Thursday, July 19, 2012


I'm a very lucky lady because I get to share my life with a lovely fellow who is not only very funny and very clever, but also manages to be thoroughly dashing and impressively dapper. He recently bought some vintage button braces that had never been used and were generally in a good condition, however the button tabs had become brittle - they were made of some sort of vinyl-coated cardboard and they ripped the moment Mr B attempted to attach them to his trousers. So I switched the old cardboard-y ones for some nice new leather ones.

I cut off one of the old tabs and used it as a template to make the new ones. When cutting out the new leather tabs I made sure that I cut them in the direction of least stretch. Leather tends to be less stretchy along the animal's back from head to tail, and more stretchy sideways around its body. I knew that there would be pressure on these tabs and I didn't want them stretching out of shape. I used a small hole punch to make the holes for the rivets and a buttonhole punch to make the buttonholes.

I used gum tragacanth to slick the edges with my fingers - you can see the tab behind still has its fuzzy raw edge, the one in front is nice and slick. (more about gum tragacanth here)

Then it is just a matter of folding the tab over the D-ring, inserting a rivet and bashing it flat.

And ta da! New leather tabs for vintage button braces.


  1. Nice job! The recipient is lucky too!

  2. Hi!
    I really like these, but I just wanted to tell you how nice your blog is! I've been reading since Zoe's post about the shoes, and stayed :-)

    1. Hi Isabel
      Thanks! it's lovely to have you on board!

  3. You have some amazing skills. Your instructions made this fix sound so easy.