December 17, 2006

Flower buttons

Sometimes design inspiration comes from the most utilitarian part of a garment. And yet, if one pays attention to such small details, you can take an ordinary piece of clothing and turn it into something special.

This tiny little flower button jazzed up an otherwise boring knit jacket. The jacket is made from a french terry knit with a ruffle trim on the hems. If this had a regular two-hole button, the jacket would have been plain boring.

A regular two-hole button costs less than one cent each. They are generally one of the least expensive items found on an item of clothing. That changes when you start to add novelty buttons. There are tons of special and extra special buttons available. Most manufacturers can't afford wholesale button costs of 20 cents a piece or more. This flower button would be less than 5 cents because it is still rather basic. Special buttons are saved for the front of the garment where they can be seen.

If you truly want to set your garment apart, pay attention to details like buttons on the back of a dress, for example. Special occassion girl's dresses sometimes have interesting and fun button details. Buttons on the back may match a colored sash, skirt band, or trim. Maybe use some of the buttons as part of an embellishment. Can you imagine using a different thread color to sew the buttons on this jacket? How about a soft yellow center to correspond with a flower embroidery on a pocket? Boutique children's designers can certainly play with this seemingly small detail.

While the jacket is not cutting edge fashion, this manufacturer did some interesting things that I may blog about in the future. Knits can be difficult to work with, especially when topstitching or adding a woven fabric trim. Knits and wovens do not like to work together happily. One or the other ends up stretched or distorted. You can see how nicely this trim lays with no stretching of the knit jacket.

This jacket was obviously well loved. It is worn and stained. Even so, the previous owner did not clip the threads left by the manufacturer. You can see one of five errant threads in the picture above. This is a big pet peeve of mine. Any finishing and inspection should include clipping threads.

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