Monday, August 31, 2009

A lunchtime excursion

I'm in preparation mode for my upcoming sewing vacation. I've made a list. Crossed half the stuff on it off and rewritten it...3x now!!! Can you tell I'm excited...mostly I'm excited because for 10 days I won't have to get up at 5:30 in the morning!

But I digress...so today I headed over to Tender Buttons at lunchtime. I haven't been to Tender Buttons in years. Usually when I need buttons I head over to M&J but today I wanted something different and I hoped that Tender Buttons would provide that. I'm looking for extraordinary or extra special buttons for the Badgley Mischka suit and for the Pumpkin dress and jacket.

Now I have to tell you that Tender Buttons is really no different from some of the smaller button shops in the district. The shop has an extensive collection of buttons housed in a wall of button boxes that you pull down and look for the button you want. They do provide quaint little tables in the center of the store so that you can examine the buttons very carefully. It has a much more laid back atmosphere than the garment district button stores have...there's a buzz of excitement that's missing here. It's more genteel and quiet...sort of like the "little old ladies" that man the check out table in the back of the store.

I never saw a cash register. Just two ladies with a pad writing down what you want and providing change. Oh and this is very important...they don't do credit cards! Cash or check ONLY! There also isn't a heavy "sale" vibe here. You are allowed to pick and choose, linger and touch to your hearts desire. When and only when you are ready, do you go to the back of the store and hand over the boxes to discuss your purchases.

I was torn between several buttons for my new garments and the ladies were very helpful. Offering opinions and only allowing me to make a purchase once I took both buttons along with my fabric samples out into the sunlight to see which one would look best. They were both very interested in the printouts of the garment patterns that I had. They didn't realize that you could buy patterns over the internet...and were amazed that my fabric (samples) had been purchased that way too. I've truly forgotten that there is an entire segment of the population who don't live their lives on the internet. What an interesting concept! *LOL*

Anyway, I'm sure you want to see what I bought...


And here is how they come home with you...


I'm very excited about these buttons. They tie into the vision I have for the garments and they are one less thing that have to be bought before the outfits can come to fruition. Next up, I need thread and lining fabric...

...and as always, more later!


24 comments:

  1. I've been toying with the idea of making Dorset buttons and I think I'll send you some neutral ones. how many do you think you would need - at least 3 matching? g

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  2. That button excursion sounds very quaint. No cash register. No pushy sales people. What could be more serene?

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  3. I love reading your blog. It's always an adventure. I'd love to visit the button store just to feel the laidback vide and browse through all those buttons!

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  4. Oohhh, buttons! That button shop looks too awesome. I especially like the orange ones. Are they soft? They look very soft and suede-y. Very cool.

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  5. Your buttons are perfect. I hope you have a wonderful sewing vacation.

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  6. Enjoy your sewing vacation, looking forward to seeing all that comes out of it!

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  7. I haven't been to that store in years. I happened upon it by accident. There is a school around the corner on 62nd and 3rd called the Grace Institute where the sewing classes were $50 for 12 classes for 3hrs each. I am not sure the school is still there. I hope you enjoy your sewing vacation. Can't wait to see what you come back with.

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  8. Lovely buttons. You are so lucky to have a source so close by. I am envious.

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  9. How did I miss Tender Buttons when I was in NYC?? LOve your buttons-have a great vacation!

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  10. Love this post! You've inspired me to find time for a sewing vacation AND to make a trip up to Tender Buttons. I remember reading that they sell vintage buttons up there; is that true?

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  11. I wanted to go to Tender when I was in New York last week, but I didn't have time. Next time for sure. I hope you have a WONDERFUL sewing vacation!

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  12. Would it be weird if I heaped all my buttons in a pile on the bed and rolled in them? I love buttons - they bookend the sewing process. You pick them out at the beginning of the journey and they tend to be the last step in finishing the garment. A lovely start and finish thanks to the humble button. Sigh.

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  13. Oh my gosh, Tender Buttons sounds like such a lovely place! I'm glad to know such places still exist!

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  14. I love buttons and your selections are marvelous. I have piled my buttons on the bed, although I perhaps have not quite rolled in them. But then I probably am weird. I haven't been to Tender Buttons in a long time. Must go.

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  15. Ahh, Carolyn, this was enough to make me want to fly to NY just to buy buttons!! Not to mention, the actual TOUCHING of beautiful fabric again. I've been lurking on your wonderful blog for a long time... LOVE all your sewing ! Thanks for everything you write, it helps make my day a good one.

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  16. Ahhhh, good ol' Tender Buttons… When ALL my income was expendable. Good times, good times.
    :-).

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  17. I think your button choices are perfect. What a nice way to buy them. I think you will have great outcomes with your planned sewing--because you are planning.

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  18. Me too, haven't been to Tender Buttons in years but I remember it fondly. Have you checked out Botani Buttons on W. 36th yet? That's a good one. Actually, the most fantastic button store of all is just a 15-minute drive from my house. Nancy K introduced me to it. The buttons I buy here usually end up costing me more than my fabric.

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  19. Ooooooooooooooooooo! I wish I was with you - I love Tender Buttons. Have many little boxes from there! I knew you were there on that first picture. How fun!

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  20. I haven't gotten to Tender Buttons yet - it sounds like the complete flip side to Pacific Trims whose customer service is a bit . . . un-tender? I love that store, but sometimes I come out feeling bruised.

    This looked like a lovely experience, and I can't wait to see what you turn out during your sewing vacation.

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  21. Mmmm . . . what a fun lunch excursion! I'll have to go there - that's the kind of sales people I like - the ones that leave me alone and let me figure out what I want, but will help *if asked*. Maybe on my next trip to NYC - hopefully this month.

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  22. 10 days sewing vacation, how wonderful. Love the buttons and to read about the experience. Sounds very outdated to have no awareness of the internet. Good to have the time to choose without a sales person around you all the time.

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  23. I haven't been to Tender Buttons in years. It is a very quaint atmosphere and quiet, even when filled with people. When I went with my dh he'd get his shoes shined at a shop about 2 doors away. I wonder if it's still there. The buttons are great. I never skimp on buttons; they just make the garment stand out.

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  24. I love when I can pick buttons for a garment. I would love to browse through Tender Buttons! Although Vogue Fabrics, my local haunt, has a great selection of old and new...I won a 10 lb bag of vintage buttons from ebay for less than 10 bucks--I have been able to use many of them! It was like receiving a treasure box in the mail!! Enjoy your vacation--sound wonderful.

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