Buttons are Expensive!!

I have been a little obsessed with shirt-dresses of late and seem to be collecting patterns both new and old, especially vintage 40s & 50s patterns.  I have had this one planned for ages but I was waiting to find the right buttons – finally I found them!!


The pattern is New Look 6587, the envelope leaves little to be desired, the styling is bad and the fit isn’t good either, however the line drawings led me to believe I could be onto a winner.

I made version B with only a couple of small changes, rounding off the collar and removing the collar stand (mostly because I was short on fabric and making do!).  I have always thought patterns overestimate so I never seem to buy what it says – I have fixed numbers in my head as to what garments require e.g. a sleeveless top uses 1m/1yd, a dress uses 2-3metres etc – I am such a tightarse and can usually make it work.


I bought the fabric and the pattern months ago but it took me ages to find buttons to match the fabric. When did it become so hard to buy decent buttons and when did they become so expensive? I bought these at Mood, yep, I was so desperate to find the matching buttons I took my little swatch all the way to NYC.  These ended up costing me $1.50 each – crazy when the dress requires ten! That’s more than my fabric cost.


The pattern was super quick to make and not many alterations were required.  In retrospect though I should have cut about two sizes smaller and done an FBA instead of cutting my bust measurement and having to alter the shoulders and waist darts – but as you may know by now I really don’t do muslins unless it is a vintage pattern so I live with the results.  I have never really had any big non-fixable disasters.

Oh yeah, I added pockets too – it is always good to have places to store stuff!
BTW – did you check out my new favourite shoes?? Super cute and comfortable – awesome!!
I have more shirt-dresses planned – anyone have any tips on where to get good buttons that don’t cost the earth??

16 thoughts on “Buttons are Expensive!!

  1. Love your new shirt waist dress. The fabric is so pretty. And the buttons are just perfect.. SOrry you had such a rough time finding matching ones. Buttons and notions are really expensive now.. eeeeh!!! Have your ever used covered buttons.. I love them, because you can make them any color you want? hope you and family have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. I love this dress! The buttons are lovely and I also like the binding on the collar. Well done.I must admit I've never made a shirt dress as I'm not good at button holes – but might try one with press studs.You have inspired me!!

  3. Your dress is lovely. I must admit to having a thing for shirt dresses as well. The price of buttons bothers me to the point now that I cut them off old clothes. To think I used to scoff at my grandmother for doing just that!

  4. Thanks – I already have more shirt-dresses planned! I give my old clothes to charity, seems wrong to cut the buttons off, Perhaps I will try just thrift shopping for the buttons.

  5. Have you been to the Paddington Antiques market on Given Tce in Brisbane?? You can find lots of beautiful buttons there at the different shops and they are beautiful. I call them real buttons as they are all vintage and mainly made of glass, shell, bone and ceramic. Ask around and you will be surprised what delights you will find.

  6. Oooh I keep meaning to go there and have somehow never gotten around to it. I have been to the one at Woolloongabba but they don't really have much. I might go to Paddington on Sunday if I have some spare time. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. You made a lovely shirtdress!!!
    Regarding the buttons, you can make your own buttons ( as beautiful as you wish) from FIMO clay
    The technics are quite simple and the results can be tantalizing and you dont need to look for the right ones, you can prepare yourself the right onws 😉

  8. Am seconding the comment about re-using buttons from used items. Also, there are some good notions shops to be found when on holidays. If you find yourself in Bangkok, email me for addresses.

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