How to Calculate Buttonhole Spacing

By Ellen Dean ; Updated September 15, 2017
It's important to find the right place for buttonholes.

After knitting or stitching your beautiful new jacket, shirt, sweater or coat, it is time to find the correct placement of the buttonholes. Most patterns that can be purchased in fabric or hobby shops include detailed instructions on exactly where to place buttonholes. However, for those fierce mavericks of stitchery who create without a specific pattern, there are numerous websites that offer buttonhole calculators. After putting in the correct measurement information, the computer program will figure out the data and give you measurements of the perfect buttonhole spacing for your stunning new garment.

Creating buttonholes

Go to a buttonhole measurement website (see References section for links).

Measuring and counting will take patience.

Count or measure the spacing from the bottom of the front band of the garment. This will be a large number.

There may be many stitches to count.

Enter the number of rows of stitching in the front band.

How many stitches will it take to create a buttonhole?

Find out the number of stitches in one buttonhole.

How many buttonholes can comfortably fit on the front band?

Enter the number of buttonholes you will place in the front band.

Is your garment for a man or a woman?

Determine whether the garment is for a man or woman. The buttonholes will go on different sides of the clothing. For men, the holes will appear on the left side and for women, holes will have buttons on the right side of the band.

Let your computer do the hard work.

Click the "Calculate" button and directions will be given to you for your exact buttonhole measurements.

About the Author

Ellen Dean is a visual artist and painting teacher. She has been teaching and writing articles on art since 2001, and has been a professional artist since 1999, (ChadwickandSpector.com), after studying sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an NYFA Fellow and was nominated by the Sovereign Art Award/Sotheby's Hong Kong, two years in a row.