Alright, let me admit something here. It took me 15 years (or somewhere around there) to learn how to make a button hole. You know one that didn’t look like crap. Still sometimes… crap. The hardest thing to teach? The button hole. The instruction is pretty straight forward. The key really is practice. So to start you are going to want to mark your button hole. DO this by tracing both sides of the button and then drawing a line between them.

Now in order to make a Machine button hole you will need a machine that sews a zig-zag stitch. Some old machines don’t so you may try making one by hand.
This little diagram will walk you through the steps…
1. With the zig-zag stitch set wide (5 for me) (the wider the stitch the wider the button hole) set the stitch length to “0” and you will sew a tack, which is just sewing back in forth in place a few times.
2. Next you will sew one side of the button hole by setting the zig-zag to a much narrower setting (2 for me) Then with the stitch length set to .5 (or barely more than the shortest setting) sew a straight line down the left of the button hole line.
3. When you get to the bottom sew another tack just as you did in step 1.
4. Then you will sew up the right hand side the same way you did in step 2.

Then you have a button hole. Use your seam ripper (or small scissors) and cut a slit down the middle between all the stitches.

Then your button should fit right through.

If your machine has a button hole stitch it will likely go through all those steps automatically. (you just turn a dial or press a button when it completes a step) However, it’s always good to know how to do one with out the machine doing it for you.
I hope this helps you muster up the courage to practice button holes.
They really aren’t that bad. The day I decided I was just going to do them instead of being afraid, ruining my garment every time I tried I did 20 or more just one after another until they stopped looking like crap and started looking like a button hole. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Only 2 more sewing 101 lessons are left! It’s crazy! Maybe someday we will move into sewing 102…