The weird and wonderful world

Assorted notions

Of vintage sewing knickknacks.

Top: Black "Kashmir Jacketing", centre: polkadot voile; bottom: red and black coating

I mentioned previously that after a bit of a hiatus, my most recent Value Village trip was, ah, fruitful. The fabrics shown to the left are all substantial chunks: 2m of the black, four of the voile, and three of the red/black coating. My husband has attempted to claim the black for his frock coat, although there’s only 2m so I’m doubtful it’ll be enough. The voile has me thinking of retro sundresses (gee, bit surprise), inspired perhaps by this Burdastyle pattern.

The red coating… I don’t know, but there’s 3m, how could I resist? It’s quite heavy and might even be wool(ish). I may have a slight “problem” with coating fabrics…

More patterns I don't need

I couldn’t quite walk out without these patterns, either, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure my pattern stash is nearing critical mass (or at least the point where I’m going to have to start organizing it on something other than the principal of superposition*. The kids’ pattern on the right is cute and summery, just the thing. I was a bit more hesitant about the Kwik Sew dancewear, but I’ve been wanting to make myself another pair of yoga pants forever, and I figure it can’t be too hard to reduce the rise, and everyone loves Kwik Sew patterns and says they’re not as awful as the illustrations, so I went for it. And the corsets… well, c’mon, who can resist a “genuine” (or at least passably historical) corset pattern?

some nifty books



I’m pretty sure I’ve heard recomendations of the book on the right… I’ll let you know once I’ve had a chance to peruse it. The book on the left… well, that kinda speaks for itself. I love Art Nouveau.

More fabric-coverable buttons

Coverable buttons. Apparently these ones don’t need a special setter/tool. And there’s a package of square ones! I’ve never seen square coverable buttons. I’m beginning to have rather a collection of these… I must actually try some sometime.

Weird needlepoint buttons

I think the oddest thing, this round, though, is these needlepoint buttons. Have these been on the fabric store shelves the whole time and I just haven’t noticed? I do tend to steer clear of the plastic canvas section. And yet, I’m oddly intrigued. I have a feeling that, if covered with a really nice yarn, they could be quite lovely, especially if you were a knitter and wanted buttons whose texture matched the knit… Or maybe they’re just irredeemably weird. I don’t knit, so I’m not likely to find out, I suppose… I have seen some vintage thread-wrapped buttons that are gorgeous, and perhaps you could get (with a LOT of patience) a similar look with these…)

In Me-Made June News


Today was a wee bit grueling, culminating in the assembly of a futon so that our impending guests won’t be condemned to the (ever-leaking) air mattress. It was also grey and sprinkly, although I managed not to get actually rained on, doubtless due to the protective properties of the umbrella I actually thought to pack.

My skinny cargoes and frankenshirt. The shirt remains one of my all-time favourite knit projects, despite the fact that the bodice wasn’t quite long enough (so I haven’t hemmed it) and the twin-needle topstitching on the wrists has broken from over-stretching. Also the fabric, another one of those rayon-doubleknit things, has pilled a bit. I still love it.

The skinny cargoes have held up quite well also, albeit not quite as long. The only real problem is that I forgot that the pocket lining I used (the same asian-inspirted remnant I used for the binding in the 70s jacket) hadn’t been pre-washed (don’t worry, I washed it before using it on the jacket). It has shrunk. Not catastrophically, but just enough that there’s a bit of slackness over the front thigh, even though they don’t feel loose. Pooh. These are great pants when I want to feel tough and competent and a little bit edgy. As in, they’re not at all in keeping with the soft-pretty-spring thing I’ve had going on in most of my sewing the last few months. Ah, well. They were just what I needed today.

*geology joke, don’t mind me…



Filed under Sewing

18 responses to “The weird and wonderful world

  1. I’ve never seen square fabric cover buttons before.. nifty. Have fun with it all! 🙂

  2. Elle C

    Great find on the square coverable buttons, I have never seen these before either. The strange needlepoint buttons could be really interesting done with narrow ribbon and/or beads. Don’t you just love Value Village?

  3. Wow, you find the best stuff! We don’t have Value Village here, sadly…. My local thrifts are picked over so I pretty much never use them.

    The needlepoint buttons look intriguing, but I think would be hard to do unless you already knew needlepoint. And I’ve never seen square cover buttons either. Are these perhaps the kind where you have to gather the fabric around the shank?

    Love those cargoes!

  4. I love old button cards. Other notions’ packaging are fine too, like a lot of old hardware store packaging, something about a different era’s graphics that’s so appealing. “Stretch & Sew”- is this a book of fitness for sewists? Ways to keep your neck and shoulders loose and limber after hours at the machine?
    Glad to see tough and edgy paying a visit!

  5. I use those kinds of fabric covered buttons and love them and I’ve never seen the square kind either! Fabulous finds!!!

  6. Kat

    Squee! I love old sewing bits and bobs. One of my favourite things is my 1971 McCall’s sewing book.

    Art Nouveau is beautiful, too. My grandma has given me dibs on the cool stuff she inherited from her mother 😀

  7. Great fabric finds. The one buttons that you use ribbon? Yarn? to cover I have never seen buttons like those before. Very neat. We used tons of the metal covered buttons in home decor jobs at the drapery shop, I really love them. I was just looking at them when at the store, those sure have gone up in price lately. Of course what hasn’t?

    Love the corset pattern. Saw a pattern recently in a pattern book for one and thought oh pretty it was.
    Your outfit is very cute. You really have a talent for the sewing and putting together of outfits :O).

  8. those needle-woven buttons are neat! Google Dorset Buttons, as that’s is what I’m sure they’re trying to imitate in a simpler way.

    🙂 ❤ VV!

    • Ooh, I think you’re right! Especially since the same baggie contained a bunchy of white plastic drapery rings, too, that would be perfect for the real Dorset buttons. Thanks for the name, I hadn’t seen those before!

  9. Oh yeah, love finding vintage notions !

  10. Sewista Fashionista

    You have mentioned Value Village several times. It sounds like tons of fun. I love my local thrift. Never knowing if I will hit the jackpot keeps me going back.

    • Yeah… Value Village is a chain that bills itself as “the thrift deparment store.” It has some charitable activities but is largely for-profit, and the prices are not great as thrift prices go. But the stores are huge and have a good range of stuff, so it’s likely you can find at least *something* you want and, most importantly, it’s really, really close to my house. 😉

  11. Great haul from VV! Especially the corset pattern. Has it got a range of sizes? I have been thinking of one for my ‘ca.1900 period costume’.
    I got some good fabric at VV last week; some pinwale corduroy in a golden brown, and some wool coat/jacket material, in a golden brown/hint of rust colour. Perhaps I too have a problem with coat/jacket materials.

  12. Whoa, those needlepoint buttons are so cool! For some reason the idea of covering them with yarn seems fun to me even though I don’t really knit…

    Do you get the Burdastyle newsletter? I’m positive the newsletter emailed out today has you in it! Something about working with denim. I just recognized the cool design on your back pockets, but I could be wrong 🙂

  13. Nice haul. Isn’t it fun discovering ancient sewing secrets at the thrift store ? Yours seems to have a pretty good selection.

    I opened my BurdaStyle newsletter this a.m. and was surprised to see your unmistakable butt (with cute jeans styling). It’s not on the web page though : ( No credit or link though. I’m not sure that’s how you want to make your big break, on the other hand. . . Another reason for me to feel annoyed with BurdaStyle?

    • Yeah, a bit odd, that. Especially since the photo really has nothing at all to do with the article itself. Ah, well. The link would still’ve been nice ;).

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