Monday, November 22, 2010

Buttons and Books

Vintage button gift
Aren't buttons amazing?  Every color in the rainbow, every material know to man....but you still have to search high and low to find just the right button for a project.  That is why I stopped stashing buttons a few years ago.  I was notorious for collecting buttons, in NYC, in PA at Sauder's, on vacation.  And guess what?  When I needed buttons for a project, I seldom had the right number, size or color.  So, no more stashing buttons.  I've been quite good about that resolution....but here are buttons which a dear friend just gave to me last week.  We met some years ago in a women's group at my church and I had always admired her style and then admired her character and charm.  I'm saddened for myself that she's moving into a retirement center back up north since she had joined our little sewing group last year.  But joining us did get her back into sewing.  When she was here in FL packing and cleaning out the house she gave me a large bag of fabrics, hem tapes, zippers and some bags of buttons.  Most of it will go to my ASG meeting since I hardly need one more item.... but I could not resist keeping these wonderful buttons.   Aren't these beautiful?

Making slow progress on the turquoise jacket.  Fine by me, I enjoy the process just as much as the result.  As I've started the actual construction I also have to commit to the embellishment I'm going to use.  That's where Patternreview and snoop shopping give me so many ideas.  I loved the padstitching on this version of the jacket, from merrypatter   merrypatter's blog of Vogue 1100    I'm doing a similar version with three threads of embroidery floss stitched twice around the edge.  I like the hand rustic look but did it in tone on tone so it wouldn't look so "country."  I hope that's can tell me otherwise, you won't hurt my feelings.
Vogue 1100 pocket embroidery

I haven't mentioned any books in this blog yet but that changes today.  Last week I needed a light little read at night to take my mind off of a bunch of decisions I'm trying to make.  Found exactly the right book to do that.....and there was sewing in it, too.  It's been out for years so perhaps some of you have already enjoyed it....Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik.  I almost always enjoy girlfriend books which span the years (think Ya Ya Sisters and you know what I mean.)  This one opens in the late 60s this capturing today's Mad Men and vintage trends.  But I especially enjoyed the format. The suburban women of the book meet in their 20s and 30s and start a book group.  The ensuing two plus decades follow their lives and the books they read over those years.  Loved that idea and the author carried it off delightfully.   Of course it has to merely touch on many topics and social issues over those years so it's not a finely hewn character study but an entertaining read.  And yes, the character who sews knows what she's talking about...."Kari was a snob when it came to her material--she loved fine worsted wool and soft silks and Egyptian cottons."  

This week's evening read goes an entirely different but just as enjoyable direction.  Work Song by Ivan Doig is introducing me to copper mining in Butte, Montana, the Wobblies, and mine safety for miners....obviously still a relevant subject around the world although this story takes place in 1919.  I've enjoyed several of Doig's other books and this one is a page turner of a historical novel.  Lightweight but pleasantly enjoyable.


  1. Buttons are funny that way - you never seem to have the right number or the right size or the right... I have quite a stash of buttons too, and sometimes it saves the day, sometimes not. And there are all those gorgeous buttons that never seem to find the right garment. I've been thinking - one of these days I should start backwards. Choose some buttons from my collection, then find the garment and the fabric to use them.

  2. There are some lovely buttons there. I don't collect them for the same reason: never the right color, never enough.


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