Vintage Buckle & Buttons – What Would You Do?

I keep looking at these and thinking that something rather wonderful must be made to platform them. But what? I am lucky enough to have twelve of these beautiful buttons. A skirt with buttoned pockets and a belt? Something self drafted or a wonderful vintage pattern? What, what, WHAT can it be?

The buckle arrived in a package all the way from Switzerland, a country that conjures impossible glamour for me. I’m sorry if this makes anyone cringe, but I can’t think of Switzerland without thinking of Heidi, Peter the goat herd, Clara in her wheelchair, and of course the kind grandfather – all contained in the gold embossed, red bound edition of this novel that I would read again and again as a child. In fact, just writing this swoops me back to my childhood hiding place between the blanket chest and the radiator in my bedroom, where I would cuddle up with a book and cooking chocolate stolen from the kitchen. Ah, memories… (Ahem, get back on topic, Karen!)

Olivia, a reader in Switzerland, offered to send me some thrifted silk thread and was kind enough to parcel up a whole load of goodies. Bless her heart. I picked up the parcel the morning of my Bound Buttonhole Get Together, a day filled with sewing friends and the kindness of sewing strangers. Utter bliss.

Can you suggest something to make with my buckle and buttons? And do you have a favourite memory of childhood reading?

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36 Responses to Vintage Buckle & Buttons – What Would You Do?

  1. Clare S says:

    Beautiful! My instant idea was a fabulous mod-esque coat, perhaps based on the one in the Burda Style book or the Jamie Christina with a belt featuring that gorgeous buckle. Or even go more luxe and get the new Gertie coat pattern and add a belt. I think it’s the size of the buckle that’s saying ‘coat’ to me.

    • Ashley says:

      I was going to say a coat, too! Like a light colored trench style that would allow the buttons and buckle to stand out. I’ve been wanting to make one for myself for too long…

  2. Pella says:

    A buttonthrough dress with a belt of course, possibly navy (they’re navy on my screen) with a white collar, cuffs etc.

  3. annie says:

    Are they navy or black? I see a retro (1940ish) dress, maybe sleeveless with a broad wing collar and buttons down the front. Black and white plaid or gingham, maybe even silk. And a lovely black belt, of course.

  4. soisewedthis says:

    I like the coat idea, maybe in a color that contrasts the buckle and buttons (they look black to me?). Maybe red or camel or even a fun black and white stripe. I’m envisioning it as a short trench coat, or actually you could make it as a raincoat, depending on your fabric. Excited to see what you make!

  5. Sam says:

    Definitely something vintage. A shirtdress perhaps? In a plain fabric to really let the trimmings take centre stage.

    Or a fabulous trench coat like SoISewedThis suggests.

  6. Rachel says:

    No good suggestions but the stolen cooking chocolate brought back memories for me;-)

  7. rosyragpatch says:

    They are lovely. When I saw them I thought button-through dress with a wide skirt – 1950s style.
    I loved Heidi too…

  8. Wendy says:

    Oooh, I see them on a sleek shirt dress,

  9. Sarah says:

    They’re definitely screaming shirt dress to me. Something with a bit of volume, maybe shoulder pleats and a gathered skirt? And in a bold colour!

  10. Mrs M says:

    I’m afraid O have no useful suggestions, but I had completely forgotten that story. Thanks for reminding me and for putting a smile on my face.

  11. Carolyn says:

    The buttons and buckle say shirt-dress to me too, with a self-fabric covered belt. Maybe a dress with cuffs or tabs on the sleeves so you can have buttons on your arms that match the ones down the front of the dress.
    What did I read as a kid? What didn’t i read? Still love Little House books, Anne of Green Gables series, A Little Princess, and a whole bunch of others that I now get to read with my children. Heidi will definitely be on the reading list too.

  12. Olivia says:

    Yay that old belt buckle is now famous! And it will finally be used! I like the shirt-dress idea, it could be very elegant. I am looking forward to see what you will make. And the buttons are beautiful, its rare to find a good amount of identical vintage buttons!

    In my impossibly glamourous swiss childhood I read tons of books by Enid Blyton. I also loved Roald Dahls books, and still do! I remember thinking that the kids in the Blyton books were always eating intriguing tinned foods: tinned meat, pudding and even bread! That british food was very exoctic and those kids seemed to like it a lot – the glamour of warm goat milk on the other hand seems questionable.

  13. Ceri says:

    Hmm…this may not be the coolest idea, but I can’t get the idea of a sixties poncho with faux buttons and a buckle, out of my head 🙂

  14. symondezyn says:

    I love those buttons; my first thought upon seeing them next to the belt buckle was ‘vintage shirt dress’ but I think they’d look amazing on ANY project! I’ve just got vintage shirt dresses on the brain! LOL

    • symondezyn says:

      And sorry, forgot to mention, my childhood WAS reading! I read EVERYTHING… i devoured every fable and fairy tale imaginable, as well as everything else under the sun…. all the way from Anne of Green Gables to my dad’s Stephen King books LOL. However, probably my FAVOURITE childhood read was the Narnia series, which I still have and which I’ve re-read many times as an adult ^___^

  15. These come across all 60s to me. Belted ,button fronted mini dress. White knee boots optional.

  16. Personally I love the Collete patterns Biegnet skirt with a belt using the buckle. But maybe that is on my mind as I am thinking of making another one 🙂

  17. susew says:

    The buttons and buckle are calling out to be part of a dress. How about Burda 7179 – it’s 1950’s style shirt dress with bust darts and pleats at waist seam in the bodice and skirt. It even has a belt pattern. I guess I like this pattern!

  18. Donna says:

    When I was a teenager, I made a dress to use vintage wooden buttons and a matching belt buckle salvaged from my grandmother’s button box. I recently took them off that dated and worn out dress. They’re in my jewelry box waiting to see what they’re adorn next.

    I’m sure you’ll do something fabulous, but I’m on the make a shirtwaist kind of dress.

  19. redsilvia says:

    So cute! They look black on my screen, but whatever color I think silk jersey button front dress with a fullish A-line skirt for maximum swirl and swish factor and a nipped in sexy waist.. Then you need to buy some fierce boots or booties.

    Or something like this:

    I read all the Nancy Drew books as a kid and wanted to have such adventures! Of course that didn’t happen – heck I grew up in California and we didn’t even have weather. Just sun…

  20. LinB says:

    Shirtdress. Something in a sober navy woolen worsted, or a good cotton broadcloth. Something classic and relatively plain, that you can rely on for years, and that you can dress up with belts and sashes and scarves and broaches and necklaces and stoles and jackets and shawls — not all at once, perhaps. Or, maybe so. I, too, adored reading Heidi. I still think of her in the little hayloft, falling asleep to the whispering rustle of the pine trees outside the window, whenever I hear the wind rustle through the pines in the woods behind my house. I also enjoyed reading all the Thornton Burgess animal books that lined the walls of my grandfather’s house.

  21. Uta says:

    I immediataly saw a white shirtdress with notched collar and full skirt. Good luck deciding!

  22. Joanne says:

    Ooh the Kelly skirt with a matching belt with white piping!

  23. I’m inclined to agree with the shirtdress suggestion. I was never without several books on the go when I was a kid. I remember hanging over the back of a kitchen chair and trying to pretend I wasn’t crying as the tears dripped off the end of my nose and onto the page of Black Beauty where Ginger had died.

  24. Karen says:

    Definitely go vintage – late 1950s or early ’60s. With so many buttons you could even do a coat and dress ensemble (which would take no time at all – hah, hah!!)
    I loved Heidi as well, but what I really loved was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books about her family’s life in the Midwest and then on the American plains in the latter half of the 1800s. Lots of references to sewing in those books as well!

  25. Kelly says:

    Maybe something double-breasted – show off two rows of those lovely buttons. I devoured books as a child – my mom has pictures of me curled up in the bow of our boat reading a book while everyone else fished! I loved Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, all the Little House books and the Narnia series. I read the Trixie Belden mystery series instead of Nancy Drew – anyone remember Trixie?

  26. Amanda says:

    Definitely a shirt dress with a cute belt!

  27. Kristen says:

    My first thought was shirtdress – seems like I’m in good company there! I think it would be cute in a print, something like this: And like many of us, I read a LOT as a child. There were a lot of series, the Little House books and the later series about Rose, Nancy Drew, the Babysitters Club, the Betsy-Tacy books, Narnia, the Anne of Green Gables books, a series I think was called “Dear America”, and so many more. What’s interesting is even though I don’t remember many of the specific books now, I know I have mental images floating around in my brain that are from a lot of those books – they stay with you, you know?

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  29. Erika says:

    Love the blouse/skirt combo, it’s a great look on you! I’d look like a tent, but you look relaxed, comfy but elegant. Gorgeous!

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