Tag Archives: wool

Coat Making Tutorial – part 3 Bound Buttonhole

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Bound Buttonhole Finish

Now that I’ve completed my buttonholes I need to finish them on the inside of the garment.  Again, there are a couple of ways that I know of to accomplish this, and I will show you the method that works best for me.

Step 1.  Match up the front inside facing with the buttonholes and mark their positions.  I always do this by lining up the facing to the buttonholes, because there can be slight variations between the pattern markings and your actual buttonhole.  Once marked, cut a piece of silk organza in a strip (or if you prefer individual pieces) and pin it to the right side of the coat front.

2.  On the wrong side of the coat front, stitch in small stitch length a box the length and width of the buttonhole.

3.  Once stitched, cut through the organza and coat fabric down the center of the box creating a triangle cut at each end of the buttonhole.

4.  Cut through the organza strip which will allow you to turn the fabric through the buttonhole to the inside.

5.  Press organza away from opening to create a window and baste into position creating a firm rectangular opening.

6.  Once windows are completed, line the facing up with coat front to make sure windows line up with buttonholes.

7.  When front facing has been applied, stitch window to the back of the buttonhole with tiny hand stitching.  I like to go around twice, just to make sure the facing is secured firmly in place.  Steam lightly, being careful not to over press.  Overpressing will cause the inner work to show through on the front side and should be avoided.

8.  The hand stitching takes a little patience, but the result is well worth the time.  It almost looks nice enough to be on the outside.

close-up view

Voila – done!

I hope this tutorial was helpful.

Now it is on to completing the lining and inserting shoulder pads.  Then to the cleaners for a final press ( a must with all tailored garments).  I can’t wait to finish it and show you the final product.  Until then,  Happy Sewing!

Coat Making Tutorial – part 1

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Yes Virginia, making a coat is really simple!

I sat on my patio this afternoon completing the handwork on four bound button holes that I am putting in on a wool coat.  I finally had to stop, because it was so hot I was melting all over my melton.  (That’s a sewing joke for those of you who didn’t quite catch it).  🙂
Making a tailored coat has so many steps that I couldn’t possibly keep your interest showing all of them, so I have picked out a couple of areas to focus on and will do so over the next couple of entries.

I’ve had this Donna Karan pattern for a long time and really like it.  It’s a classic pea coat... you know, one of those things that’s always “in” even when it’s not.   I’ve always wanted to make it, but never quite got around to it until now.


My next step was a visit to the fabric inventory I have in my sewing room; I’ve vowed to make a sincere effort to try to use up some of my on-hand stock, before buying any more… as painful as that is.   Much to my delight,  I found a luscious vermillion coating measuring 1 3/4 yards.  The pattern required 2 yards and I knew it would be a squeeze, but figuring in the old addage,  If there’s a will, there’s a way, I proceeded.

When making tailored garments, I like to interface the entire body when possible.  I like soft and supple interfacing that will give body without being rigid.  I prefer iron to sew-in types, but it wholly depends on the fashion fabric you are working with.

I had made some adjustments to the waist and hip area and wanted to be sure that it was going to be roomy enough before moving to the next stage.  The fit turned out to be fine, which was a relief.  A too tight jacket is not a good thing!

I had to make a quick trip to the fabric store to find lining, but it was well worth it, because I found the exact color match and perfect top stitching thread.

I needed the lining to complete the pockets which turned out quite nicely.  It’s a nice heavy lining and will had good warmth as well as add body to the finished coat.

The pocket is soft and snug and will be very nice on frosty mornings.

The sleeves are a two piece design with a center seamline and decorative stitching along the sleeve cap.  They went in without much trouble.

And then it was on to creating and applying the collar.  All the stitching you see is on the under collar and give support to the collar stand.

Once the under collar is sewn on, trim away the excess seam edges,

and hand-stitch the edges to flatten and secure in place.  This same technique is applied to the facing and upper collar at a later stage.

Next time I will show you how I made my bound buttonholes.  Until then…. happy sewing!