It's not often that I get to see how my customers use their purchases. When their packages leave my hands that's usually the end of it. Unless I sell to friends with blogs, that is.

Carrie, whose work you can see here, has been doing some clothing refashioning lately and bought some lovely red and cream vintage crocheted trim from me before the holidays. And she did a blog post about her latest creation—a sweater trimmed with that crochet and the buttons replaced with some matching red ones.

I'm sure I've talked before about how easy it is to update some of the old or boring things in your closet, or articles of clothing you've found in your travels. As someone mentioned in the comments of Carrie's post, manufacturers really do skimp on buttons. They either don't match all that well or they match too well and disappear visually. Sometimes they fall apart too easily—those shell buttons are the worst. And it's so easy to replace them. It could be with modern buttons but vintage buttons are unique and somehow more special. How cool would rhinestone buttons look on a plain black sweater?

I think it's especially easy if you only need a few buttons —like for a sweater—because vintage buttons often come in small quantities. I have a gray silk tunic blouse with plain shell buttons that I've wanted to replace for years. The problem is that I need twelve of them, they're an odd size, and I haven't yet found enough of them in a color that matches. Who knew that gray would be so hard to match? So the search continues.

But do consider swapping out buttons and trying other embellishments. Like Carrie's crochet trim. And if you've been practicing the embroidery stitches I frequently post about, you can try adding some embroidery, too. A couple of years ago, Anthropologie had the cutest sweaters for little girls with appliqued and embroidered flowers across the bottom. You can do that yourself and for a lot less money! Work with all six strands of embroidery floss and a needle with a larger eye, or try brightly colored wool yarns for a chunkier look.


Catherine said...

I used some of your embroidery tutorials to my mom a tea towel with two rows of guilloche stitch and her monogram. Seriously, she nearly cried. I wish I had a picture of it!

I also used some of your stitches to make my daughter's Easter dress and sweater this year. I got the idea from a dress and sweater in the store "Janie and Jack" but I think my embroidery actually turned out a little better than the store version! You can see pictures here:

Emily said...

This is probably a sign of how boring I am fashion-wise, but it never occurred to me to change the buttons on a shirt until I read this post! I have a white shirt with plain old cheap white buttons that looks nice but sort of dull, and I think I'll grab some red buttons tonight and dress it up a little. Thanks for the idea!