Sunday, May 31, 2020

Day 152 : Shimmer

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 152 : Shimmer

Day 152 : Shimmer

Today's button is quite simple really - I've been working really hard getting ready for my shows on Hochanda tomorrow and so needed something not too troublesome. I'm looking forward to going, though it will be very unusual in the current situation, I'll have my own green room! 

I've wrapped one of the new mould prototypes (that are stuck in India) with a six point wrap, then added the gold. And then, very closely spaced grappe, but following the triangular shape as opposed to in a traditional circular fashion.

I used a No 12 cotton perle. 

Size 17mm / 5⁄8" / 26L

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Day 151 : Shield

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 151 : Shield

Day 151 : Shield

I'm quite happy with today's button. The centre sections have cardboard moulds - I am still trying to get shapes right for something in my head. This wasn't it! They are both covered in satin fabric. What you can't see is that the ball is actually partially sunken into the ring surrounding it, but it wasn't right and about to be thrown when I put an MDF ring around it. Hmmm...

So, I coloured that with some mica powder, pressed the red into the MDF ring, and glued it all together with a felt backing. 


Size: 35mm / 1 3⁄8" / 54L

Friday, May 29, 2020

Day 150 : Target

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 150 : Target

Day 150 : Target

Today's button is a slight variation of one that will be included in our new Button Display Clock Kit. This kit is launching on Monday (June 1st) on Hochanda TV, and over on our website. 

It is an uneven wrap which helps to create the design. It is simpler than it first appears!

The Display Clock has a way of attaching buttons without the need for glue, which means that you can change which buttons you are displaying. You could even use it for many other types of button, not just the ones you make yourself. When it does go live on our website, you'll be able to find it in our button kits category.

Size : 30mm / 1 3⁄16" / 48L

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Day 149 : Sterling

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 149 : Sterling

Day 149 : Sterling

Another little button (sorry!). It still isn't quite what I was after, but I do like it. And as I've used proper silver thread, I am keeping it :) It will be interesting to revisit this in a few years, as it will, in all likelihood, have tarnished a bit and it will be interesting to see what effect that gives.

Besides the silver thread, I've also used some linen thread from my stash and another of the moulds that we commissioned that may or may not arrive from India!

Size : 13mm / 1⁄2" / 20L

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Day 148 : Iced Gem

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 148 : Iced Gem

Day 148 : Iced Gem

Well, this didn't quite work, in that it is actually larger than a real iced gem biscuit! Unless of course they make them larger somewhere :)

But, I am quite pleased with the overall shape - a bit more domed (as in taller) than it appears here, but it is built up using a flatter disc and a large cloth ring, and another to pad out the icing part. I enjoy playing with forms to add dimension. If it weren't for the distress ink that I added to the fabric it probably could have been washed. 

The icing is some vintage silk from my stash. It's a lovely colour. And the fabric some silk left over from a client job. 

Size : 17mm / 11⁄16" / 28L

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Day 147 : Hayfever

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 147 : Hayfever

Day 147 : Hayfever

It may be only a "medium" for pollen at the moment, but try telling my sinuses that! Living with hayfever during a world pandemic is not ideal. Times like this I wish I had opted for surgery last year. I keep thinking I should make a mask that just has the word "hayfever" written across it...

The button mould (a No 3) is covered with some fabric I had in my stash which I've padded with more of the same. The surround is Soie Gobelins in a shade of green that is much prettier than the camera picked up. The yellow is Soie Perlee

Size : 26mm / 1 1⁄16" / 40L

Monday, May 25, 2020

Day 146 : Mary Rose

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 146 : Mary Rose

Day 146 : Mary Rose

Today's button is based on one found in the Mary Rose. There were quite a few, including a fabric and two different thread worked types. In my 2016 challenge, I attempted one of the thread wraps - you can see it here
The centre of mine isn't quite right - I haven't yet determined if what I am seeing on the museum photographs are actually something else (and perhaps a result of being underwater). I think it may be the hole of a mould underneath the fabric leaving an impression, not anything acting as a design element, so I chose to go with a little knot, as that was the usual way of attaching buttons at this time.

Materials - silk satin fabric, silk thread, wool cloth and a disc of cardboard. There are a few buttons from the period which are described as having a cardboard core, when you consider the very small size, cardboard is probably easier to manage and to produce. Of course mine is a total cheat and die-cut waste, but it is only about 2mm off the size of the original, so it was quite perfect...

Size : 10mm / 7⁄16" / 16L

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Day 145 : Eliot

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 145 : Eliot

Day 145 : Eliot

Today's button is back to a traditional passementerie button. I am working on a set that will adorn a gown based on this one from 1842 in the Met. It will be made by Prior Attire here in the UK. It is interesting that the original buttons have the second, lighter colour at the centre, something that isn't seem very often in comparison to 'regular' grappe buttons. 

For the right look, I have spun the filament silk threads for the grappe work - the colours that I needed just weren't available in the correct weight. It is about the same as Soie Perlee. Knowing how to twist up your own threads really comes in useful when doing work like this. The base is a satin wrap of filament silk over a No 14 tagua nut mould. To be really authentic it should have been wood, but we did have these made to be used for just this sort of button!

The set will also also include some rather fancy little tassels and cords... 

And the name? Well, this style always makes me think of George Eliot. 

Size: 20mm / 13⁄16" / 32L

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Day 144 : Flow

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 144 : Flow

Day 144 : Flow

Today's button really has a double name, as it looks a bit like a hat from the side, so the first thought was "Flo" as in Florence. But the sound works for both the pattern and the shape :)

This has been done using the ply split technique. Basically, you make up spun cords, then weave them. I used some small silk cords I had made for another project, weaving them together with another cord. If you are really clever at this technique, you can achieve some wonderful, dimensional items. 

The woven shape is mounted onto a ring, and a couple of bullion knots hid a small gap.... 

Size: 20mm  / 6⁄8" / 30L

Friday, May 22, 2020

Day 143 : One Sort

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 143 : One Sort

Day 143 : One Sort

Well, it does rather resemble one, doesn't it! Although this is round, not flat. And the wrong colour... Not quite what I had in mind, but there was a lot of work in this as I've worked a turks head first, then added the bead in line with the knot. 

Apparently, the various sweets don't have official names. What do you call them?

All materials from my stash today - seed beads, some gimp and a bead.

Size : 11mm / 5⁄8" / 26L

I really fancy some liquorice now... ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Day 142 - Juncture

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 142 : Juncture

Day 142 : Juncture

Today's button is a little different! I just felt like playing around with other materials - I actually have a whole list of ideas using textiles with other items, I just haven't had a chance to play. This one uses a No 3 mould, which I have painted with paint pens in white and silver. I've then worked some wrapping with cotton perle No 12, and some real silver thread.

It makes me think of the 80s...

Size: 25mm / just under 1" /just under 40L

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Day 141 : Black & White & Red

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 141 : Black & White & Red

Day 141 : Black & White & Red

Like the old riddle. I am a bit tired of all of the press and now rarely watch the news. I don't think I'm along in that. When I noticed this fabric in my stash, that's what came to mind.

My postings seem to get later and later! Considering I've been up since about 5.30am, my only excuse is busy. Expecting a nice quiet evening (I haven't even seen sewing bee yet!) but after a day packing kits a delivery of plants arrived that we were not expecting. Gave up on them showing up in April. So, suddenly we had a lot of little plants that really needed to be planted, they were in real need of water having travelled today of all days. Worn out is a very nice way of saying how I currently feel :)

I've used a No 3 mould, and padded it and No 12 perle thread. 

Size : 27mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Day 140 : May

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 140 : May

Day 140 : May

(as in May blossom!) 
Today's button started as an attempt for another from that suit that I mentioned on Day 138, but half-way through I realised I had missed something, so this doesn't look enough like the button at all. I do know where I went wrong, and I like this anyway, so decided to keep this one, not cut it up.

This is worked over a No 13 mould, which has been covered with fabric. The thread is No 12 perle. 

Size: 15mm / 5⁄8" / 26L

Monday, May 18, 2020

Day 139 : Metta

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 139 : Metta

Day 139 : Metta

Today's button is another from an extant item of clothing - apparently from the 1640s, in the MET. Those who study garments are unsure of it. The buttons and buttonholes aren't particularly suspicious, if a little unusual. The five divisions isn't very common anyway, and nothing screams at me as being wrong with them generally, from the images I've seen. And sometimes a replacement button really does scream out to me! There is a lot wrong with the garment on the whole for others, and so this may be a little addition in the new book, not a main :)

I have used a gold thread that I bought many years ago as vintage. As there is no tarnish at all, I reckon I got a good bargain on this, there must be some real gold in the metal. The green is Au Ver a Soie Soie Ovale, and the mould is a No 1

And the name? It started out as me being silly - MET Museum = Metta - then I did a quick search and Metta means all sorts of lovely things and is a form of meditation for directing well wishes. Perfect.

Size: 16mm / 5⁄8" / 24L

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Day 138 : Charles

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 138 : Charles

Day 138 : Charles

Today's button is my attempt at a reproduction of a button that is on a suit that is in the V&A. It dates from the 1680s, and there are at least five different buttons on this suit. Some are possible replacements, but they are in different places for different functions, so may all be original. The original used an even finer gimp thread (I've used our .5mm gimp) and in actual fact the original also had the mould covered first (for this, a No 24 mould), but the pattern is the same. And because so much of that pattern is at the side, a bit of a pain to photograph artistically.  I'm chuffed with it, and it is much simpler than it looks. Another for the forthcoming book! 

Size : 10mm / 3⁄8" / 16L

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Day 137 : Reef

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 137 : Reef

Day 137 : Reef

Today's button just made me think of a coral reef. I know it doesn't really look like one but...

It is made using a small piece of ribbon woven on our Little Loom as part of a demo. The first part was a plain weave, then there is a small section of tubular weave. I threaded some wire through the tubular weave to coil it and form the base of the button, and gathered one side of the plain weave for the outer section.

The lovely bead in the centre is handmade - part of a set I bought originally to make a medieval style paternoster, and the bead is a beautiful coral colour. The bead is from Tillerman Beads - they specialise in historical replicas - and their beads are quite wonderful.

If you'd like to know more about ribbon weaving (and using our tape looms) why not head over to the YouTube channel - I've got a playlist with shorts, including tubular weaving. 

Size : (roughly!) 23mm / nearly 1" / 36L

Friday, May 15, 2020

Day 136 : Little Rose

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 136 : Little Rose

Day 136 : Little Rose

Today's button is a variation of one that someone asked if I was able to recreate quite some time ago. It is actually quite simple to make, once you get the wrapping method. There is no button mould, only the ribbon itself. I've added a hand spun silk cord to represent the leaves - if used as a real button, I'd use a loop closure OR I would add the leave around the actual buttonhole... 

I might make a YouTube video for this - what do you think?

 Size (excluding the cord) : 13mm / 9⁄16" / 22L

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Day 135 : Fourteenth Lace Stitch

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 135 : Fourteenth Lace Stitch

Day 135 : Fourteenth Lace Stitch

Today's button is another practice of a lace stitch (the last was on day 67) - and one that actually does need more practice! :) It was quite difficult getting the spaces nice and even with this one, which has four stitches in each gap. 

The edge is a knotted blanket stitch. 

I've used perle cotton No 12 and a No 3 mould.

Size : 26mm / just over 1" / 40L

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Day 134 : Galaxy

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 134 - Galaxy

Day 134 : Galaxy

Another very late posting, as I watch Sewing Bee. Today is Toby's birthday and we've been for an extra long walk this evening following the footpath that has a section on the very, very busy road. So we always avoid it, despite it being, literally, down the road. Lockdown has meant we can walk along the verge without risking our lives. 

This button is needle felted - when getting something else I saw my wool stash and thought - yes, spending an evening stabbing things will be good! I might have to do some again tonight as well. 

There's no mould on this - although I did the felting onto fabric to stiffen it a little, and the excess fabric is folded and stitched to the back. 

Size : 30mm / 1 1⁄4" / 48L

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Day 133 : Plush

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 133 : Plush

Day 133 : Plush

Nope, I still am not keen on the changes to the blogger layout. Guess I'll get used to it ;)

Today's button is one using the plushwork technique - so quite a boring name really, but it does best describe this very tactile button! I've used regular stranded embroidery cotton for the plush part, it almost looks like silk.

I've used a square button mould in a size we don't actually make - cut out a little larger for a commission at some time.

Size : 23mm / 7⁄8" / 34L

Monday, May 11, 2020

Day 132 : Network

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 132 : Network

Day 132 : Network

Egads! What has Blogger done to me - changing the layout and buttons and everything. So, my apologies if nothing on this post looks right!

Today's button is a wrapped and woven, I think the simplicity of two colours is quite nice. This could of course be made to go with just about anything by keeping the colour scheme simple.

I've used a No 2 button mould and No 12 cotton perle. I won't link today, as it will probably take me another 20 minutes to do it properly, lol!

Size: 20mm / 13⁄16" / 32L

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Day 131 : Enclosure

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 131 : Enclosure

Day 131 : Enclosure

Today's button is really quite straightforward, a V wrap with a little bird's eye button added to it. I like it though and as a larger button think it would look quite nice on a summer jacket. In fact, I think I might have a linen jacket in this colour...

I've used a No 4 mould and No 12 cotton perle, along with linen thread for the bird's eye.

Size: 30mm / 1 3⁄16" / 46L

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Day 130 : Connect

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 130 : Connect

Day 130 : Connect

Today's button is a little weird. It is a cloth covered ring, but I stuffed only a part of it, which gives an uneven surface. I think I like it, but I'm not sure. I've kept it on the table a few days - it didn't get binned, so I must quite like it. 

I'm very late at posting today - been busy writing instructions for a new kit, which means measuring thread lengths and taking photos every step. To be honest, I completely forgot that I hadn't done this post!

I used a No 31 ring, fabric and No 12 perle cotton.

Size: 17mm / 11⁄16" / 26L

Friday, May 8, 2020

Day 129 - Victory

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 129 : Victory

Day 129 : Victory

Today's button had to include my Union Jack design, didn't it? 

We may not be able to have the special bank holiday we had hoped for, with street parties and get togethers while we celebrate Victory in Europe Day, but we can still remember the real sacrifices people made then. So many are complaining about being in lockdown now, but seriously, we are in the comfort of our homes, not on the front line, being bombed out or in a concentration camp. Our generation is lucky.

I've used silk thread from my stash for the flag, and a bit of perle cotton No 12 for the "V". The button is made over a commercial cover button, so the back is covered in silk and the two parts pressed in my button machine.

Size: 25mm / 1" / 40L

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Day 128 : Smock

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 128 : Smock

Day 128 : Smock

Today's button is inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee - last night's episode had machine smocking. Had I been on it, I'm sure I would have had a Dorset wheel in my stash to use! After all, those buttons were commonly used on the farming smocks, along with a stitch known as Dorset feather stitch. I'm never quite sure how I feel about machine stitching over the pleats, I just really like the look of the old hand stitched items.

The fabric for this button is the edge of a piece of cotton I randomly dyed many years ago - putting dyestuffs into a bundle within the fabric. This one was logwood and eucalyptus leaves if I recall correctly (it was a very long time ago). 

I've hand smocked the centre area, and added herringbone stitches on each pleat with two strands of embroidery cotton. The edge is a twist of some of that linen thread from yesterday, couched along the edge. The mould is one that was cut the wrong size!

Size : 35mm /  1 3⁄8" / 54L

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Day 127 : Urchin II

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 127 : Urchin II

Day 127 : Urchin II

Another urchin! I did say that would happen. Today's does start with a Yorkshire button, and I have added French and bullion knots and tiny stitches in the depressions. The main thread is a beautiful linen hand dyed by my friend, The Mulberry Dyer.

No mould - this is stuffed with thread ends. 

Size 15mm / 5⁄8" / 24L

If you'd like to know how to make a Yorkshire button using our kit (which has re-usable templates), here's my YouTube video - 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Day 126 : Song of Sixpence

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 126 : Song of Sixpence

Day 126 : Song of Sixpence

Today's button was one that I've intended to make (in some shape or another) since my last challenge in 2016. During that challenge, we moved into our current home, And as I was cleaning I found this sixpence. And it happens to be my birth year. I thought I would add it to a button but in the end didn't. Well, I have now!

I've covered a No 4 mould with fabric and padding, and added the coin using the beginning of a shisha stitch, but working a cretan stitch over it with perle cotton No 8. That's how it started, but then I added blanket stitches and wrapping... you can see how I started it over at the Needle 'n thread website.

Size : 30mm / 1 3⁄16" / 46L

Monday, May 4, 2020

Day 125 : Galafix

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 125 : Galafix

Day 125 : Galafix

Today's button is made using a vintage "Galafix" button and rim from my collection. I was so thrilled to get these - I have two boxes, with odd parts and tools in different sizes. I imagine they are from the 60s (if anyone knows different I would love to know). The outer rim is plastic, in a variety of colours, and the centre is a domed tin. They were meant for fabrics - and I imagine they would look quite fashionable on a swing coat...

One of my boxes of Galafix button parts and tool

I used perle cotton No 12 to work a 6 point wrap over this domed shape, and added some weaving. I have to admit I was quite amazed when it worked - and without the tool. The two parts just snapped together, the thread was probably just thin enough, whereas anything thicker would need the tool.

A fitting name for Stars Wars Day too ;)

I've chosen these colours because that green looked great on my Dad and the blue is quite close to the dark blue of his uniform. Everything came together very well for today's button.

(I've no idea what I will do for tomorrow's yet...)

Size: 27mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Day 124 : Lozenge

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 124 : Lozenge

Day 124 : Lozenge

Today's button was nearly called Cyberman, as the design really does make me think of a cyberman's helmet. Mark thought I was pushing it a bit. ;)

It is primarily a wrapped button, then with a little bit of extra doodling. It is one of those that looks a lot more complicated than it actually is.

I've used perle cotton No 12 and a No 4 mould.

Size : 32mm / 1 1⁄4" / 50L

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Day 123 : Reel

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 123 : Reel

Day 123 : Reel

Today's button actually makes me think of strawberry laces candy, but as it could be made in a different colour combination, I decided not to go with that! 

I've used the outer ring from the No 45 stacker mould, covered with No 8 perle cotton. This centre is a silk fingerloop braid - the "round lace of 5 loops" from my book Tak V Bowes Departed. These braids were known as laces during the medieval period, so just re-enforcing that candy reference :)

Size: 37mm / 1 7⁄16" / 58L

Friday, May 1, 2020

Day 122 : Froufrou

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 122 : Froufrou

Day 122 : Froufrou

I love that word. It sort of sums of passementerie in my head, which is possibly why I do like the word so much... 
Today's button is made using techniques from Italian lacemaking, and similar little toggle buttons were often made in white linen or cotton. It's a really tactile button, you just want to pet the ends haha! 

No mould - the shape is made up of the threads (perle cotton no 8 & 12). I've added a stitched central area and then the lighter bullion knots. 

Size (length) 25mm / 1" / 40L