Ready for rivets? what about tack/jeans buttons?

A little over a week back Sue asked me if I had ever done any videos or how-to for attaching rivets and the answer was no, I hadn't.

It seems that since I started sewing jeans a year or so ago a HUGE number of people have been taking the plunge and whipping out their own jeans which is pretty awesome.  I have no idea why there was the misconception that jeans were difficult, time consuming yes i'll agree, but difficult no.  

I think a lot of the home-sewn jeans revival has to to do with Jalie 2908 womens stretch jean pattern.  I have no idea what Jalie did different from other pattern makers but whatever it was people loved it.  I have seen a few pairs in person and I admit they are a great fitting basic stretch jean.  Check out some of the reviews over at if you need more proof, the reviews don't lie....

Anyway..   One of the issues people have with making their own jeans is attaching the hardware.  People selling rivets on ebay make them sound deceptively easy to attach.  In truth I suppose they are but it's not as simple as just hammering them in.  I've attached a LOT of rivets and I've learned a few tricks that make the process easier.  I've also attached my share of jeans buttons which are otherwise known as tack buttons.  Though not as difficult they have their own set of challenges.  

This is my first how-to video in a long time and I hope the important points come across clear enough.  A rewarding project to work on to be sure, I think you'll enjoy it!  If you like, click the direct link above the videos and watch full screen in 720p over at YouTube.  The quality difference is quite apparent and worth waiting for them to load up.  There were some audio out of sync issues with the first upload Friday I cleaned them up and uploaded fresh copies.  Should be all almost perfect now.

Rivet Video Part 1

Rivet Video Part 2

Jeans Button/Tack Button Video 

15 comments :: Ready for rivets? what about tack/jeans buttons?

  1. OOH, Awesome, thanks!! I've made a pair of cords and a trouser-style pair of jeans, but I need these casual jeans details for my next pair.

  2. Thank you Brian! What a "duh" moment when you suggested using denim washers. Of course!

    This tutorial was very nicely done.

  3. Thank you so much for this fantastic tutorial! You are so kind for sharing your knowledge and your time. I just started working on my Jalie 2908, and will soon be tackling jeans hardware for the first time. I love all your videos.

  4. These were great Brian, very helpful. I made a jacket awhile ago that I thought would benefit from rivets, but didn't want to risk damaging it. I have a little more courage now.

  5. Thanks so much for this information. I am fitting jeans right now, so this very timely for me.

  6. Thank you, thank you... great videos! sue

  7. A couple of suggestions: 1) do your hammering on a stable table, (or the floor) not your ironing board. You'll have better results with less pounding. 2) For the "nipple" type of brad, you can use an old wooden thread spool as a spacer between the rivet/snap and the pounding. I do this all the time, as I am addicted to snaps. -- San Antonio Sue

  8. Hi Sue, Thanks for those suggestions! Yes, hammering on a stable table is very important. A thread spool will work great for snaps however will not work for nipple rivets. The post of the rivet will simply push through the nipple of the rivet.

  9. This was really, really helpful. I thought I might need to buy the special hand press tools, but after watching these, I'm sure I can do it with what I have at home.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. This tuturial was great. Thanks.

  11. Hi Brian,

    I too have a blog but about sailing not I know how others feel who come for answers!

    Thanks for the great info. I'm fixing some jeans my daughter borrowed.

  12. Hi, Brian

    I think you're awesome!
    Where do you get your rivets?


  13. Hey Brian,

    Thanks for such detailed videos! I have a question: How can you reattach rivets that have fallen off? I have an almost new pair of denim capris and after only a couple washes, one of the rivets on the back pockets came off. Sad day.

  14. Great videos! So glad I found them. I've been trying to decide if rivets were worth doing in home sewing.

  15. Thanks for the tutorial. I found it very informative, and after trying it out I can say it works great.

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