Sunday, November 09, 2008

Button Man

Eric Hebert has accumulated more old buttons than anyone in a country where people like to accumulate old things, and every weekend he sells them from his stall at the Puces de Vanves on the southern edge of the city.

OMG, that looks like heaven--if I could stand the cigarette smoke and get to Paris.

Until my second year at Cal, I used to go for the cheapest buttons that sufficed. But, a roommate and fellow sewist taught me that buttons are the details that set custom-made apart from RTW. Because I often buy bargain fabric left over from factories, it is not unusual for me to spend more on buttons than fabric for a garment. Viva la difference!

What's up with the button store that used to be near the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega in West Los Angeles? It's gone. Is the Button Store on nearby 3rd street any relation to the one I used to frequent? Thankfully, my neighborhood Cotton Shop has an excellent selection of not your run of the mill buttons.

The Button Man of France obsesses in sets of 12
Slide show accompanying the article (see more photos, including the ones above)


  1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous16:07

    My grandmother saved and reused buttons her whole life. It made quite a collection, and a fun treat for me to play with from time to time.


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