Sunday, 8 June 2014

My way of making Dorset buttons - Step by Step instructions.

Vicky tells me that Dorset buttons are being talked about at the moment so I thought I would show you my method of making them. Be warned I have only ever seen the buttons from a distance so there is probably a much better way of making them.

These are the results.

 Top ones are made using stranded embroidery thread. The rest using 4ply variegated wool.
This is what the back looks like - my mum would be proud of me she always said the back should be as neat  as the front. You can see that I have experimented with loops to attach the buttons with.
I decided that the buttons could be attached more neatly be sewing them directly to the garment so I have packaged them with a piece of yarn for the purpose.
 These are the base of the buttons. The green and brown rings are about 2cm in diameter and came from old costume jewelry. The black one again 2cm in diameter used for mending bras and can be bought on line.
The white one is a roman blind ring about 3.5cm wide and I bought these in a local hardware shop but you can buy them on line.

The yarn used here is double knitting cotton.
Join yarn to the ring and then work dc into ring. The ring should be quite densely covered and the number of double crochets should be and even number times 6. I used 36 for this one (6 x 6) but for the smaller ones I use 24 (4 x 6). Notice that at the end I have only pulled the yarn through the last stitch. This means you can needle join the gap which is much tidier.

 Using a blunt sewing needle and a long piece of thread. Join the yarn you are going to use for the spokes by running it under some of the dcs. on the back of the button.
 Count half of your stitches in my case 18 and insert the needle between the 18th and 19th stitch ( or whatever half of your number is). try to make sure it comes out between two threads on the right side.
 Take the thread down the front of the button and push it through to the back. So now you have two threads one down the front and one down the back.
 This is the tricky bit as it involves sums! For this one I counted 6 stitches ( to the right of the first spoke) and ran the thread under them as the picture shows. The number of stitches you count depends on how many times 6 you did at the start. example: if you made 48 stitches ( 6 x 8 ) you should count 8 - you get the idea. Count 6 stitches to the left of the bottom of the first spoke and insert your needle.  This forms a cross
 Like this.
  Now push the needle to the back of the button to make a second spoke.
 Repeat the process once more to make the last spoke.
 Do not break the thread but take it to the middle and make a few stitches to hold the centre of the wheel in place.
 Then working in a spiral and from the front of the button, bring the yarn out between two spokes, push the needle through the next gap to the right as shown in the next picture.
 Then bring it up to the left of the next spoke along in an anticlockwise direction.Now put your needle through the gap to the right of this spoke etc. Effectively what you are doing is wrapping the yarn around each spoke in turn, working around the next spoke to the left each time.
 Keep doing this until you run out of room. Fasten off and sit back and admire your finished work of art.
 There are lots of things you can do to change the character of your buttons:
Use different thickness rings or yarn. Do 8 spokes ( you do the maths.), don't quite fill in the centre. You can slide the contrast colour  used for the centre under the dcs so you get a plain outer ring etc. Anyway experiment and please let me see any that you make.

As I have said before I am an ex teacher so I tend to write instructions as  if to a class of children - this may result in me sounding patronising (sorry if it does). Then I think of this and start writing very briefly so you may not understand what I am talking about. Let me know what I should do to improve - constructive criticism only please.


  1. This is the easiest chart that I have seen for a beginner.Will rec.omend it