Select Page

Readers,

Sometimes the best solution I’ve discovered for a pesky problem turns out to be the easiest, cheapest and laziest.  I have to be in the right state of mind though, for that solution to occur to me.

I ran a little test hanging button bags and swatches over the ironing board. I stopped noticing them.

I ran a little test hanging button bags and swatches over the ironing board. I stopped noticing them.

A couple of days ago I had wrapped up a big sewing project and series of posts and was not in the mood to plunge into the next project just yet. I felt restless. I didn’t want to sit at a computer or sewing machine or stand at a cutting table or ironing board. I didn’t want to decipher 1940s pattern instructions, or plan.

I didn’t want anything to do with words or thinking.

A bulletin board + tacks + bagged supplies = fun.

A bulletin board + tacks + bagged supplies = fun.

This turned out to be a very good thing.

Because what I instinctively turned to was playing with the buttons and buckles I had sorted and bagged but not yet stored to my satisfaction.  For weeks they’d been in a jumble in a big plastic basket. I hadn’t made them much more accessible than before, and that bugged me.

The bags can hang on tacks, easy to remove and rehang.

The bags can hang on tacks, easy to remove and rehang.

I had hung some buttons on pegboard hooks in view of my ironing board for inspiration. But I concluded that when I’m pressing and grading seams I’m focused like a laser on the task. Those buttons had become invisible in full view.

In sight, in mind.

In sight, in mind.

It was only when my brain was tired that a quick, easy, cheap and lazy solution occurred to me: hanging the bags from tacks on a bulletin board.  I began to sort into colors and sizes but quickly gave it up.  I just feverishly grabbed bags and tacked in horizontal rows starting at the bottom and working my way up, overlapping like roof tiles.  In a matter of minutes–not hours or days, and with no seam-ripping–I was done.

Forget the chicken and the egg--which comes first, the button or the fabric?

Forget the chicken and the egg–which comes first, the button or the fabric?

I  liked the unexpected juxtapositions of colors, shapes and sizes. I liked using ordinary office supplies lying around the house. I liked the portability of this storage and the ease of taking bags off and rehanging them.

Having fun worked, too.

Now my buttons and buckles are organized (but not too much) in view of my stash, ready to stoke my imagination anew.

Buckles, a pair of dress clips, even some vintage initial tape available to be planned into a garment now.

Buckles, a pair of dress clips, even some vintage initial tape available to be planned into a garment now.