Yorkshire button for Pillar Box Pleat

Pillar Box pleat neck1 garden

From a piece of card or thin plastic, cut out a circle with a diameter of roughly 5 to 5.5 cm:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 1

Divide the circle into 12 equal segments, and number each line around the outside edge, like a clock-face:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 2

With a darning needle, make a hole in the centre where the lines cross; then cut small, shallow, V-shaped notches out of the edge at each number of the clock-face:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 3

Thread the darning needle with approx. 3 m of yarn, and, leaving a short tail at the back (just a couple of centimetres), bring the yarn through the hole in the centre, from back to front. Then take the yarn from the centre over to notch 1, then a short distance across the back to notch 12, over to the front again, then down to notch 6.

Then go round the back to notch 7, and from notch 7 right across the front to notch 1 again, and so on, to build up a double-stranded spoke of yarn over each line. The full sequence goes like this:

centre to 1, 12 to 6, 7 to 1, 2 to 8, 9 to 3, 4 to 10, 11 to 5, 6 to 12, 11 to 5, 4 to 10, 9 to 3, 2 to 8:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 4

Finally, from notch 7 weave the needle under the hub of crossed threads in the centre and bring it up carefully, without splitting any yarn, between notches 12 and 1:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 5

Now begin to work a backstitch-weave over the spokes: start by going under spokes 12 and 11, then back down between 12 and 11, then under 11 and 10, and back down between them:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 6

Continue in this way, going forwards, anti-clockwise, under two spokes …

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 7

… then back over the last one, working round and round:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 8

When you reach the outermost edge of the disc, turn it over, and at the back thread the yarn through each of the loops that lie between the notches, in turn …

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 9

… lifting them off the card as you go:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 10

Remove the disc, pull on the yarn gently to form a little pocket at the back, and stuff it with some fleece or fluffed-up snippets of yarn. Now pull more firmly on the needle to close the gap and seal the stuffing inside:

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 11

Secure with a stitch or two, then use the remaining yarn to attach the button to the back of the garment …

PILLAR BOX BUTTON 12

… in this case, just above the claw pattern at the top of the pleat:

Been11

Leave a Comment ↓


  1. Viv Tanswell says:

    ….. and thank you also for teaching me how to make these lovely buttons. They look so complicated but maybe not too difficult after all. I shall have a go.

    Viv x

    12:17 pm on September 13th, 2016
  2. wull says:

    They can be quite addictive; you can make them any size & they have lots of uses. Not too difficult for little fingers either, perhaps? A. x

    6:38 am on September 14th, 2016

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