Buttons | Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: $40 of Vintage Buttons from Vintage Necessities

By on July 19, 2012

850 of you who are fans of our Facebook page already know (thanks to my poorly composed iphone pics) about my recent pattern-hunting roadtrips around southern Indiana and Illinois, where I picked up some awesome vintage buttons still on their original cards.

I could sum up everything I know about buttons with the phrase “Ooh, I love them. Can I have some more please?” so I asked veritable button-expert (buttspert? no…that won’t do) Marin from Vintage Necessities to give me the lowdown.

Marin has been collecting buttons for over a decade and is a member of the National Button Society (where I imagine they congregate at an abandoned pool to swim laughing through enormous piles of buttons like Scrooge McDuck).

She’s also tremendously nice and an amazing resource if you want to find out a bit more about certain buttons you own or need help tracking down a particular kind of button. You can contact Marian via email ( vintagenecessitiesATcomcast.net) or via her etsy shop.

Now it’s over to Marin to learn a little more about my buttons. Stay tuned at the end for an opportunity to win $40 worth of buttons from Marin’s shop!

Katherine, you have found an interesting selection of buttons from the 1930s and 1940’s. During the war, many buttons were made of plastic. Metal was not readily available for such a frivolous use. This was also they heyday of fun celluloid and Bakelite buttons. Many patriotic themes as well as red, white, and blue buttons were sold.

Did you know that many Bakelite buttons that are now black and butterscotch were originally blue and white but have “aged”? Luckily, the red still retains its magnificent color. Many other colors of Bakelite buttons and jewelry originally were different colors than we see today.

These appear to be celluloid. How nice to have a date on the card! Celluloid is one of the oldest man made plastics. Buttons circa 1880 can be found in this material, although with a very different look:

Victorian Celluloid Buttons
Victorian Celluloid Buttons from Marin's Shop

Buckles and jewelry were also manufactured using celluloid:

Art Deco Buckles from Marin's shop
Art Deco Buckles from Marin's shop

Millions of celluloid buttons have been made, many of them in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Celluloid is very flammable. Think celluloid film reels that melted while showing a movie! It’s one of my favorite materials as so many whimsical buttons were produced in a variety of designs and techniques.

These lovelies are not actually buttons, but trim, known as “montees”. They were made to decorate garments. It’s not surprising these were made in Czecho-Slovokia. Czechoslovakia has long been known for its magnificent work both in jewelry and buttons. They have also been a supplier of rhinestones, so both the glass base and the rhinestones were produced there

Most Art Deco glass buttons were made in Czechoslovakia. Later, many glass buttons were manufactured in Germany. Here is an example of typical vintage Czech glass buttons:

Art Deco Glass Buttons
Art Deco Glass Buttons from Marin's Shop

Awesome, thanks Marin! Now let’s have a giveaway!

Here’s a chance to get your hands on some truly gorgeous vintage buttons with $40 to spend on buttons in Marin’s shop, Vintage Necessities!

To enter, head over to Vintage Necessities on Etsy and find the cutest buttons. Pop back over here and leave me a comment letting me know which ones you want most and why.

The winner will be chosen on Friday, July 27th to win $40 worth of buttons from Vintage Necessities. That’s a whole lot of buttons…my button jar is exceedingly jealous!

Good luck, and happy button hunting!


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1960s | Blouses | Buttons | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Lady Grey retro top

By on June 30, 2012

burda retro top backI made this top from a pattern in Burda Style magazine, issue 5/2012. It’s a very simple, retro style top that is easy to make and very easy to wear. I went up a size to ensure a comfortable fit but I needn’t have done because it is very roomy. Not completely shapeless as it has bust darts and front darts at the waist. I was sold on the buttons down the back. Takes a bit of mastering to do up though!

burda retro top front

The front is very plain and commands some sort of detail either in the fabric or by sporting a little corsage! I dyed some eyelet poly cotton with black fabric dye, knowing full well it wouldn’t give absolute coverage but I like the effect that I ended up with.

retro top front view

The neckline is a bit small for my liking, though is true to those vintage jewel necklines. I will make it a little larger next time and see what happens when I go down a size! More details and photos over at ooobop!


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1940s | Blouses | Buttons | Vintage Sewing

The PEPLUM plague

By on June 14, 2012

⁃ Fabric: some cheap cotton blend thing that should have been better used just as a toile, as i know the weight of the fabric is not really conducive to wearable garments-as i have made a top out of this stuff before. Dont worry i wont do it again. As you will notice from my  pics, there is a red and orange in my blouse, i didnt have enough red and i figured the orange will contrast-but it really looks to washed out. (shrug)

⁃ Pattern: free burda peplum blouse in wrong size so i had to grade up (i dont know how to grade?)

⁃ Year: modern 1940’s style blouse

⁃ Notions: 2 yellow buttons (i only have an assortment of yellow buttons so i am kind of limited. Although after showing my bf my finished blouse he so sensitively told me that the yellow buttons were different shades -dammmm you.

⁃ Time to complete: 8 months or some horrible timeframe like that, it has literally plagued my thoughts, like well the plague. I stopped. started.stopped.moved house.started. The areas of most annoyance were the sizing, creating a button opening and the gathered sleeves-it literally took me 4 hours to do the 1 sleeve so it didnt look cack.

⁃ First worn: after making it, after all that grading up its still too big in the waist and the back is shorter, so not great without a cinch belt

⁃ Wear again? hmm, i dont know.

⁃ Total price: bought some new red thread, everything else already had or was given – like a chisel set that im using for buttonhole slicing.


Well it took me awhile, but i did survive and finish it. Yes it has alot of mistakes but im just taking this as just one big learning curve.

– What I learnt:

Dont be over-ambitious, messing about with tricky details

Your size-This pattern was from the burda magazine, not my size! but you know how it is you fall in ove with a pattern arghhh. so grading up i thought would be as simple as adding some inches, WRONG! I had to add a front portion to the top as it was initially a blouse-buttons up front-so it really looks nothing like the original pattern/style picture. So please dont run before you can walk – buy for your measurements. it will only lead to massive frustration.

I did pick up the iron alot more,i love this quote ”if you dont have time to iron, you dont have time to sew”

Im not cutting corners as much anymore, using more interfacing web and ive used bias tape for the first time.

Im getting over my miser tendancies, yay. So im going to buy some proper toile-scouts honour.

A big thank you to all the peeps who post on wesewretro, you motivate and inspire me.xx

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1940s | Buttons | Culottes / Pantskirts | Pants / Trousers | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

New ‘vintage’ from old baggy pants…

By on June 8, 2012

Hi all,  I thought I would  show you how a little project I was given by a friend turned out…

1940s button front swing trousers copied from an old pair (not sure how original they were !)

but made up in corderoy, not my favorite fabric, but she was so pleased with them she wants a second pair…:)

I lined every seam inside with cream satin bias tape. this is a little thicker than the lovely rayon tape you guys can get in the States,

( I have just managed to get a couple of reels from Etsy.com ..yey) but it worked well , I think 🙂

We chose vintage buttons for the fastenings…and all in all I was very pleased with them…and i have a pattern

now if any one is interested and is a 30″ waist and 5’5″ tall …







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1940s | Buttons | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1940s Linen Dress

By on June 5, 2012

After almost a month of no sewing, I got my groove back with this 1946 Butterick reprint (B5281). I originally planned on wearing this out to see Wicked but I didn’t get it done on time this chartreuse linen that was the only “green” in my stash ended up reading too casual.

I used 3 vintage buttons as accent pieces and I think they really make the dress! It’s very comfortable to wear and I see myself wearing it a lot this summer.

If you’d like to read the construction details or hear how I accidentally turned my hair purple (which thankfully, my camera didn’t pick up in these shots!), pop over to my blog.

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1960s | Buttons | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Maudella 1223, vintage button wrap skirt

By on March 20, 2012

maudella 1223 pattern

button detail

side view

skirt front viewOne of the quickest skirts ever, if you don’t include hand sewing the buttons on! I think the pattern is 1960s, cant find a date as usual but I think its absolutely timeless in any case. I have had this on my project list for quite some time. Dont know what I was waiting for really. It came together in just an evening. I used cotton sateen which has a little bit of stretch so its really comfy but I didn’t line it which was a huge mistake as it sticks to my tights as I walk! Was going to unpick waisband and line at a later date but the general concensus seems to be ‘get a slip’!
I pondered with making size adjustments at the start as I thought it might be a little big around the hips but to be honest, the button placement solves the issue of an inch or two!
I like how this skirt can be dressed for work or play and I’m sure I won’t stop at just the one!
Full blog over atooobop!

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1950s | Blouses | Buttons | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 9274: 50s Back Buttoning Blouse

By on March 7, 2012

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing lately! This polka dot boat neck blouse was a quick and easy sewing project….once I graded up the tiny vintage pattern!

The pattern was originally a bust size 31 and I’m 38! Thankfully, there were only two main pieces to be graded up to a 35″ bust and then I did an FBA on the front. The facings and other small pieces I just drafted straight from the graded up pieces rather than grading up individually.

I’m really happy with how everything turned out, especially since this is the largest grading up I’ve ever done!

More details (including the skirt which is also a me made piece) are available on my blog.

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