1775 maja, 18th century, projects

Button/Toggle Help!

So I FINALLY got off my butt and scanned the better resolution picture that I have of the Maja portrait… and I’m really glad I did, because of course I am now finding little details that I missed!  Like, the black trim around the armhole has the occasional spangle on it!

Now, I am trying to figure out the buttons.  I had assumed they were all the same style, and were some kind of passementerie/thread wrapped button.  But now that I look at them in higher resolution, I see there are TWO different styles — one that looks like some kind of spiky, knotted? or passementerie? button, and something that I think may be a toggle… but then has some spiky-ness involved.  OR are they buttons and toggles that are laid on top of some kind of embroidery?  WTH?

I got the book 50 Heirloom Buttons to Make which is really great, hoping to find something in there that would look similar.  So far, nothing obvious… there are toggles, and knotted buttons, and thread wrapped buttons, and they all are similar, but nothing really close.

Any ideas?

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  • Reply Alyxx June 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Hmmm, it’s looks to me like the soutache wave figure is behind the button pieces. The button pieces all look like a fuzzy/loopy/pompom decoration on one end (thread wrapped or knotted would be smoother) with a long loop coming out. Then the toggle side could be different between pix 1&2 – 1 looks like the toggle is an oblong bead with threads through it making the fuzzy poufs on each end. 2 looks like there’s loopy/pompom stuff going on that the oblong bead sits on, or it’s the knotted end of the loop sitting under the toggle bead – they don’t looks as connected as they do in pic 1.
    I think if I were going to try and make this, I’d make a small, loopy pompom tied with a cord that forms the loop. Then on the other side, I’d sew the toggle bead with the same loopy stuff coming out of the ends.
    Fascinating – can’t wait to see what you do!

  • Reply kendra June 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Alyxx — thanks, good thought about a pompom! Image 1 doesn’t have stress on the toggle — it’s from the jacket revers. Image 2, OTOH, does have stress — it’s from the CF waistcoat closure. So it makes me think they’re the same thing, but image 2 has stress so the toggle is being pulled away from the whoseewhatsit decoration. But yeah, relooking at Image 1, it does look like a bead with fringe-y bits sticking out the end! But #2 looks different — agh! :)

  • Reply kendra June 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    ooo, I just had a thought! What if there is some kind of fringe-y end to the looped cord, which is looping around the toggle and sticking out underneath? Again, the stress/no-stress could position that differently…

  • Reply Alyxx June 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    “What if there is some kind of fringe-y end to the looped cord, which is looping around the toggle and sticking out underneath?”

    That’s exactly what I was talking about -“the knotted end of the loop sitting under the toggle bead.” :-) It really looks like that in pic 2, like the toggle bead is sitting on top of some other poofy thing, but it’s not a pompom like the other end. It’s like a knot at the end of the loop that’s been frayed out to be fringy. Yeah. Like that.

  • Reply Rose June 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I had a coat as a little girl (think early 1970’s) that had a version of this closure. Not quite as fancy but the comments above would describe how the closures functioned.

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