Simple button making
I decided that I would try to complete this chapter whilst I was on holiday, and so was restricted in the amount of materials available to me. I took a few threads, fabric scraps and needles from home but mainly used found or recycled objects for the cores of the buttons. This made the chapter even more fun as I had to be more inventive about what I would use.
Image 7.1 shows some pieces that I cut from a plastic milk container to use as the core for some buttons. I also cut some shapes from the flat sides of the bottle.
Image 7.2 – button made using an oval core of milk bottle plastic, covered in wadding, then bound in silk and threads with a sheer scrap and a wooden bead.
Image 7.3 shows a button made from the cylindrical section of the milk bottle handle shown in 7.1. This was then covered in wadding and silk. I then stitched beads around the centre and decorated it with a linen thread using irregular button hole stitch.
Image 7.4 shows two Dorset buttons made from the rings of plastic from the section of the milk bottle handle shown in 7.1. They were bound in threads.
Image 7.5 Image 7.6
Image 7.5 shows a limpet shell with the top worn away. This was used as the core for the Dorset button shown in mage 7.6 which was covered in wadding, then wrapped in silk sari fabric strips. Finally, I stitched a cluster of beads around the top. Despite being made in such rich silk, I feel that this button still has quite an organic look and feel to it.
Image 7.7 shows a Dorset button made from a curtain ring which was covered in wadding, then wrapped in silk sari fabric strips. I then dabbed it with some acrylic paint to deaden the shine a bit and added the threads across the middle to create the wheel effect.
Image 7.8 shows a button made from the milk bottle lid. It was covered in wadding and then in some hand dyed muslin. I then added beads to the centre and edge; dabbed some emulsion paint ( there were decorators in the holiday home next to ours that lent me a dab!) to give it more texture and then stitched into it randomly with linen thread to give it a ‘crustaceous’ look.
Image 7.9 shows a few buttons that I made using found objects from the beach, wrapped with wires and with beads added.
The following buttons and toggles were made on my return from holiday using Tyvek.
Image 7.10 was a toggle made from Tyvek which had been painted, machine stitched and then rolled and heated with a soldering iron to seal the edges.
Toggle 7.11 was made from two strips of painted Tyvek. The first, wide strip, was rolled and sealed with a soldering iron. I then added the central strip and made marks in it with the iron. The edges were then wrapped in a metallic thread and the whole things was then wrapped in linen thread lengthways and across the centre. I quite liked the cocoon like shape that was created.
Button 7.12 was made with a tapered strip of Tyvek which was rolled, heated and painted. I then added glass beads to the top edge.
Button 7.13 was made with a strip of Tyvek which was rolled, heated and painted. I then added strands of thread around the middle.
Toggle 7.14 was made with a strip of Tyvek which was rolled, heated and painted. I then melted lines into it and wrapped linen thread through them.
Image 7.15 shows two more cocoon shaped pieces made from triangular strips of Tyvek which I rolled, heated and painted. I then melted holes in to them and threaded silver wire through, making small loops. I was very happy with the slightly alien look of these pieces.
Image 7.16 shows, on the left, a button made from two strips of painted Tyvek. The first, wide strip, was rolled and sealed with a soldering iron. I then added the central strip . I added a wire with glass beads acros the centre and wrapped the ends with silver wire.
The button on the right was made from one strip of Tyvek with a V shape cut out so that when it was rolled it was thinner in the middle. I then melted holes in to it and threaded silver wire through in the middle and ends, adding small sequins on to the wire.
Image 7.17 shows two ready made buttons which I covered in Tyvek and melted holes in to create these coral-like buttons which I then painted. The colour of the original buttons shows through the holes which creates an interesting effect.
This was the first time I had experimented with Tyvek and am very excited to use it more. I can see lots of opportunities for creating interesting textures on top of existing structures (such as the buttons in 7.17) as well as creating new pieces.