Covered buttons of fabric or thread were a common feature on garments of the 18th century. They were found on Men's coats, breeches, waistcoats, Lady's riding habits, or Lady's gowns when they were made to be "polonaised" or had a "Compère" front which displayed lovely buttons and sometimes working buttonholes. The book "Death Head Buttons" explains how to make the thread buttons, giving a variety of extant samples.  In the Encyclopédie published in France in the 18th century, Diderot provided this drawing which illustrated the steps of making a covered button.