Wednesday, October 2, 2013

when sewing comes to a screeching halt: buttons, where art thou?

Just tell me I'm not alone, and I'll feel a wee bit better.

Why, whenever I need buttons, are they scarcer than soft brown sugar at baking time????  This is a BIGBIGBIG problem, with more than one cause.

#1 - I'm entirely too picky.  This, I know.  One thing I do not like to do, whenever possible, is support big box stores.  Since I have moved to Bend, OR, I have found myself doing that more than I'd like.  When in need of a button, I race off to Joann Fabrics or some such nonsense, and I find myself mulling over racks upon racks of brightly colored plastic.  I will admit to not minding an awesome plastic button here and there, but I hate that I'm limited in this arena, as I think so much of what I find is horribly ugly.  Don't hate.  And don't curse me forever, Joann Fabrics.  (I need you for those last-minute button and elastic purchases.)

#2 - In general, there just aren't enough button stores to go around.  I had but one chance to peruse The Button Emporium in Portland, OR, when I lived up in that direction, and they have a large selection, but I need an agenda in a place like that.  With too much to choose from, I just wander around aimlessly, thinking there is nothing that I need - meanwhile, they could have plenty in stock right under my turned-up nose!  Besides The Button Emporium, I have yet to find another button- or notions- specific store.  How wonderful that would be!  Josephine's Dry Goods in Portland also carries a stock of buttons, and I had found a few there, but they are no longer open, as the owner retired.  One of my favorite places to find buttons for adult sewn wear, especially, is Bolt Fabric Boutique on Alberta in Portland.  More recently, they started carrying some lovely glass buttons at lovely prices, and I snatched up as many as I could, knowing my penchant for never having what I need.  In fact, here is my lovely Violet blouse by Colette Patterns, where I used some of my glass buttons:

Lastly, the yarn shops in Portland, Happy Knits and Twisted, carry some buttons, but there are buttons I find acceptable for knitting, and there are those I find work better for sewn-up projects.  Twisted, specifically, has before carried some great ceramic buttons I love to use when making Camden's sweaters.

All this to say, though, there are still NOT enough buttons even in Portland.  I know, I KNOW there must be other buttons out there, and if y'all have any idea where I can find them, please link in the comments!  On-line or in the Portland area would be schnazzy.  I do prefer a pretty vintage glass button when I can get a hold of it :)

#3 - I actually OWN buttons, but NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, EVER matches what I am making.  EVER.  I have no idea how this happens.  I have wood, glass, ceramic, plastic, metal.  The sizes or styles or colors always seem to be wrong, though, and it is a sad day, indeed, when I come to the point where I know I have to attach buttons to a top or dress.  I'm sure I have a certain gloomy look to the eyes, a bit of a turned-down lip, when I reach for my button containers.  Without fail, I never have anything, though I have SEVERAL things, aha!

#4 - ....and the on-line searches:  I love finding all the great offerings for buttons on Etsy - there are so many great button designers out there, and one favorite I have for polymer clay buttons is Tessa Ann.  They are designed by a great husband and wife team, and I have purchased several of their styles for clothing, both sewn and knitted and have always been pleased.  When it comes to buying this type of specific button, though, I find I definitely need to be a good way through the project, if it's knitted, in order to make a smart decision about what will look great.  They're also super great with customs, so, always ask questions and send pictures of what you're working on!  Other than Tessa Ann, there are so many other great shops I've heard about.  I know so many knitters use Buttons by Robin on Etsy, but I have yet to try hers, though they look great.

So.  When I thought to prepare for this post today, I took out the button tub, actually went through and rearranged all my buttons, noting how beautiful some of those suckers are, and made sure to get them all into the three wee teeny containers I use.  It also made me think I do not have enough buttons, aha!  And I know some crafting enthusiasts out there have plenty more buttons than I ever will at any given time, but for me, that's probably a good thing.  I definitely don't need to become a prepper in the button sense, know what I mean?

Here are my buttons before:

Here they are after:

Again, if anyone ever has a great button resource, please...I am all ears!  I need 'em like I need my Izze drinks lately, as this baby is mean, mean in ma' belly almost every day ;)

1 comment:

  1. Smart! I'll have to photograph my box sorted by'll laugh. :)