Now that I have let the puzzle of how to close the coat percolate in my brain for a while, I am ready to give it a whirl. I decided to use loops made out of the same coat fabric instead of buttonholes or some other means of closing. I made a test loop using the easy striped fabric (just cut down the lines!).
I folded over each side and then folded the strip in half and sewed one line down the edge with the folds.
Next, I held the loop around the button I had purchased for the striped side and decided it had to be at least 9 cm long.
There are six loops required so I made a strip of loop over 60 cm in length, choosing the pale blue stripe to be on the outside so it wouldn't be too contrasty.
I am always extra careful to make sure I have the correct side for doing something like making buttonholes and I try on a garment obsessively until I am really sure I have the correct panel or side or whatever. In this case, I am even more paranoid because I am doing something that I am making up as I go along. I want the striped loops to be on the right-hand side of the coat when the striped side is OUTside. They will hide on the inside of the coat when the red side is on the outside. I also know the loop is going to be sewn into the seam when I sew the red and striped sides together at the fronts - sewing the front edges together. Here, I have pinned a loop to the striped front and then I tried the coat on and imagined I had sewn that front seam. I am holding the collar point to illustrate that this will indeed be the right-hand side of the coat with the striped side OUT.
Now I am obsessing about the length of the loop. I put it around the buttons again so that the button would just fit, and I marked the smallest length with pins. It turned out to be 6 cm. So I cut lengths of loop that were 9 cm long in total length, knowing that 1.5 cm would be sewn IN the seam allowance on each end of the loop.
I pinned each 9 cm piece of loop to the front edge. I made sure that each loop was facing up the same way and had the seam side facing out for uniformity. I placed the loops at 11 cm intervals as suggested by the pattern's buttonhole placement guide.
Next I pinned the striped front to the red front, right sides together, all the way down the front. I had left off sewing the two sides of the coat together at the neck and so I just needed to carry on where the stitching stopped. I put the striped side UP when I sewed, so I could follow a stripe all the way and get a straight-looking line.
This is how the loop looked when I turned the coat right side out. I am so relieved!
Here I have turned the coat wrong side out again and am ironing the seam open to get the nice flat edge I like. Next - the red loops!