Saturday, December 31, 2011


I like to make jackets and cardigans. They're useful in my wardrobe, more slimming (and lengthening) than pullovers, and can be tossed off at a moment's notice if I suddenly get too hot (that seems to happen a lot these days). Because I make a lot of jackets and cardigans, I'm always on the lookout for terrific buttons. I don't wait until I need them; when I see ones that catch my eye, I buy a bunch of them. You never know how many you'll need, but unless they're very pricey or the sort you'd only want one to three of, I like to buy somewhere between nine and a dozen. There are lots of great places to find buttons. Yarn shops, of course, although I'm not fond of the glass and ceramic buttons you often find there due to their weight. Good fabric shops, the kind that specialize in high quality materials, like this one, are another place. Sheep and wool festivals are my favourite source. That's where you can find all sorts of unique and special stuff perfectly geared to handknits.
However, there's another place to find great buttons--off-the-rack clothing, used and/or new. When we lived in DC, I used to shop at J.Jill. I haven't been to a J.Jill shop since moving back to Canada. Mail order isn't an option. Anyone in Canada who's ever mail-ordered from the U.S. knows that the after-taxes-and-duties prices of U.S. goods once they arrive at your doorstep can be almost double the original price. J.Jill has also since been bought out by Talbot's and I've noticed from the online catalogue that its once unique look has been miserably watered down. I still own some nice pieces from the good old J.Jill. One of the things that attracted me to them was their high-quality beautiful metal buttons. This favourite jean jacket is an example.

 Soon, you'll be seeing these buttons in a whole new context. Something much dressier...