Buttons | Vintage Sewing

A bounty of buttons

November 11, 2011

I find that one of the hardest things on a retro-sewn garment is getting the buttons right. Modern buttons, while occasionally wonderful and accurate-looking, often fall short. Certainly in the color department. If you’ve ever needed a grass green button or a large decorative button for a coat, you’ve probably found yourself frustrated like I have.

This is why I was so excited when I found the world’s greatest button store not far from my house in El Cerrito, CA (in the SF Bay Area). Featuring a sign that proclaims simply “Buttons,” the strangest, loveliest little time warp awaits you. Run by the sweetest little old lady, she and her husband were button wholesalers once upon a time. He has since passed on, but his legacy of button bounty are still with us.

I went in there recently to get some buttons in a very particular and hard to find color.  I needed buttons for this navy blue dress with threads of turquoise, yellow, red and orange running through it and had sadly and unsurprisingly come up empty-handed at Jo-Ann’s.

I found two options. The photo doesn’t do justice to the yellow ones. They are a really great shade of yellow. They went really nicely with the yellow in the dress, but ultimately I decided to go with the turquoise, as the collar on this dress made it look a little too “waitress uniform” with the highly contrasting buttons. Ok, and check out those prices! So charmingly affordable.

I also picked up these amazing giant green carved buttons. I’m thinking I might use these for a coat someday.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful vintage sewing outpost. If you are interested, more photos of her fabulous array of buttons are on my blog, Stitch.




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