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Dear PoPville – Where Can I Find Buttons?

by Prince Of Petworth April 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm 26 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user BrennaLM

Dear PoPville,

I hate to bother you with what seems like such a simple question but I’ve recently been in search of some cool buttons to switch out on a blazer of mine. Back when I lived in the suburbs I could have visited any number of hobby/craft stores to find buttons but now I’m at a total loss. I’ve tried Target and I’ve attempted a google search in several different ways to no avail.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • I would say Exquisite Fabrics –I have gotten beautiful vintage buttons and ribbon there, but they lost their lease on K St a few years ago and now lost their lease in the Georgetown Mall. Hopefully they find a new location in the city soon! I would look online if you don’t want to go out to G St Fabrics in VA.

    • Anonymous

      When they were closing in GTown, they mentioned that they were eyeing a space in Wheaton or Kensington because that’s where most of their customers are. But it sounded very much up in the air.

  • With a car – G-Street fabrics in Seven Corners has an immense selection. One of the vendors at Eastern Market on Sun. has lots of vintage buttons. Or buy a whole blazer cheap at Goodwill/yard sale/Craigslist and cut off the buttons.

  • Lalaroo

    This is something I can definitely help with, since I’ve recently started knitting and have had to search out buttons.

    I recommend Etsy for fancy handmade or vintage buttons. They can be pretty pricey, but I have found some I really like there. They also sell regular commercial buttons, in the “Supplies” category of the site. Here are a couple Etsy shops I’ve ordered from and can recommend:

    I also recommend eBay for getting a bunch of buttons at once cheaply.

    You could also go to AC Moore in Rockville (I think). There’s also a Michael’s nearby. I’ve never been out there cause it’s far from where I live and I can get what I like online.
    I do NOT recommend JoAnn’s Fabric. I purchased a tub of buttons from their website, and when it arrived the buttons looked completely different from their picture. When I called customer service they refused to refund my shipping, and were pretty rude to me. Because I prefer to get what I expect, I now shop elsewhere.

  • Bruce Variety in Bethesda has buttons. They also have every other random thing you could possibly think of.

    • LOVE Bruce Variety! Such a random, hilarious store.

  • Anonymous

    Great question– I usually buy buttons on Etsy because there are no sewing supplies stores convenient to the city.

  • Looped Yarn in Dupont has a small but interesting selection.

    • Chris

      The Looped selection is pretty great!

  • caballero

    How about fabrics? Is there a good place in DC or at least, nearby?

  • There is also a G Street Fabrics in Rockville, which is somewhat Metro accessible (White Flint metro station). There is an AC Moore nearby too.

    If you have a car, I’ve seen fabric shops in Silver Spring – the NH Ave/University Blvd area – but I’ve never been in any of them, so don’t know what they carry.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve only been driven to those, so don’t know the names or where exactly off NH/University they are, but they’re only aiming for the Garment District, and not quite hitting it. But they’re worthwhile to at least scope out, because there is usually one gem there.

  • blithe

    Back to the suburbs: the best local source I know is the G Street Fabric store near White Flint mall. They are also the best local source I know for fabric. If you’re REALLY into this, there’s a store in NYC called Tender Buttons. For the right blazer, it could be a good excuse for a trip!

  • Anonymous

    I also recommend Bruce’s and any of the G Streets. Also, if you want to go on a hunting trip through a big pot of vintage buttons, go to BW Antiques in Alexandria: bwantiques.net.

    For Fabric, I have to say that nothing beats the Garment District in New York. I mean, I always have high hopes for G Street, but they just don’t deliver. I have had pretty good luck with fabric.com.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto what you said about fabric. I hate the selection at G Street and everything seems overpriced. Plus the store itself is depressing and that Seven Corners area is a nightmare to drive through.

  • Eb

    I’ve been to G Street in Rockville and was so disappointed. Their fabric selection was not good (nothing modern, lots of gross stuff like velour and polyester knits) and their notions section was just ok. The worst part was the PRICES. Holy crap. They have coupons sometimes, but still. Combine that with the price of a Zipcar or gas money for a friend to drive me, and it’s not really worth it.

    I go to Fabric.com for most things, and Etsy for those little special somethings.

    • Anonymous

      When they have 25% off sale, and you have a groupon and a 30% coupon, the $4/yrd discount section is totally worth it.

  • classic_six

    Wow – buttons are sexy…cool.

  • what

    If you don’t mind “hunting” there are usually a few booths at the Georgetown Flea Market and Eastern Market that sell buttons out of containers. You just have to dig around and may not get a full “set.” You could also try St. Albans Opportunity Thrift shop and buy a cheap blazer that has the buttons you want, and cut them off. It might be cheaper.

  • kk

    maybe try one of the vintage/consignment shops? black eyed susie, meeps, it’s vintage, etc. or perhaps a shoe repair shop? random, but might work.

  • molly

    dude. I feel you.

    I second the Etsy comments.

  • cbass

    Don’t know where you live, but if Bethesda isn’t too far away Bruce Variety at Arlington Rd and Bradley Blvd would be perfect. They have all sorts of useful things in general, including lots of buttons and other sewing things. I myself have bought buttons there to replace on a blazer.

  • She’s Crafty

    If you really want to physically hunt, then I’d go with the area flea market suggestions. Value Village and Goodwill often have bags of notions and sewing supplies. Junque-style Antique stores will have them too (and vintage sewing patterns!)

    It always makes me sad that fabric and sewing stores have gone the way of the Dodo around here.

    I agree that Etsy is a great source for notions, and I’ve grown to love buying fabric online…I’ve spent less time and money, not to mention getting exactly what I want.

    This place Accessories of Old once had a store in Bethesda (it closed a while ago) but I’m happy to find they’re still online. Tons of NOS still on cards- good bet for getting a whole matching set (+ extras )

    • margarete

      That’s a great store – thanks for sharing the link!

  • Anonymous

    back when i lived in baltimore in this building on guilford ave, behind it was another building with a small courtyard in the alleyway, inside that building were canvas bags filled with all types of buttons, big brass ones, itty bitty plastic ones, ones that look like they came off of sgt peppers uniform…they may still be there, it was like at least 20 or so bags of buttons

  • costumemonkey

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