Friday, October 5, 2012

DIY with Gail Carriger ~ Switching buttons to get a more vinatge look

Just a simple DIY, Fashionable Reader for this month. I try to do mending and small sewing projects regularly but copy edits really derailed me in September. So last night I got a bee in my bonnet about being mending pro-active! I've been meaning to switch out the buttons on my favorite 1940s red sweater for ages.

The task was finding acceptable buttons. It is so difficult to match reds and get the right size. I like the black ones but I found myself limited in what I could pair the sweater with and I wanted to wear it with more outfits. You know me, I like to match everything ~ very old fashioned. So I needed to loose the black to open up creams and whites.

$12 for 7

I hunted all over for the right buttons ~ something vintage, not the chintzy modern plastic buttons one finds at supply stores. Eventually, I found what I needed in Petaluma. It's hours away from me, this small farming town, but it has a crazy drag of antique stores one of which is a consortium that hosts an antique button specialist. Called Summer Cottage Antiques it hasn't the best clothing selection, and it's a bit spendy, but when it specializes, it really specializes. And the buttons! Oh the buttons. Occasionally I pilgrimage there just for buttons. If you don't have a source like this, I suggest visiting the dealers room of a local costumer, maker, or steampunk convention. Sometimes, if you are lucky, a button person turns up. And sometimes you don't have to buy a pass just to shop. There are online resource as well. I tend not to use these, as I like to handle the buttons in person before I purchase. I know, frisky of me.

I hate hate hate widening button holes, but I don't mind narrowing them, so I always shop for buttons that are as much the same size as the original as possible, and if not, then slightly smaller. These turned out to be slightly smaller, so I did have to go over and close down all the holes, but I love the finished effect.

Of course, now I'm confined to gold jewelry with this sweater, but I find that less restrictive than the black.

So there you have it, not much of a project for this month, but I also repaired this hat, which needed TLC:

Because I want to wear it for my Sword & Laser video interview next week. Squee! More on that outfit later. Now that I have done all the research on what to wear on film I feel much better equip to chose this time around, I shan't keep you in suspense long, I promise.

I hope you all have a lovely and fashionable weekend!

I don't have a photo of me wearing the new version, but here's the old one... 

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. The gold buttons make it look dressier as well. Where with the black it looked very casual.

    It's amazing what just switching a few buttons can do. I've done that with some of my pantsuits that have buttons. Though since they're modern suits I go with modern dressy buttons with rhinestones and all that jazz.


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