So I have this vintage coat that I just love.
Sadly, most of the vintage buttons have fallen off, and although I tried my hardest to keep track of them, they've been lost. That means that this beautiful coat has been sitting unworn in my closet for the past three years.
I try very hard to let go of clothing that I don't wear and finally I am at the point of saying enough is enough—either I find buttons and repair the coat or I have to release it to the universe.
Cool buttons are harder to find than I realized.
We used to have an enormous fabric store In Louisville called Bear Fabrics. This magical place included a 14-foot wall of tiny drawers, and each drawer was filled with a different style button. They had every color, every shape—gold to wood to sparkly to fruit-shaped.
Even as a kid I knew this was a sight to be seen! However, Bear Fabrics closed a few years ago and nothing has since opened in Louisville to fill the hole.
I tried looking at the chain craft and fabric stores but I found exactly zero special or exciting buttons.
So naturally, my next stop was...the internet! With a whole world at my fingertips, of course I found some amazing buttons!
I couldn't decide, so I picked out four varieties. I had to Google "standard-size coat buttons" to figure out what size to get, and then I placed an order for four of each...
Delivery from the United Kingdom took a couple of weeks, and in that time I realized I should have ordered six of each button because the coat is double breasted...My bad!
Because I didn't have a full set of any one button, I had to do a little creative designing. I came up with quite a few options that looked pretty good to me.
In the end I went with the birds, because they are Bluebirds! Also they're adorable! So they're a double win—cute and meaningful!
I would love to say I'm a skilled seamstress, but...I am terrible. Give me a hot glue gun and some safety pins and I can create a ball gown, but when it comes to needles and thread, I'm hopeless.
In fact, I was using cuticle clippers to trim the old button threads until Darrick gave me a pair of scissors, which some people might argue are better for the job.
He also showed me a trick for sewing on coat buttons! I put a pen refill against the buttons to create the wiggle room buttons need!
(Side note, Darrick offered to sew on the buttons, but I thought that would be cheating.)
After a few choice words and a couple of pricked fingers, I regretted my decision, but powered on.
Pearl, one of our cats, was very interested in helping.
She was no help.
I sewed while watching an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I figured people had to sew back then so it seemed fitting.
Three buttons on and I realized the coat didn't really need to be double-breasted, especially because asymmetry is very fashionable these days!
Each button was about $2.00 so the upcycled cost was $6.00 total, plus about an hour of time.
And the bonus is I still have so many cool buttons left for future up-cycling projects!
All in all, I think the project came out pretty well, and I can't wait to start wearing this incredibly warm and uniquely stylish coat once more!