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You just sew on buttons.

Here are ways to personalize a jacket, sweatshirt, even shoes. Anyone who can

sew on a button can do it

Buttons aren't just for fastening. They're popping up in fashion collections from Paris to Tokyo, as designers splash them across jackets, hats, and evening sweaters.

Anyone who can sew on a button can

knock off the look. Whether you're perking up a well-loved classic or adding dressmaker panache to something new, getting started is as easy as grabbing a handful of buttons and moving them around on the garment.

Almost every household has its button box. Some lucky people can draw from collections squirreled away by thrifty grandmothers. If you haven't inherited vintage buttons, check out flea markets and second-hand stores, where whole jars of old plastic or mother-of-pearl buttons often sell for 50 cents to a dollar.

Before you start sewing, spend some time playing around with the buttons: lay them along seam lines to emphasize a flattering cut; highlight collar, placket, pockets, or cuffs; or define a decorative area. Scatter them willy-nilly, or replace functional buttons with more interesting ones.

When planning a precise cluster or curving line of buttons, it may help to mark exact positions. A mechanical pencil works well for this-just extend the lead and mark fabric through the buttonholes.

If you're sewing closely spaced buttons, avoid the hassle of knotting them individually by using a long, doubled thread and taking several stitches through each button. Reinforce your design with a second doubled strand in the opposite direction. We used an embroidery needle with 16gauge industrial polyester thread, sold at specialty sewing shops.

Final tips: Buttons stand out best against plain-colored fabric. Avoid sewing heavy buttons on light fabric. When washing, turn the garment inside-out to protect the buttons from breakage.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1988
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