Probably like most sewers, I have a back log of projects that need doing that takes up considerable mountainous space in my sewing room (and back of wardrobe, under bed, and behind doors... separating it out is part of a cunning plan to hide how much I hoard).
I got cracking yesterday, a sunny spring afternoon on a button-a-thon and wanted to show you how much difference a button makes.
I am rather in awe of my own button collection, I seem to always have just the right button in there for the project at hand, and it rarely fails me. I think it is a bit magical really, as I just buy on a whim and a fancy when pretty buttons find me at charity shops and the like. This sunny afternoon was no exception!
First up, here are the "before" photos of my three vintage items in need of a facelift:
A recent acquisition, lovely navy with polka dot 40s dress. Bought from Panama Hattie (no website sorry, you have to see her out and about, which you can do at the Crich Tramway 40s weekends). The fabric is great (though see-through as Polly, my dolly, pointed out), and it will be super cool even with a slip for summer. I am not normally a lace collar type of girl but this one was just right. The buttons though, were rather solid and too white for the collar, and the top button showed through the lace collar as a big white blob. You will see further below how I dealt with that!
A sweet 50s blouse, purchased at the recent Brighton Jukebox show from a lovely Dutch guy whose name I didn't get (he also had lovely linen garments and homewares that I wish I had scooped). It was obviously well loved and cared for but sporting two types of gorgeous buttons. Too distracting for me. (gosh, I thought I wasn't so much into lace collars, but that is two items in a month! I better watch out or it might become a bit of a 'thing' with me)
And finally a 50s/60s dress and jacket, bought from Home Sweet Homestyle at Hep Cats Holiday. The Jacket was nearly going to be left at the back of the cupboard, being terribly boxy for me in a typical 60s style, but I gave it a try to see if I couldn't liven it up, starting with my magic button box! (I have now taken it in with some darts and will show you in another post). The buttons it is sporting here are not the original, as they are a half inch out of placement, and they may have faded. At any rate, it was not helping the jacket step out of the doldrums and into wearable land.
So this is what the Button box turned out:
Some fabulous 40s buttons with little holes around the outside, creating an inverse polka dot of about the same size. They are a off white and not as chunky as the original.
Under the collar I planted an plain navy button, to do away with that solid blob that distracted from the lace work right in the centre of things. It will never be seen, and that is just the point of making it a background button.
As for the 50s blouse I opted for plain plain plain, it is a actually a modern button which I was thankful to find three of, with a slight pearly lustre just right for being stylishly subtle and to look vintage-esque enough.
And finally - the most amazing match, a 50s/60s button in a pearlised blue that does just the right amount of matching and lifting the jacket. I doubt I could have found a better combination of colour, style and decade anywhere!
So there we have it, a case of Button Botox bringing new life to old garments. I am really looking forward to giving these all an outing and I will show you how they look in action then.