Sewing on a button


Did you learn at school how to sew on a button? graph of japanese statisticsDon’t say I don’t bring you rather strange surveys, as here is iShare’s look at sewing buttons, an activity that sems to be taught in most Japanese schools, to boys as well as girls.


Between the 18th and 21st of January 2010 509 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.9% of the sample were male, 33.2% in their twenties, 34.0% in their thirties, and 32.8% in their forties.

I never learnt such matters in school myself, although we did have home economics, but that focused on cooking skills on the whole. If I lose a button these days I just ask wifey nicely to fix it, and sometimes she in fact actually does do it for me.

Research results

Q1: Did you learn at school how to sew on a button? (Sample size=509)

  All Male
Yes 90.4% 86.4% 94.7%
No 9.6% 13.6% 5.3%

Q2: Have you ever had a button fall off your clothes? (Sample size=509)

  All Male
Yes (to SQ1) 91.0% 87.5% 94.7%
No 9.0% 12.5% 5.3%

Q2SQ1: What do you most often do if a button falls off your clothes? (Sample size=463)

  All Male
Sew it on myself 67.6% 51.1% 84.1%
Get someone to sew it on (to SQ2) 25.7% 40.3% 11.2%
Just keep wearing the clothes 5.4% 6.9% 3.9%
Don’t wear the clothes outside again 1.3% 1.7% 0.9%
Throw the clothes away 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Other 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Q2SQ2: Can you sew on a button onto your own clothes? (Sample size=150)

  All Male
Yes 62.0% 58.4% 73.0%
No 38.0% 41.6% 27.0%

Q3: Have you ever looked up on the internet how to sew on a button? (Sample size=509)

  All Male
Yes 3.3% 5.3% 1.2%
No 96.7% 94.7% 98.8%
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  1. Janne said,
    February 16, 2010 @ 09:52

    You didn’t have sewing in grammar school? From first to sixth grade we’d have one lesson weekly with woodworking or sewing, alternating every semester. Seventh to ninth it switched to cooking/housekeeping and metalworking/”home technology” (wiring a plug, cleaning a drain, that sort of stuff). Sure, still just one lesson a week (a double lesson every other week in practice), but you still learn quite a lot.

    Those classes are probably the most useful ones I ever had. I couldn’t name the top ten rivers in Europe or describe the difference between an adjective and and adverb if you put a gun to my head, but I can still make a pillow case with proper inseams, use an expanding bolt in drywall and the top signs to look for that a fish is fresh.

  2. Taro 3Yen said,
    February 16, 2010 @ 17:46

    Sheee-it, I went to school before you were born. Even then at least one semester of “home ec” for the guys and one semester of “shop” for the girls was required in Chicago area for the guys in 8th grade (13 years old).
    As Janne said, “Those classes are probably the most useful ones I ever had.” My mandatory “Home Finance” class in high school served me so well that every Income Tax season I had my pockets full of $10 bills from my fellow grad students who asked me to just “double check” their tax returns.

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