Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Button Addictions

Various Dorset & Thread Wrapped Buttons, made into a brooch

My daughter and I took a Jane Austen trip to England last summer, Jane Austen +1.  I had read, probably in Piecework Magazine, about a button exhibit in Macclesfield and asked Kathy to see if it could be added to our itinerary if it was not too out of the way.  It wasn't, just a couple short train rides on a travel day, and we spent the most wonderful afternoon in Macclesfield.  This small-ish industrial city was home to the silk industry in England, and there are several sites and museums definitely worth a visit!  We had a really interesting tour of the Paradise Mill and watched our guide operate several of the restored Jacquard looms.

The reason for our side trip to Macclesfield was to see the 300 buttons submitted by fiber artists from around the world, and although the exhibit is history, you can read about it here.  It was a very colorful and interesting exhibit, and we each purchased a button from the exhibit, to be mailed to us after the exhibit came down.  It was so fun to get a package from the UK after we got home!

In the museum gift shop I purchased a book called Buttons: A Passementerie Workshop Manual by Gina Barrett.  The book covers all types of thread buttons, including the Dorset, which I have been making and teaching to friends.  I also ordered a DVD from Gina, which really helped as I couldn't quite grasp the technique by reading the book only. 

This Saturday I am teaching members of my EGA chapter the basic Dorset button, and attached is a Google document of instructions that I have developed, click here

Assorted Dorset buttons made with (clockwise from pink button) crochet cotton, lace weight yarn, poly crochet thread, nylon/wool sewing thread, Lizbeth tatting thread, hand dyed pearl cotton, and sock yarn.  You could even use worsted weight yarn, to match a sweater you are making, but you would use only one ply.

I really like the linen embroidery floss, below.  I think I used two strands to cover the ring, and one strand for the center.  I was experimenting with trying to make a spiral design, right, but haven't figured it out yet.

Earring experiment:
Key chain and a cell phone charm (as though a cell phone needed a charm....):

When Kathy was visiting I showed her how to make Dorset buttons one afternoon, and she went to town!

So far people seem to like this one the best!

In my next, advanced class, we're going to tackle Morning Star (left) and Death's Head (right) buttons:

To view a good tutorial (lots of photographs) of Dorset button making, visit Craftystylish.com

Visit my Pinterest page for more Dorset button inspiration: 

Eek, I can't stop making buttons!  Every time I see a new thread I think, hmmm, how would this look in a Dorset button!

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