Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Mother's Vintage Buttons

My vintage buttons are special. From the 1960s into the early 70's, my mom sat at her Kenmore sewing machine often making clothes or doing alterations for others. But, she also found the time to make me clothes. My vintage buttons are those buttons she never used or had leftover from her many sewing projects.

Rummaging through her old cardboard button box often gives me the feeling of deja vu, as if I've met certain buttons before. I'm certain many of the buttons were used by my mom on dresses and coats she tailored for me when I was a child. Much to my frustration, I can never bring to my mind the full memory of what childhood clothes the most familiar of the buttons were lovingly sewn on.

One old card of Lady Fashion buttons bought for 39 cents, with two of the once four buttons missing, gave me the strongest feeling of deja vu. Where had I met these brushed gold tone shank buttons before? Staring at these buttons, navy blue was all I could think of while foolishly willing them to speak to me of their past.

Then I remembered, my navy blue jacket that my mom had sewn for me in the 1970s! My navy blue Nehru style jacket that I could remember wearing to school. Didn't I have a photograph of myself in that jacket? Sure enough, after flipping through my old photo albums, I found the black and white photo of me posing in the mall photo booth wearing my navy blue Nehru jacket with the brushed gold tone shank buttons. My buttons on the Lady Fashion card were still just as shiny as those buttons in the photo.

My jacket with all of its buttons is now long gone. The ability of that old card of buttons to draw out such an old memory from the very back of my mind is amazing.
None of the other old familiar buttons have been able to bring back any such memories of the clothes my mother made for me. I pass them on to others sewn onto my fiber art creations. Old buttons have stories to tell and mine continue on to gather the stories of other lives.

I said that there were two buttons left on that Lady Fashion button card. There is only one in the photo above. The other brushed gold tone button I used as the closure for a small felted pouch which I designed and made for myself. Now, I can literally carry that memory with me.

As for the other button left on the card, it will not be put back into the button box. It sits on my desk waiting to be sewn onto a special project just for me.


HomeMadeOriginals said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I think this is my first time to see yours. I love the story about your vintage buttons and what you did with the gold tone button.