I'm surprised at how many of you wanted to see how those buttons were made! They do take a bit of practice, but are not that difficult for the nice result. Here's how:
covered button forms
fabric to cover buttons: I like working with cotton or silk or whatever will match the project
sequins: I buy mine from C. Cartwright's.
thread: Silamide, Nymo, or if all else fails and I can't find anything to match, I'll use a good quality poly/cotton thread.
needles: thin enough to slip through the beads and sequins. I prefer what are called "straw needles" in a size 10 or 11. I buy them from Jean S. Lyle. (I sure hope he's at the AQS show in Paducah, KY in a few weeks, I need to replenish my supply!) I actually use these needles for much of my hand sewing - they slip easily through fabrics and have a very small eye for fine threads and don't leave a big hole in fabric like silk.
marking pen or pencil
1. Cover the button according to the package directions with the desired fabric.
2. Find the center of the button and place a small dot there. Bring needle up through the fabric, burying thread knot in between fabric and metal button form. Stitch a sequin and one bead at the dot.
3. Stitch the first row of sequins. Bring the needle up near the outer edge of the center sequin, thread on a sequin, making sure the center sequin overlaps the new sequin. Stitch over the sequin to the right into the fabric. Send the needle under the fabric to the left side of the sequin and bring it up at the edge of the sequin. (First photo) Thread another sequin onto the thread; this sequin will overlap the sequin to the right. Stitch over this sequin toward the right; the needle and thread should go into the center hole of the sequin on the right. (Second photo) Again, send the needle under the fabric to the left side of the sequin and bring it up, thread on another sequin and continue adding sequins in the same way all the way around the center sequin. End the row by stitching down both sides of the last sequin. (Third photo) If you stop here, you have a pretty little flower, and this motif can really be stitched anywhere you'd like a little flower.
4. Stitch the second row of sequins as the first, placing the second row of sequins so that the first row will overlap them half way. Continue stitching rows as needed to fill the space on the button form. Depending on the size of the sequins and the size of the form, the last row may be a bit short of the edge or overlap the edge of the button. If the last row is a bit short, that space can be filled in with a row of seed beads. If it overlaps a little bit that is fine, any more than that, and you'll need to remove a row and fill in the space with a row of seed beads.
5. To finish the button side edges, stitch sequins in the same manner as for the rows on top, overlapping the sequin on the right. You will need to stitch them on *upside down* to make a smooth edge. In other words, stitch them so that the cupped side faces the button, not out like you normally would stitch a sequin. This keeps the sides of the button flat so that it can easily slip through buttonholes with less catching.
6. Enjoy. You're done.
With a little practice, these become easy. Once you get the hang of stitching the sequins on in an overlapping fashion (also known as backstitching) , you'll be able to fill any space with sequins.
Parting Shot: Across the Room. Here's my husband, across the room in his computer corner. He was sitting over there while I was photographing the tutorial and had to ask, "What are you photographing? A breath mint?" From where he was sitting, he thought the button was a breath mint!