The pitfalls of sewing with vintage buttons


Do you buy new buttons, or try to use up what you already have?

Many years ago, I inherited my nana’s button collection. She was an avid seamstress who made most of her children’s clothes during the 40s and 50s. She passed sewing down to my auntie who in turn stitched up some awesome 70s garments (and has given me some awesome patterns). The sewing gene may have missed my own mother, but I have soldiered on regardless, constantly trying to learn more and sew more as time catches up with me.

Back to the buttons.


I have lots. I also inherited another button collection, which whilst not as large, was still pretty substantial. As a result of being spoilt like this, I loathe buying new buttons. A slow rummage around with the buttons spread out on the floor will usually result in just what I was looking for, or something way, way better.

Occasionally though, I have to cheat on the button stash and seek out others. It’s not because I want to, believe me. If me and the stash could work together and create a finished garment we would. It can’t fulfill all my sewing needs, especially when it comes to quantity. Sometimes I just need something different, something new, but I try not to.

I get inspired when looking through them, I mean:


How could you not?

But then also it seems perilous to do so. What if one falls off? I’ll never replace it, that’s for sure.

How far do you go for vintage buttons? Have you got a stash of your own? Do you buy new or old? Have you ever lost one?


  1. My mother in law has a similar collection, and won’t use them because of it. She puts hers in vases as a display. I use mine, and I lose them but such is life, if you don’t use them, I don’t think you can appreciate them as much.

    1. I love the thought of displaying them, because they are so very beautiful. You are right – ultimately practicality rules and I think they are best used and valued through wear.

  2. […] buttons were a nightmare. I have a lot of buttons but sometimes not enough matching ones for certain projects. I had to buy some, and I ended up […]

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