve coordinated with Cynthia on two online courses and she’s teaching one of the three-day retreats at our School of Art Fashion Boutique in Lakeland, FL this March. Plus, she’s teaching a number of classes at the Original Sewing & Quilt EXPO events in Lakeland, FL and Atlanta, GA in March.

What are all the class options? Check out the schedule below:

cynthia-guffey-shirtsOnline Courses

Core Sewing Skills: Darts 101
Feb.4 – April 1, 2017
This course explores all of the fitting, style and design options afforded by darts. You’ll learn how to raise and lower darts, increase their size, add a dart when there isn’t a visible dart in sight and more.

Women’s Shirts: The Best of Everything
April 12 – June 21, 2017
Learn how to sew women’s shirts as Cynthia Guffey teaches you more about sewing construction than you could ever imagine!

Live Events


School of Art Fashion Boutique

Fitting Clinic: Fine Tuning for a Superior Silhouette

Lakeland, FL – March 13-15, 2017

Small fitting ‘tweaks’ can take an average garment and elevate it to one with superior comfort and style – the one you’d like to wear every single day. Working in small increments and with a clear vision as to how to enhance the silhouette, Cynthia brings her personalized fitting clinic to you. Get a masterful dose of the finer points of fitting as they relate to comfort, function and fashion – all the while working with the patterns of your choice. Most every garment can benefit from small, incremental changes that make all the difference in how you look and feel in your clothes. Bring three patterns that have been altered to the best of your ability, and the mock-up for each. Your progress in class will be substantial, whether you arrive with mock-ups that are close-to-perfectly fitted or require attention to bigger issues. Depending on your own starting point and the speed at which you work, you may be able to refine all three looks – enough to create a wardrobe of graceful, flattering clothes for any lifestyle. The bonus is how much you’ll learn as you see others’ fitting sessions, from which you will gain a deeper understanding of how to identify and correct fitting issues, and where to refine them to perfection.


Original Sewing & Quilt EXPO

Atlanta, GA – March 9, 10 & 11, 2017

Lakeland, FL – March 16, 17 & 18, 2017

(Click on the city names below to learn more and register)

Fitting Your Contours: Front Bust Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
This first of a two-part series explores and resolves fitting the front bust. As Cynthia measures each student in class, you’ll see how to locate the bust point and learn which adjustments to your pattern best accommodate your own curves.

Fitting Your Contours: Back at the Underarm – Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
This is the second of the two-part series exploring and resolving bustline fitting issues. This time, looking exclusively at the back across the underarm, Cynthia will measure each student in class and evaluate needed  fitting adjustments. Results: comfortable fit, hemline parallel to the floor, free movement in the underarm and ease across the back.

Core Sewing Skills: Darts 101 Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
Darts can be the starting point for creating a new look or they can be the saving grace for fitting curves. Or both! This single fitting instrument is actually also a versatile, shape-shifting design opportunity, offering creative options and asking only for accuracy in return.


Fitting the Armhole Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
Eliminate uncomfortable fit and unsightly drag lines as you increase movement in a jacket or blouse by stitching a properly fitted armhole. Learn to diagnose armhole issues and how to make necessary changes to your pattern which affect neither the look of the cap nor the comfortable fit of the sleeve.

Essential Hand Stitches Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
Geoffrey Beene said (more or less) “I’m going to stitch this beautifully by machine, no matter how much hand-basting I have to do to get there!” Explore a collection of Cynthia’s most-used stitches, and discover their hidden charms and valuable benefits…

Substituting Waistbands Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
Skirts and pants can become more comfortable as we move when the correct waistline treatment is used. Learn about straight waistbands and which body type they suit particularly well; contour waistbands, facings and shaped yokes, each of which can fit, feel and act for maximum comfort and style with other body types.

Core Sewing Skills: Secret Matchpoints Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
We all see triangles, circles and squares on our pattern pieces. What’s the difference? How important are they? Learn your way around these printed matchpoints and discover how they’ll help streamline your sewing. Then …. learn about the matchpoints you don’t see, which are just as critical but not marked on the pattern pieces.

Core Sewing Skills: Pockets! Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
Look at and discuss a wide range of pockets, including sewn-on patch pockets with no topstitching and patch pockets with topstitching; side inset pockets (the ones that show up in the side seams of your pants and skirts) and side angle pockets, including directions for how to adjust the pattern to eliminate stretching and gaping over the hip.

Core Sewing Skills: Topstitching Details Atlanta, GA | Lakeland, FL
Nothing speaks of quality more than beautiful topstitching detail on a garment. Whether you choose a simple single line of stitching for subtle control and a bit of an accent, or make a dramatic statement with as many as 10 parallel rows of topstitching, there is a formula for achieving a look you’ll be proud to wear.

Fitting Clinic: Fine Tuning Your Pants Fit (More the Days Before) – Atlanta, GA *March 7 & 8, 2017
Small fitting ‘tweaks’ can take an average garment and elevate it to one with superior comfort and style – the one you’d like to wear every single day. Working in small increments and with a clear vision as to how to enhance the silhouette, Cynthia brings her personalized fitting clinic to you.

We hope you’ll start making plans to take an online course or see Cynthia in Atlanta or Lakeland!

One thought on “Making a Shank on a Sew Through Button

  1. Pat Pratt

    Great idea! More precise than estimating with a bunch a pins inserted under the button. Thank you!


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