A number of years ago, I took Valentina Devine’s Creative Knitting class. She teaches a technique involving “log-cabin” knit squares (usually in riotous color combinations) that can be combined into simple vests, kimonos and pullovers. She taught us some color-combining techniques, in spite of which, I knit a misshapen square of muddy blues and purples, and pressed the point that the right button can make a sweater. Start collecting buttons, she said.

I have taken this to heart, and in addition to owning enough fiber to knit a cozy for the state capitol building, I’ve squirreled away a lot of buttons. We’re talking cookie tins bursting at the seams with opalescent shirt buttons, rhinestone clusters, vintage plastics, novelty horn fasteners and Czech-glass beauties. I’ve used them to make jewelry, embellish clothing and and handbags, and remarkably enough, effect repairs on commercial garments.

Having finished the Kim Hargreaves rip-off cardi, I found myself in the position of having to choose one button, one glorious, statement-making button that would pull the whole ill-gotten enterprise together. Cue button stash. May I present the contenders:


The “right” button surprised me immensely. Stay tuned for the big reveal tomorrow.

How to build a button stash:

(And remember the cardinal rule: Buy them when you see them.)

1. Hit Ebay. Search under “vintage buttons lot,” “bakelite buttons lot,” “green buttons lot”—whatever your interest. This is a terific way to accumulate an enormous load of mixed-quality goodies quickly and cheaply.

2. Troll thrift stores and antique shops. Though you are likely to pay more per unit, you will have better opportunities to pick and choose buttons you really love.

3. Visit fine fabric shops. Most chain stores carry the usual suspects—La Petite buttons on cards—but the fancier shops tend to offer unusual, lux fasteners.

4. Check out a bead show. Many bead shows also feature button vendors, plus the National Button Society hosts an annual show as well as posts links to other clubs and sellers. Nice to know there’s a home for people like us.

5. Cosy up to grandma. People of previous generations saved everything. As a child, I adored my grandmother’s button jar and played with it ceaselessly, sorting the buttons by size and color, Lord knows, I probably even gave them names. As an adult, I asked her for it. Since she had no use for it, she was more than happy for me to have it. There are buttons in my stash I treasure because they remind me of her.

Comments (2) -

December 15. 2006 21:18



窃听器 |

December 19. 2006 13:28


Would you be interested in selling us items through reverse auction website? We like your products.

Barbara |

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