Tag Archives: buttons

weekly photo challenge: one

a lovely little holiday gift
a lovely little holiday gift

One, n. […Gr. the ace on dice…] 1. A single unit; as, one is the base of all numbers. 2. A symbol representing a unit, as 1, or i.  3. A single person or thing…

My sewing friend in the U.K. created these from vintage fabric and buttons, all British made decades ago.  When I wanted to purchase one, she sent it as a gift.

From the luxurious fabric to the profusion of glass buttons, it’s a precious example of her creativity, artistry and thoughtfulness.  I value it immensely.

It also reminds me of Britain’s respect for beauty, history, and industry.  Who were the individuals that designed and made these buttons?  Who saved them?  And the rickrack trim?  What mind created the fabric design, then wove it?  Who was attracted to this damask-like fabric and purchased it?  What hands laid the fabric away from fading sunlight?

In reality, this represents the work and thought of hundreds of individuals over the decades.  All in one little ornament.

Holiday Wishes

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

a ‘duh’ moments week

autumn skirt, from CA super stash, at least 12 years old
autumn skirt, from CA super stash, at least 12 years old

Have had a few of those this week, starting Monday whilst ironing the unruly facings of a RTW Stewart plaid flannel top.  Don’t particularly care about it being pretty, just want to be able to button it.

Then it hit: I own a needle & thread.  And a sewing machine.  And my home-made facings are always sewn down.  Duh!

My mini cape is now was in season; but, because it’s lined, it slipped off, and my closure was more decorative than functional.  Fixed.  Of course, now the weather’s warm.  😉

Then a tough decision:  Lengthen trousers probably in their last season, or leave them?  I was good.  Also got a green scarf’s hem mended.

That fall rayon skirt is completely picked apart, rewashed, ironed, and ready to become a mobius-style scarf.  But another project is threatening to intervene with a problem.  Heeeeelp!  Need opinions/suggestions badly!

Meanwhile, the rayon’s siren call doth beckon…


decorating the whither the weather hat ~ buttons!

My favourite play toys, buttons, should help me ease into Monday morning, November, and the time change a bit.

When doing groups of anything ~ flowers, fabrics, jewels, buttons ~ it’s always best to use an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.).  It’s probably a Rule of something.

Sometimes 1 is enough, if it’s a big enough 1, but that 1 red button on the hat isn’t, is it.  In my opinion, even the group of lovely vintage silver buttons or the red group of buttons aren’t enough.

Like the buttons?  He-hee!  Samantha’s Ultimate Vintage Upcycle may still have some.

Now look what happens with Laura P’s caramel buttons as they start multiplying across the brim of the hat.  If you count the individual buttons, I’ve put an odd number of buttons in each group (3, 5, 7), as well as used an odd number of groups (3).

Ah, maybe that little added bit of lace balances eveything - what do you think?
Ah, maybe that little added bit of lace balances everything – what do you think?

trivia: Coco Chanel began her empire 100 years ago with HATS!
Her hats became so popular and so many women admired her personal style of dress that she was able to expand the hat business into a major industry encompassing everything from perfume to jewellery to clothing, even in the midst of war.  Quite a story, sans the cinematic spin.

saturday spitalfields update: colour!

Samantha of Ultimate Vintage Upcycle reports, “Have been moved to stall number 38 for Spitalfields Market on Saturday. 

We should be easy to spot as it will look like an explosion in a paint factory COLOUR COLOUR and a tad more COLOUR!”

Everyone near London head over, give Samantha a hug, & start looking at the buttons, ribbons, vintage upcycled items, ribbons, laces, and haberdashery from across Europe over the last 100 years.

WOWser, has she got gorgeous things!   Do send us a piccie of your finds.

decorating the whither the weather hat ~ handkerchiefs & lace

Before Jane Austen’s time, women were saving bits & bobs of jewellery, lace, ribbon, buttons, and fabric to use for decorative purposes ~ including hats.  That’s what I’m going to show over the next couple of days, starting with these …

Remember this collection?  It would look equally good on this hat, but it’s not coming off the blue!   And lest we forget our vintage hankies…

saturday, stall #37, old spitalfields, london!

click to see Samantha's post about these pillows!
click to see Samantha’s post about these pillows!

Wish I could be transported for the debut of Samantha’s Ultimate Vintage Upcycle stall at Old Spitalfields Market this Saturday… sigh!

She’s collected some very rare fabrics & notions, and upcycled them in delightful ways.

You simply will not belief the love and care that’s gone into these, including documenting the history of each, passing it on for the latest owners to know, talk about, and treasure.

2 sets red buttons
remember these? by the GROSS she’s got ’em, and many more!

Don’t believe me?  Read a bit of Samantha’s blog or Facebook and you’ll see!  Or read a couple of me older posts about here & here.

my suggestion: arrive early & bring lots cash ~ and say “del sent me!”

Beginning Monday next, she will begin selling on Facebook with PayPal.

Old Spitalfields Market map ~ scroll down the page
“The nearest Tube stations are Liverpool Street, Shoreditch High Street and Aldgate East, all around 5 minutes away. Old Street Tube station is a 15-minute walk, as is Moorgate.  See www.tfl.gov.uk for all bus routes etc.”

skirt evolution

100% polyester wrap skirt
100% polyester wrap skirt

This morning I started taking a wrap skirt apart, to convert into a simple gathered skirt.  Said wrap was a super bargain last week at about $5.

The fabric’s loosely woven 100 % polyester, not piling yet but looks like it will eventually.  Am trying not to spend too much time with it.  Just want something to keep my legs warm on these chilly mornings, before I give in and turn the heat on!

Normally, a print that wraps vertically instead of running horizontally is the last thing I’d want. But I love paisley and the print is dark, and I couldn’t resist.

Thus far:

  • Got the hem taken down once.  There was a molto generous 3” hem, and under that another 1” hem.  Will leave that as the new hem.
  • Because the skirt originally wrapped, the 2 ends are interfaced nicely, with 1 twice as wide as the other.  Am still undecided on whether to keep trying to unpick the black threads against the very dark fabric, or just lop ‘em off.
  • Have a unique black button to add to my collection.
  • The button used on the inside of the wrap’s closure is clear, which seems to be standard for unseen buttons.   So blah.  So sad.

Knowing there’s something unique no one else can see is rather nice.  That’s why we sew, isn’t?  🙂

doin’ homework & making plans

photo courtesy Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) site
photo courtesy Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) site

Don’t mean to whinge on, but remember Phryne (fry-knee) from last month?   I started watching the series, loved the impressive costuming, and immediately ordered series 1.  Have been studying costume designer Marion Boyce’s creations ever since, wondering why I appreciate this wardrobe so much more than what I’d thought was 1920s flapper style.

Doing my homework, I found several interviews (see facebook, Dear Readers) that included quotes from Ms. Boyce.  In her wardrobe analysis she felt the Phryne character was always in motion, so her clothes needed that impetus. And as Phryne has been everywhere, done & seen everything, especially Paris, the Parisian influence was needed.  Ah-hah, I though, that’s the difference ~ that’s what I like!

Phryne wears ensembles, something else I appreciate, because I get to think bags & hats.  Everything’s not matchy-matchy, and I’ve seen the same blouse, purse, skirt, etc., in different shows paired with different items, so we’re not getting paranoid or enlarging the closet too much.

Speaking of handbags…  read a great post on Catherine’s blog, Makings of an Urban Rustic.  Aren’t they gorgeous!  So cuddly… and I’ve the perfect (purrfect) velour for one.  Checked out the author & book Catherine used but felt no sparks.  Hmm.  As friend Samantha says, “When in doubt, do nowt.”

That night I remembered I hadn’t done a search on the author’s name, Emma Brennan, just looked at her books.  How un-thorough.  Next day I searched… and found the lovely author alive, well and selling on etsy.  Wha-hooo!  Saw and immediately ordered a complete kit for a luscious orangey clutch, complete with authentic Harris Tweed fabric, pattern, & vintage buttons.  (Buttons?!  TWEED??)  It’s on its way across the pond, along with the pattern, and I can’t wait!  Click for piccies & details.

So although you haven’t seen much lately, I’ve been busy here-abouts, despite the momentary sewing lull whilst the weather sorts itself out. What have you been up to, Dear Readers?

faffing about ~ buttons, again

Dear friend Sewin Love UK, my secret swap mate, has sent Real Vintage Buttons!  (The beautiful lampwork beads you’ll see glimpses of are mostly on my facebook, so I can concentrate on buttons here.)

As she explains on her facebook page, these came from a good friend who tramped through an old falling down warehouse in Malta. Isn’t Sewin Love generous?! These are so special to her, because of her friendship with the discoverer, yet she parted with some to send me.  That’s a special lady, and am so grateful we “met” through a swap.

Here’s some of the detail about these specific buttons, starting with the green buttons, of course!

  • green embossed w/gold were made in England c 1940s
  • green w/gold outline were made in Italy c 1930s
  • red buttons were all made in England c. 1930s
  • silver buttons were made in England c. 1940s

I was surprised at the silver, which are a metal (nickel or aluminium?), being manufactured in England in 1940s, because I’ve read of the extreme shortages they had, and continued to have, until almost 1960.  During the war years all metals went into manufacturing war implements.  But afterwards I’m not sure, not having read about that.  I asked Samantha, and she, bless her, has contacted the V&A Museum!   Do any of you, Dear Readers, know any more about the manufacture of buttons in England in the 1940s?  If you do, please share!

we who love buttons are not alone

I really did a lot of faffing about last night, but found out some interesting things. Did you know…

want some for yourself?   november spitalfields!

Sewin Love sent me “samples!” – she has these by the gross.  She, they, and much more will be available for purchase by each and every person attending her stall in November at Judy’s Vintage Fair, in Old Spitalfields Market.

Mark your calendars now, Dear Readers!!!  And please take a piccie or two to share with us too far away to attend.  😉 xx

faffing about ~ buttons

click any to go to larger photos

Technically, it’s Wednesday, but I’ve been faffing about so much this should would have been posted Tuesday if I’d stayed on target.  So I’m cheating and back-dating this. Shh – don’t tell!

It’s these buttons. Can’t seem to resist them. And since dear friend & secret swap partner Sewin Love UK‘s latest care package arrived yesterday I’ve had these beauties staring me in the face.

Also… the weather’s changing, which means dragging out all those boxes (well, not that many now that I’ve downsized so drastically) and sorting through, trying to guess what will be needed now, and what to save for later when it’s really winter.

And then there’s last week, which was beastly hot & humid, when I wore my last 2 (new) dresses to death, and began to realize how much I miss dresses instead of bottoms & tops, then realizing the h&h weather could return…   😦

Couple that with seeing Phryne Fisher and reading all about the costumes, which combine British and French 1920’s influence, to better reflect the lead’s character.  The dresses and coats were looking awfully comfortable, even if I don’t have her waif-thin figure. (memo to self: designer says cut on the bias for curvy figures …)

Not to mention trying to decide what to sew next, given all the above.  So it’s been faffing about in general here.

How about you?