Community · Sewing

In the Trenches: Buttons

This April and May I’m sewing along with Sherry at Pattern~Scissors~Cloth. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I are all making coats following the construction methods used in ready-to-wear tailoring. Mine is a Burberry-inspired trench coat, and here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

The perfect trench coat buttons from

I’m currently on the hunt for buttons for my trench coat.  Not having buttons is really the major thing preventing me from finishing my coat.  The metal buttons from Italy shown above are perfect, but, as I need 14 for my trench coat, I haven’t yet taken the plunge and ordered them.

Since my last post, I’ve fixed the back facing (which was the right size, by the way) and hemmed the sleeves using Sherry’s instruction.  I still haven’t bagged out the bottom hem though.  I can’t bring myself to close up the coat until I finish the bound buttonholes.  From my understanding of bound buttonholes, you need to be able to sew through the front without sewing through the facing.  But, since Sherry bagged out her hem without finishing her buttonholes first, I could be misguided.  I’m waiting until I see her make her buttonholes, and if it can be done with the hem in place, then I’ll hem my coat.  Otherwise, I plan to do the bound buttonholes first.

But, before I make my buttonholes, I need to get my buttons so that I will know the appropriate size to make said buttonholes.  And, you see, we’re back to the beginning.  I need buttons.

4 thoughts on “In the Trenches: Buttons

  1. Hello, I’m doing the RTW Jacket Sew A Long as well … did you know that Sherry has a tutorial on the bound buttonholes? I’m at the hem stage as well – and I just did the 2 bound buttonholes while I could access the front facing to do the opening in them as well. Now I can do the hem …. wow what a process it has been!

    1. Hi! Thanks for the bit of info about what you did. I actually have followed Sherry’s bound-buttonhole tutorial before, when I finished a vintage orange jacket that my mother-in-law gave me, but I was waiting now, partly because I wanted to see how Sherry was going to proceed and partly because I still don’t have the perfect buttons on hand. If I find buttons before Sherry posts, then I’ll likely start the buttonholes anyway. Good luck with your jacket!

  2. Hi Amy – I’m just going to machine the buttonholes on my coat. If you are doing bound buttonholes you’ll need to do them before you close the coat up, but it is easier to do them at the very beginning.

    1. Good to know. Maybe I’ll just machine mine, too. Are there any tips or tricks that you’re going to show us for machining them? I got my buttons yesterday, and I’m excited to finish this coat. Thanks for your help and guidance. Your wealth of knowledge is impressive!

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