Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Coat almost done and a button question

coat hem
The hem in this coat is done (according to the instructions) like the hem on a lined suit jacket. Which is to say, you sew the lining hem to the coat hem and all the insides are sealed in. I decided to do it that way, partly because it was in the instructions but also because of how the fabric frayed. I sewed up the coat fabric hem first, taking large stitches that hid among the loose weave of the fabric on the outside.
coat lining hem
After I pressed the hem flat, I pinned on and sewed the lining hem to the coat hem, like I would in a suit jacket.
fur coat hem
Several years ago, I made myself a fake fur coat using a different pattern. This pattern instructions called for a free-hanging lining and suggested I do a couture type hem on the coat, which I did. First, I had double-lined the fabric as I did with the current wooly coat I am making, by sewing identical pieces of lining fabric directly to the coat pieces before I sewed them together. (And boy, is this coat warm!) Then I sewed a long, slightly bias strip of the "real" lining to the coat hem so that when I turned up the coat hem, I was turning up a good six inches of fabric. In the photo, you can see the gold lining which is free from the coat at the bottom. You can also see the hem of the "fur" part which has been sewed to a strip of the gold lining. I put this in as a contrast in methods.
Now for the buttons and the buttonholes. First I found the nice, plain mottled purple buttons. Then I made normal buttonholes with my automatic buttonholer. Because I feared all the threads of the coat fabric would pull away when I cut the buttonhole open, I zigzag stitched all around the nice buttonhole and got this mess:
first bad buttonhole
coat and jacket
I let it hang there on the door for a day, looking at the white blob every time I went by. Finally, I decided to pick out the threads (I used a seam ripper) and start over with a darker thread.
finished buttonhole
Much better. Now, I hadn't cut the holes open yet and when I did, as I feared, I cut half the original buttonhole threads (too much fluffy wooly stuff in the way) so I had to go over most of them and stitch them down again (a photo on that later). The next entry will be about the finished coat and hopefully, I will be wearing it! I'll be sewing the buttons on tonight while I'm watching the new CBC show "Little Mosque on the Prairie".
buttons for grey jacket
Finally, I still haven't done the buttons on the grey suit jacket I was sewing before Christmas. I'm going to use one of these buttons from my stash but am still undecided. What do you think?


Stephanie said...

Your coat is turning out great.
Just my opinion but for the grey, I like the top buttons. The ones without gold.

BBRUG said...

Yep, I agree with Stephanie, though the second row would be my second choice. Neither of the two-tone buttons, though.

Tany said...

I adored your detailed explanation on the free-hanging hem! I value couture sewing techniques very much and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about this. I also agree with Stephanie and bbrug... The first row would be my first choice. I can't wait to see the finished coat!!

JuliaR said...

Thanks Stephanie, Bbrug and Tany for your advice on the buttons. I am still undecided and plan to post another photo of the three buttons pinned to the jacket. I have eliminated the black one with the gold centre but still like the others. The jacket is so plain that I thought an "interesting" button would liven it up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia! Since you're done with your coat I was wondering if you could help me with mine. I'm down to the hem and I can't get it right. What stich do you use to finish a coat hem?

JuliaR said...

Hi Anon, I use just an ordinary stitch that I don't even know the name of. How big I make it, depends on the fabric I am using. I'll post a photo demonstration in my next post.