I love buttons. I always have. When I was little, my mom had this big tin filled with all the buttons she had collected over the years. One of my favorite things to do was to take the Button Box from the drawer of her sewing desk and spill them out on the kitchen table. I’d sort them by color, or texture, or size. I’d make pictures with them, and arrange them in patterns. I liked everything about them, even the feeling of the little buttons running through my fingers and the sound of them plinging back into their tin.
Not much has changed, to be honest. I have my own button collection now, but it’s in a little zippered felt bag, not a tin. And I don’t have nearly as many buttons as my mom did.
But over Christmas, I added a few more to my collection. They are really special buttons that I’m super excited about. My family took a little expedition to North Chicago to visit a button shop that we had heard about over a year ago. And, I have to say, it was totally worth the wait.
The shop is called Soutache, and it sells thousands (and thousands) of buttons, miles of ribbons, and piles of rhinestones and feather trim. I could spend an entire paycheck there if I wasn’t careful.
They had buttons made from bone, from stone, from wood, from brass. They had bright pink buttons, and inky black buttons. Square buttons, spheres, and buttons shaped like shoes. They had new buttons and vintage ones. And they were all gorgeous.
I came home with these little guys. They’re vintage half-inch brass buttons. They almost glow in the light, and have a surprising amount of heft. I can’t wait to put them on the slightly cropped cardigan that has been bouncing around in my brain for a while (of course, I’ll have to knit it first). They’re pretty much perfect.
And these buttons are so cool! They look like hand-formed aluminum, or maybe tarnished silver. But, they’re actually made of plastic, which sounds lame, but is actually kind of perfect for a sweater. These buttons are so light, they won’t make the front of a cardigan droop from their weight, even though they are large and impressive. Cool, right?
In conclusion, if you’re ever in Chicago, make a point of going to Soutache. And bring your check book.
Do you have any special buttons in your collection?