Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tufted Buttons

Holly came down to visit while Kao was away on business, but job interviews and a nasty cold has taken up pretty much every moment, up until now!

We looked at inspiration portraits and decided some design details for her ACC dress.

Her main inspiration portrait is this beauty:

1550_ Portrait of a Lady_ Agnolo Bronzino_ Galleria Sabauda,Bronzino, Agnolo. Portrait of a Lady. 1550. Oil on canvas. Galleria Sabuada, Turin.

She’s using blue velvet from my stash (to be traded for probably jewelry at a later date) 

Because I’m still kinda feeling out of it, I suggested that we work on cording and buttons first, and do some pattern drafting and cutting tomorrow.

I kind of had a plan of how to create tufted buttons like the ones on the portrait, but I wasn’t sure if it would work until I sat down with needle and thread….And I had to figure out how to do it before I could teach her!

1550_ Portrait of a Lady_ Agnolo Bronzino_ Galleria Sabauda,

Here’s what I came up with, something similar looking, but not quite a copy:

1.  Start as you would a regular thread-wrapped button, but with extra length.  (I’m using a arm-span length)

2.  This is where it gets a bit different.  Tie off the thread on the bottom, then go back up through the top and use a needle as spacer for the loop, and go back down 2x…..if that makes sense.  (I may still be a little loopy….)


3.  Take the needle out of the little loops; now this is where the tufts are going to be anchored.  I used the back end of my favorite bone crochet hook as a spacer……loop through the anchor loops as many times as it takes to get a pleasing puffiness.  (In my case, 7x)


4.  Wrap around the base of the tufty loops to lock in place, and plunge the needle back through the bead core.  Firmly square knot, and voila! Tufty cute buttons!


5.  It’s a good idea to dab a bit of glue on the end of the button to make sure that everything stays in place, then all that’s left is to sew onto a garment!

Holly and I have dubbed these “Blueberry Buttons”, as Bethaval has “Cranberry Buttons” on one of her recent(ish) gowns!


  1. I may have to give some of those a shot.  I normally prefer the ribbed style, but I fell in love with the super tufty ones here and have wanted some of the red silk and gold ones for awhile now.

  2. Oh my goodness!  I wonder how those are done.....I haven't found any tutorials online.  Is it awful to want to buy some to dissect and see if I could figure it out?  >.<