Wear your Dorset button inspired brooch or hang your hanging with pride with Janet Collins

Tutor: Janet Collins
Craft: General
Experience: All abilities

In this workshop you will learn the 5 simple steps needed to make your own Dorset Button inspired broach.



Photo of Dorset Buttons (one large and two smaller)
Photo credit: Janet Collins

According to Jen Best of Beaker Buttons Dorset Buttons were made by hand in Dorset from the early 1600’s to 1851. They were shipped all over the world and even worn by royalty. This cottage industry employed over 4000 people at its height, making over 100 different button types.

Jen Best also tells us that the popularity of Dorset Buttons to fasten clothes ended suddenly after the Great
Exhibition of 1851, when a new button machine was showcased. Many families were left destitute and emigrated to escape starvation, and the skills were more or less lost.

Now people like Jan Best are keeping the craft alive as they encourage people to make Dorset Style Buttons and to use them as brooches, earrings and decorations.

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to make a Dorset Style Button to use as a broach, decorative hanging of just for fun. Janet will provide appropriate rings of different sizes, beads and yarn as well as a wide variety of samples to inspire creativity.

About the tutor

Photo of Janet Collins
Photo credit: Janet Collins

Janet has been crafting since she was taught to knit by her mother. Knitting now competes with crochet,
weaving and sewing for her precious time.

Janet has been making Dorset Button inspired items for
years and enjoys small quickly completed items she can wear.

Janet loosk forward to sharing what she has learned with you.

Skills required

Complete beginners welcome.


No preparation is needed.

What to bring

For each Dorset inspired broach you will need:

  • a metal ring about 25mm in diameter
  • a 20mm broach back
  • fine yarn or embroidery threads

Janet can provide these as a kit for £1 each at the workshop.

If you have embroidery threads or fine yarns (4 ply or finer might be best) you would like to use please bring them along.

Please also bring a blunt ended needle you might use for sewing up your knitting or crochet if you have one and a pair of scissors if possible.

Additional material

Janet will provide a handout a a reminder of what she covered.