I’d had the black and white gingham jacket for a week or so. Funny story about how I bought it. I was minding the store (SAX Consignment) while my daughter was running to the nearby grocery store to get ice cream to go with the organic strawberries I’d just purchased at the Farmer’s Market in San Anselmo.
While she was gone a customer brought in this black and white gingham jacket to consign. I’m not authorized to make decisions about what gets accepted into the store or not, so we waited for the boss to return.
The customer looked familiar to me. I thought she’d been in the antique book business. I was right. We’d met over thirty years ago at a party in Woodacre. “Oh, I remember you,” she said. At that time, the boss we were waiting for must have been three or four years old. My how life happens!
About her jacket, she said, “I’m just not the one to wear bold checks like this. I don’t know what got into me. Maybe someone else will like it.” I knew exactly who would wear it: ME!
She left, I tried it on, I bought it.
Changing the buttons on my gingham jacket
I knew right away that I wanted to change the buttons. Changing buttons is something I always consider with a store-bought item. Manufacturers can— and do—save money by using inexpensive buttons. If you’ve ever been to Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and been in the button section, you know exactly how expensive interesting buttons can be.
I wasn’t going to make it to Britex to buy buttons. I thought I’d go to my button bin and pull out some of the antique buttons I still had from my days of making one-of-a-kind button bracelets.
Quick button makeover
I hadn’t gotten around to checking through my stash. I would do it someday. But I awoke on Monday morning thinking I wanted to wear my gingham top with ruffled sleeves…and, wait a minute!? How would that top look under the gingham jacket?
Okay, now I was on a creative high because the idea of wearing two gingham pieces at once delighted me. And the fact that they were the same scale gingham made them look like they were part of a matched suit or something. The top is cotton and the jacket is rumpled cotton. The fact that they didn’t have exactly the same surface texture spurred me on to change those buttons, change them NOW!
I went to my button stash and started looking. I started out thinking I’d use five different buttons. I laid them on the jacket but thought it looked too crafty for the direction I wanted to go in. Then I saw my bag of glass buttons. Ooh, that could be fun and unexpected!
I got out my needle and thread and changed buttons over breakfast.
Anatomy of my double gingham outfit
Once I changed those buttons to the glass ones, the jacket had a little bit more elegance. Not a lot, but more than it had before. Mission accomplished!
The etching around the edges of the buttons is so subtle but it will catch the light. Taking that as my inspiration, I added my Mickey Mouse watch pendant pearl necklace for some additional shine.
The thing that delights me so much is pulling the ruffled sleeve out on the blouse so you can see that detail. Wonderful for me, the jacket has 3/4 length sleeves so the ruffles stayed out all day. Cool.
I put on my self-frayed white jeans (fraying lesson here) and decided to go more dainty with the shoes. I’d thought of wearing my white sneakers but I wanted to dress this casual look up.
More fun for me was adding my MZ Wallace black quilted bag. Checks, diagonal quilting…does it get more fun than this? The combo put more bounce in my steps as it made me so happy to be in this total outfit.
So there you have it, my friends! There’s nothing like creative ideas being pressed on by the element of time to make things happen. That floating “when I have time, I’ll do it” task gets a deadline. I wanted to wear those gingham prints together—that morning—so the button redo got done in just the right time.
I know—because many of you responded to my Facebook post earlier this week about this button makeover—that many of you change buttons on ready-made garments.
Tell us more. Do you go button shopping for each garment? Do you have a stash as well? Are you new to the idea of changing buttons? The floor is open! Let’s hear about your button or gingham experiences!
P.S. Did you know that gingham is a cotton fabric made from a dyed color and white yarn woven in checks? Checks can be in any fabric but when it’s cotton and white with another color, it’s called gingham…to the best of my knowledge. Does someone know more about this? Please share!