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Dec 13, 2013

Bust My (Coat) Buttons!



I'm usually a plastic button kind of guy, but for my tweed peacoat I've opted for horn.

They were a bit more costly than the brown plastic ones (immediately below), but not ridiculously so.





I stopped sewing earlier than usual today.  I needed to shop for buttons, and frankly, I was spent.  I did manage to topstitch my collar, lapels, and coat front edges, and to attach my sleeves.

Remember how I complained about there being WAY too much ease in the sleeve of this coat pattern?  Well this time around the sleeve fit perfectly with very little easing.  I did deepen the pocket a scad, but that still doesn't explain the difference so I'm at a loss.  The sleeves went on perfectly the first try with no adjustments needed.  There's still some light pressing to do, and then I have to decide if the sleeves need more support or not.  The coat front/sleeve seam has hair canvas in it (as per Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket), the back has a back stay, and there's muslin backing in the sleeve cap.   Still, I will do some research on sleeve heads. 



I think this needs a sleeve head to shape the sleeve cap a bit.



After much testing, I have decided to make my own buttonholes.  The tweed is actually very easy to sew through, even with multiple layers of interfacing, and seems to fit under the buttonholer.  I find the Jonathan Embroidery experience rushed and impersonal, and the result, while certainly professional looking, isn't much different from what I can achieve with my Singer buttonholer.  The tweed is easy to cut through and, since the outer facings were fused, the cut is clean (as opposed to raggedy).

This is thrice around with ordinary poly thread.  





Thank you for your suggestions yesterday regarding my lining and lining pocket.  I still haven't decided how to proceed; I'll take a day or two to decide.  I don't need this project finished till next Wednesday, which feels like a lot of time to me.

And that's it.  I think I need an evening away from this coat.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Willy ponders the meaning of life.

29 comments:

  1. I'd go for Horn....looks " warmer" handier and more classy.

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  2. Peter...
    I have been waiting to see how you proceed on your set-in sleeves, and am delighted to know you had no problem setting them in. I didn't understand what problem you were having that caused you to continually feel the need to cut inches off the sleeve cap. I initially thought perhaps you were mishandling/overhandling the sleeve cap, but now I am not so sure. You have solved your own problem (as so many of us do) by realizing the key to sewing/tailoring is to slow down and realize the sewing process is not a race, but an experience.

    Watching you grow from sewing shirts from sheets to preferring the finer quality fabrics has been enjoyable. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are getting soooo good....keep going!

    Cynthia

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  3. My buttonholer suggests first sewing a wide stitch then a narrow on the second pass. Last time I tried I wasn't sure it made any difference but I did just try it again on a wool coat and I think it does look nice.

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    Replies
    1. I am going to test that again -- I did it with my last peacoat but it didn't really "read."

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  4. You made the right choice on buttons. After all that time spent on tailoring deserves the good stuff. It's looking fabulous. Wool tweed eases in more easily than coated cotton.

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  5. Like others, I agree with the horn over plastic. Knotted leather could be good, too, I think.

    A question about the facing of the coat: I am under the impression that the facing the upper collar were all sewn together and then attached to the coat, right sides together, sewn, and then flipped over. As a result, the upper collar is not sewn to the back of the coat. Is this correct? How does it feel as far as stability? I did this once, and thought it really stupid because the collar never felt right.

    Thanks for your ongoing saga - looking forward to the next installment!

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    Replies
    1. You are correct -- however, I will stitch them together by hand before inserting the lining, probably both at the collar stand seam and the neckline seam.

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  6. I love the horn option too. It looks so much more sophisticated and with the hard work you are putting into it, your peacoat definitely deserves it.

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  7. Just a quick "thanks" from a new-ish sewist in the midwest. I have only recently found your blog, and I save it as a little treat for myself! I'm learning a tonfrom you, and so inspired by your work - thanks so much for sharing!

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  8. Hi Peter,

    Loving your coat and the fact that you are going forward 100% on your own. Invest in one of these http://sewtrue.com/Store/Button-Hole-Cutter-Set-P890.html?utm_medium=cse&utm_source=froogle&gclid=COWwqM68rrsCFahDMgodBUcAjw. I love mine and use it for coats and jeans as well. Add a thin coat of frey check before you cut and it's. Nice neat buttonholes. I use a craft hammer two hits and quit. :-) Can't wait to see the finished project!

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  9. Wow! Thanks so much for posting about your process in detail. Your sleeves look fantastic, and I'm so interested in the way you added hair canvas there. I'm planning to make a duffle coat (like yours) this winter, and I'm wondering where to put hair canvas. Did you use it for the front pieces of your duffle coat?

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    Replies
    1. Mary, I underlined my coat with a lighter-weight wool plaid, I did not use hair canvas. I think of a duffle coat as a more flow-y garment, less structured, for layering. I am 99% sure that the classic Gloverall duffle coat is made without hair canvas but rather with two layers of wool.

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    2. Two layers of wool---fascinating. Thanks so much for your response. You are a real gem for sharing as much as you do, and I'm cheering you on while you toil away on your pea coat!

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    3. The photos in this toggle coat album may be of some help, Mary.

      https://picasaweb.google.com/101177577152766699680/ToggleCoatProject

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  10. Hi Peter, I bought sleeve heads from Steinlauf & Stoller when I made my tailored coat. Not expensive and ready to go! You're doing a great job - it really is beginning to look a lot like peacoat!

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  11. I agree with Nancy K. That coated cotton on your first coat would be like trying to ease sleeve caps made of vinyl. Wool is a lot easier to manipulate.

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  12. If you have and old tie, you can use that interfacing to make sleeve heads. It works very well, it is a trick I learned from an experienced jacket maker.

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    Replies
    1. I do have some of that -- I'm going to try it!

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  13. The horn button is perfect for your jacket. I can't wait to see your photo shoot for this jacket.

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  14. Peter- the sleeve looks perfectly set! Bravo!

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  15. Hi, am new to your blog and really enjoying it. But as a result I'm not sure what the previous problem you were having with your sleeves was. However as you said this tweed is a loose weave and I suspect that is why they were so much easier to set in. There is more space between the threads for the ease to disappear in to. Though I do agree you may need a little bit more support in your sleeve head. Thank you for sharing your progress.

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  16. I agree with those who have said that the reason the sleeves worked better this time is because of the wool fabric, and probably the looseness of the weave. It has more give than the waxed stuff.

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  17. Peter, you are so inspiring, seriously. You have made so much progress on your sewing skills in the time I have been reading your blog. I can't keep up!

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  18. Peter, you can buy tie interfacing for sleeve caps. Cut it on the bias and It works perfectly. Or as someone earlier said take it out of an old tie.

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  19. Love the horn buttons - they've got more depth than the plastic ones and look so nice. The whole project is impressive. I think that this is one of your best ones yet.

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  20. The coat is looking good and deserves horn buttons. I agree with those that say the fabric is the difference in the sleeve cap ease. Good wool fabric can be wonderfully tailored and look great for years.

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  21. I'm a big believer in sleevehead, too, and I just catch-stitch on the lambswool kind at the top of the armscye seam in my Chanel jackets, pressing it in the direction of the sleeve. If you then stick the sleeve cap on the rounded end of the sleeveboard, give it a good steam, and let it dry, it gives the cap a nice rounded shape. I think they call it the "couture pop" in haute couture women's tailoring. I haven't done men's tailoring, though, so the technique may be different.

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  22. I'm so glad that your sleeve went in OK. I was a little suspicious that something went wrong with the armscye seam the first time you used this pattern.

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  23. I cut open my buttonholes with an Xacto knife with a 1/2" chisel blade and an old crochet mallet with a shortened handle. For keyholes, I use a round punch (one of the small punches on my leather hole puncher) for the keyhole, and finish with the Xacto knife. I found the blade supplied in the packaged buttonhole kit to be too soft for the pounding I gave it,and eventually it broke. Try the Xacto option, much cheaper and durable.

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