Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Coat Sew-Along: Bound Buttonhole Finishing and Steps 33 and 34

Hi readers! My apologies, I've gotten slightly behind on our sew-along schedule. The good news is that we are definitely in the home stretch. I anticipate this being my penultimate process post!

Did you make bound buttonholes on your coat? If so, the time has come to make openings for the buttonholes in the front bodice facing. Here's how I did mine.

First, pin all around your bound buttonholes, ensuring that all your layers are where they should be. You're pinning all the way through to the bodice facing behind the coat front. My bound buttonholes are in black below, and the pins are red.

Next, insert a pin into each corner of each buttonhole. Stick the pin straight down, making sure it's not at an angle. This will find the exact location of where the openings need to be on the facing.
 On the facing side, use the pins as a guideline to chalk-mark a rectangle.
Remove all the pins and open out the facing from the rest of the coat. Machine stitch around the chalk-marked rectangle, pivoting at the corners, and using a short stitch (about 1.5). This will reinforce the opening. (Note: this step is quite difficult because of the sheer size of the coat. If needed, do this step by hand with a tiny back stitch.)

Next, cut into the opening, snipping into the corners of the rectangle.
Turn the cut edges of the rectangle inward, exposing the back of the bound buttonhole. Slipstitch the  edges in place, stitching to the back of the buttonhole fabric. The goal is to make it look as neat as the front of the buttonhole.

You can also do this step with a silk organza scrap to produce a perfect little window. (This is the method I write about in my book.) I'd recommend looking into this method if your fabric is fray-prone.

Okay, step 33!

We've already done the first part of this, now you just need to tack the lining in place at the waistline and the shoulder. Do this by hand, using a short running stitch that piles up on top of itself. You're tacking the lining to the seam allowance below, not all the way through to the outer coat. Do enough stitches so that the lining feels securely in place.

Step 34! Sleeve linings.

With the coat inside out, make sure that the sleeve linings are not twisted and that the seams match the coat's sleeve seams. Turn the sleeve lining in 5/8", and match up the raw edge to the coat sleeve hem's raw edge.
 Pin in place.
 Slip stitch the fold of the sleeve lining to the coat sleeve hem.
When worn, the sleeve lining will sag down a bit beyond the slip stitching, forming a pleat for wearing ease.

Okay, next we're on to the hem and finishing!


  1. Amazing, dear! Great job!
    With love, Ladyfairy


  2. It's been amazing seeing this come together-- can't believe you are already finishing the lining! Can't wait to see the final coat!

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog, you make look so easy to sew a coat like that, I was wondering that ( boundbutton holes in the facing), as everybody, I can't wait to see the coat finished!

  4. Gretchen,

    I just want to say that I love everything about you! Your hair, your tats, your style, your glasses! I sewed virtually all my clothes through junior and high school and beyond, but work and life somehow seemed to have gotten in the way and I haven't made a garment for myself in ages. In high school I made mostly Vogue designer patterns as we had a shop in town that carried the fabrics those patterns were shown in the pattern catalog, (dork much?) But I love your enthusiasm, talent and tutorials. Keep doing it your way :) So glad I found your blog, and read it every time you post.

  5. Thank you for posting up the steps to making this coat. It's so beautiful in lace and the work you've just done on the bound buttonholes is impressive. Your style is gorgeous.
    I'll be doing more bound buttonholes next year because the finish is lovely as I'm so over being afraid of practising new skills.
    "It's just fabric."

  6. gertie i hope you are safe and well i haven't seen anything posted by you in a long time...i pray you and jeff weren't hit by the storm


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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