I had to do a bit of practical sewing today. By which I mean that I had to use buttons as buttons and not as eyes 😦 My wardrobe is in flux at the moment, it’s full of Winter gear and Spring has sprung now. My one jacket that’s light enough to wear in this warmth has some missing buttons and I’ve lost any matching spares that I had. I’ve pinched a redundant button from the lapel to sew onto the front, but I still have a pocket that I can’t fasten shut. I might take a gamble and use a button that’s the same colour but a different size and hope for the best. With the rate that I’m losing buttons on this jacket, they’ll all end up being a mismatch soon.
Tag Archives: Buttons
I was given a pair of bright, stripy toe-socks the other day by someone at work. I’m not normally a fan of toe socks myself, since I have big toes they never fit properly. However, these socks were never destined to be worn, they had a far higher purpose – to be sock monsters. I wanted to be quite economical and make a whole monster out of each sock, even though most of the books I’ve read recommend that the toes alone be kept to make mohawks or wings. As such I took the basic pattern that I made Hoth with and with a few modifications, I was able to make Tony. He’s very evenly proportioned, even though he does have one eye larger than the other. His mouth is cut from felt, which gives him a similar expression to Pascal, Dook and Bo. I’ve still got the other sock spare, so my next trick will probably be to create a one-sock pattern that looks similar but not identical to Tony.
Last night I watched Tim Burton’s film ‘9’ on Blu Ray. I enjoyed the movie and the high definition picture really did the animation justice. I’ve heard it described as being ‘Stitchpunk’ which I assume is a derivation of Steampunk. The end product is something like Jules Verne’s Sewing Machine. There are plenty of elements in the lead characters that I like to use in the monsters I make, like visible stitching (occasionally on purpose) and prominent buttons or fasteners. I guess there is something inherently compelling about people who don’t hide the things that hold then together. I can’t tell whether or not any of my monsters will end up being made out of sackcloth, but I might keep an eye out for old brass buttons next time I go rummaging around car boot sales for spare parts.
For a while, I’ve been thinking about making myself a Punch and Judy set. I’m in two minds as to whether to try making them as puppets or simply as decorative dolls. It’d make a change from my usual monsters, but I think I’d enjoy giving each character their own personality through their features and clothes – they would still have buttons for eyes though. That’s essential!
Taking my notebook around with me has proven to be quite useful. I did some rough sketches for templates and last night I picked my favourites, which I’ll make into monsters. The first one I’ve started on is a square shaped character with short, wide feet like a Womble but no arms. His body will be made of orange felt, but I’m not sure which buttons to use for eyes. I do have some proper googlie eyes that I could use, but I like the way buttons create more personality. They give a more ‘homemade’ look as they’re not really eyes but the way they’re placed makes your imagination see them as eyes. I’ve got plenty of chunky round buttons but something makes me think that square ones would work even better. I’m not sure, but I’ll rummage around the bottom of my sewing box and see what I can find.
Finally finished making my tree man. I used a blanket stitch to attach the two halves I’d already made, but it didn’t look quite right. As frustrating as it was, I unpicked all the stitches and started again using a tight back stitch. This time it came out looking a lot more tidy. I initially over stuffed him, so I had to take some of his filling out to keep him soft. Once I sewed up the hole at the base of his trunk he was complete and I’m very happy with him. Since he’s so top heavy he isn’t stable enough to stand upright but that doesn’t matter. I could always stand him in a plant pot, or lean him against a house plant – either would do for me. The buttons I used to decorate his leaves look perfect, so I’m very glad about those. This does of course mean that I’ve finished another monster, so I need to start thinking about what to make next. I’m going to start rummaging through my books of patterns to see what takes my fancy.
My trip to the market was a success! I managed to find some round, yellow buttons that look a bit like Golden Delicious apples (to my eyes…) for my tree man. I also found some white flower shaped buttons that will make good blossom to dot around his leaves too. Last night I stitched together the trunk and leaf parts, so now I have just two halves to attach to each other. I also added the facial features and fruit so things are coming along nicely now. The buttons I’ve used for eyes have a green and white swirl pattern on them, which I found quite interesting. The mouth is shaped from offcuts of felt left over from Squidgey.