My dictionary defines a button as such: A generally disk-shaped fastener used to join two parts of a garment by slipping through a buttonhole or loop. Well, how boring is that. Buttons can be the pièce de résistance—like putting on your favorite earrings or painting your toenails red before you go out at night.
I’ve got lots of buttons that are patiently waiting to be invited somewhere—even though they serve that boring functional purpose defined above, the disk-shaped fasteners from my stash will do it with style and verve. Many of the pearl and antique buttons you see strewn about were collected from Waechter’s Fine Fabrics, an institution here in Asheville. I bought a bunch of the mother-of-pearl buttons by the pound once upon a time, and I use them not only on garments but also on cards, envelopes, and gift wrap. They make great jewelry, too!
This little batch of buttons was purchased from designer Marcy Tilton. She found them on one of her journeys to Paris, where they were made during the Bakelite era, although they’re a different material. I finally used one of the four on this Donna Karan top I made, but I loved them so much as a set I had a hard time separating them.
In fact, I have some buttons I know I’ll never use, like these vintage Venetian glass buttons from the 1920s. Bohemian Element still stocks some of these (and all kinds of other cool stuff too, as does Marcy Tilton. And Waechter’s as well, come to think of it). They’re strictly for decoration in my sewing space; they won’t be going out on the town.