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She's Crafty: New Buttons, New Jacket

She's Crafty: New Buttons, New Jacket

What to do when you have an old jacket that is still Fab, but has gone drab? No need to be dramatic and rid of it, just take another look and see how it can be revived. This was what I did with a 5-year-old DKNY olive green jacket. When I first got it, I wore it to death. Ever since, it has just sat in my closet, with old memories to keep it company. The reason I loved it so was because I realized an olive green jacket pretty much goes with everything. It can be utilitarian, sporty, chic, or just plain casual. The neutral hue works for both Summer and Winter, and it doesn't go out of style.


I knew my old faithful could be revived. What I love most about this jacket is these complex seams along the back and shoulders — I would never tire of those. So I started with the sleeves, and simply rolled them up, for a more distressed style. What really stood out as an eye sore was the drab buttons; these pale green medium sized buttons just camouflaged with the fabric. I thought if I simply changed the buttons — something even I know how to do — the jacket would be refreshed.

To see the process, and to read the rest of my jacket salvation story, read more.

  • The jacket has a slight safari feel, so I immediately thought tortoise buttons would be perfect. I adore the marbleized design of tortoise, and, like the jacket, I find it goes with a lot of colors and styles. This decision was made even before I got to the fabric store.
  • Britex Fabrics in San Francisco is awesome. They had oodles of tortoise buttons to choose from; it was not an easy choice. I ended up choosing a nice flat tortoise button. The grand total ended up being less than $10. But I was sure to bring the jacket with me, so the salesperson could see what size button I was looking for and so I could imagine the new look. Also, the jacket has four buttons, but I bought one extra in case my sewing skills ever fail me.

  • Thread. I needed an olive green that would match the jacket. After a quick visit to my parents house — my mom used to sew so she has like every color — I found the perfect little spool of olive green. I was almost ready to take on my project.
  • Tools. The only tools I needed were a needle and a seam ripper. If you don't already have a seam ripper, I suggest you get one. They come in handy for projects like this, sewing mishaps, and opening closed pockets.
  • Labor. One evening I went to work and surprisingly the jacket button switcharoo only took a half hour. It was easy to align the new buttons because there were already holes in place. I just started at the top, removed the old button and any residual thread, and sewed on the new button. You can really see the difference the button makeover made! New buttons, new jacket.
  • In times of a fashion recession, and with the holidays right around the corner, I know the financial bind many of you are in. By simply rejuvenating something you once loved, you can have a (semi) new piece of clothing. Never underestimate the big power of the little button.

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