The team are working on a number of ideas for projects to celebrate this anniversary. To start the 'ball rolling' here are just four ideas that you may be of interest. We are still working through a range of other ideas so please keep an eye on this page.
If you would like to add to this list please email Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ideas for your celebration projects
Show off your Dorset Buttons on a Traditional English Smock from the Antique Pattern Library
“I thought given the 400th anniversary (in 2022) of the Dorset button, there might be some people who would like to make a reproduction smock on which to use their Dorset buttons.”
Download this publication for free:
Armes, Alice. English Smocks With Directions for Making Them  The Dryad Press, Leicester
16 page stapled booklet, not counting the covers. Also six pages of illustrations in the centre, and pattern sheets showing the decorative embroidery patterns. History of smocking in England and disappearance of the technique. Pattern of a smock, and instruction how traditionally the material was cut with least amount of waste. Colours, materials, stitches to be used, making up the smock. Some advertisements for other Dryad publications.
The Antique Pattern Library is an ongoing project to scan craft pattern publications that are in the public domain, to preserve them, so we can keep our craft heritages in our hands. Most of these scans have been graphically edited to make the images easier for craft workers to see, and to reduce file sizes. They are available, for free, to anyone who wants them, for educational, personal, artistic and other creative uses.
The 144 Dorset Button Challenge
Dorset Buttoners were expected to make 144 each week all worked in daylight as candles were not available. All the buttons had to be of a set standard for grading into three – top quality mounted on pink card, second quality on black card and finally third quality on yellow card.
Put yourself into these women’s place and see how many can you make? Do you think your will be of a standard to sell?
Image shows 144 original wire rings. Part of Anna McDowell's private collection.
Themed art using Dorset Buttons and other mixed media
Combine your crafting skills to create a picture which represents the Dorset Button heritage.
Image shows a piece worked by Anna McDowell called "The Antimacassar Garden"
Based on the slow stitching technique using an old and very warn antimacassar. Dorset Buttons include cartwheels and birdseyes. Size: 36cm x 32cm