Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bead Journal Project - September

This month, the "Fantasy Dressmaker" is exploring buttons.

The earliest identified button is a pierced and curved piece of shell, thought to be 5000 years old and was used as an ornament - buttons were not used as functional closures until approximately the 13th century.

These buttons are, of course, beaded, using a needlepoint technique. The motif is pansies or heartease. In the Victorian language of flowers, they represent loving thoughts or memories.
Pansies were a very popular floral accent, appearing frequently in patterns for embroidery, millinery and printed fabrics.

Here's the entire set, displayed an a copy of a Victorian button card - even then it was all about the presentation.

The larger button would be purely ornamental, perhaps to accent a belt or to trim a hat. The mid size button could be used as either functional or ornamental on a substantial fabric such a s velvet of brocade. The smallest button would be stunning used down the back of a bodice - just picture them all in a row.

The choice of buttons can make or break an outfit and it was not unusual for a period outfit to have buttons created specifically for that particular garment - it's all about the details!


  1. Beautiful buttons! And an interesting technique. I would like to learn more about it.

  2. i just love buttons. someone came by when i moved back to michigan to live in my grandparents house. they had a box of things from when my mom passed away. right on top was the round metal tin of buttons that i played with as a child in my grams living room. beautiful work as always.

  3. These are so perfect. I just love them.