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Feb 7, 2014

Seeking Closure



A few readers have asked about how my recently completed Issey Miyake leopard coat stays closed.

In truth, at present, it doesn't.

But I'm still not sure how I want to address this, or if I even want to at all.

The original Vogue pattern calls for four front buttons.  I don't love how that looks and I think my coat would lose some of its elegance if I punched buttonholes through it -- even if I had Jonathan Embroidery do the dirty work.



I've toyed with other options.  Last week I purchased the biggest toggle I could find at C&C Button in the Garment District.  I was inspired by this Miyake coat I saw on Ebay.





But I'm not thrilled by the look of those leather patches (too classic duffle coat) and frankly, the toggle against a leopard print makes the coat look like something out of The Flintstones.

So next I bought simple dark gray horn buttons.



I'd already added a series of squares down the front of each side of the coat facing (on the wrong side) in anticipation of buttons and/or buttonholes before I finished the coat.  But rather than make holes, what I'm thinking of doing is this:  I'll cut large square patches of double-layer melton (the same fabric as my facing), put buttonholes through them, and then stitch each square to the right side of the facing (like a patch pocket).  The buttons will fasten into the squares (aka, inside buttons), so nothing will be visible on the left front, which on a men's coat overlaps the right.

How does that sound?

Testing my buttonholes...

I've thought of other things: ties, frogs, button loops, covered snaps, even a zipper.  The facings haven't been stitched down yet, so I can still make minor changes.  I like the idea of the patches because I could rip them out with a seam ripper without damaging the leopard fabric, if need be.

Of course, I don't have to change anything.  Since the surface of the coat is rough and the coat is oversized, when you drape one side over another, it stays in place (more or less).  Still, it would be nice to have some way to keep the coat closed on a windy day when the temperature is below freezing.

What do you think?  

Have a great day, everybody!

Cool trompe l'oeil effect!

38 comments:

  1. One of my favorite coats has no closure -- I just wrap one side over the other & put my hands in the sleeves to keep them (my hands) warm. Of course, I also wear the down coat when it is very cold. My preferred style would be to go to Hawaii (or at least somewhere a lot warmer) when it is even a little cold, but sadly, that isn't an option.

    Beth

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  2. How about big sew on press studs, easy to take off if you cange your mind, and they come in clear. Not exactly high end but~

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  3. How about a big sew in snap up top?

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  4. Treat it like a real fur coat? Big covered (thread-covered, larks-head knots, don't know the actual term in context) hook-and-eyes?

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  5. Yes, I was thinking classic fur coat too. Beautifully covered hooks embedded in the seam on the left side and invisible loops made by needle and thread on the fur side. The coat is beautiful.
    Barbara

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    Replies
    1. I like the "fur hook" option, too, though you may want to look for a "bar"-type eye and cover it with match thread as it will show when the coat is open. I think Richard The Thread in LA has big hooks and eyes for costuming. You could use a couple of inside buttons with thread loops to secure it on the interior, so all you see is the thread loop if the coat is open (assuming there's a large cross-over between the two CF edges...)

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  6. I would go with inside buttons. It's the first thing I thought of before reading further down.

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  7. I agree with Charles. Inside buttons. The hooks would be my second choice.

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  8. I agree with the hook and eye suggestion. Buttons or anything that is visible would ruin the lines.

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  9. what about magnets? there are ones sewn between the layers of fabric called concealed magnet closures. like these: https://www.fabric.com/buy/nr-888/magnet-concealed-closure-pair-3-4
    this way you see nothing!!

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    Replies
    1. I bought some Dritz magnets from Jo-Ann's which are covered it plastic, and supposedly you can sew directly through the plastic (haven't tried it!).

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    2. or each magnet in a little silk organza envelope stitched to the fashion fabric. I'm curious if they could be strong enough through the fur's pile. -Kimbersew

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    3. Just put them in little pockets or put them between two layers of fabric, sewing around them to keep them in place. I'd go to a store with magnets and test their strength with swatches of fabric. I'd think it would be less expensive also.

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  10. I like the horn buttons. I do like how the buttons look down the front. You could also use large snaps if you want to be unobtrusive. I got some very nice gray plastic and metal snaps I think at Botani buttons.

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  11. You definitely have that Cossack look with the hat and boots!

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  12. I vote for the invisible solutions, somehow visible buttons seem to make it less unisex. Of course, I don't know what I'm talking about. So my option is basically worthless. .

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  13. They make beautiful thread covered GIANT hooks and eyes for ladies coats in this style. I would go for one of those.
    See here:
    http://fashion-resources.com/covered-hookeye-catalog
    http://www.sewessential.co.uk/Category.asp?CategoryID=131&NumPerPage=5&page=1

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  14. I agree with the fur hook idea. You can even just let the center fronts meet and not overlap if you prefer the look.

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  15. Is "Velcro" a dirty word?

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  16. Strong magnets can destroy the info strips on credit cards and the like after multiple exposures. Be careful with them.

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  17. I think the hook and eye sounds cool. Or 4 ginormous self covered buttons. I also had a shearling coat with one big button and a long, tasseled leather strap that you wound around the button....different.

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  18. Self covered buttons at the side neck and front shoulder to keep that Cossack look .

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  19. I think your plan sounds like a good one. As you said, you can rip it out if it fails. OW, how about a belt, or dark rope tie belt?

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    Replies
    1. I fear a belt spoils the A-line of the coat.

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  20. You're right! Here's what I just found: The "fur" is worn over the coat.
    http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=37716.0
    Scroll to:
    2. Kazak His Imperial Majesty convoy in a regular uniform, 1889

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  21. I like the belt idea. It's a closure that won't require a fussy application, maybe just thread loops at the side seams that would be nearly invisible. Fabric could be self or even black leather.

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  22. Big fur hook and eye closures give a professional finish. I have used magnets for bags but I imagine bigger ones may get you chased out of stores by security guards ;)

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  23. What about a sweater clip? A very stylish and fashionable, removable sweater clip...

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  24. I'd go with the hidden button option, my ownself. I've done this on another Miyake pattern (a double-breasted blouse that looked way too "chef's coat" with all the buttons showing). I just made the buttonholes on the underlap front, and sewed the buttons to the wrong side of the overlap front. Makes buttoning up a wee bit challenging, but not as challenging as operating a separating zipper. Also, for those of us who suffer gaposis at the bustline of coats and blouses, it is perfectly fine to do a buttons-to-the-inside closure, and thus not interrupt the rhythm of the button placement on a button band.

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    Replies
    1. Vogue 2580. Deceptively simple pattern for two views of a blouse -- I was terrified of attempting this blouse for two years. Now, I could do it it my sleep. It is r - e - a - l - l - y easy to sew.

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  25. The "reply" buttons weren't doing anything (chrome on OSX10.8) so this won't be in the spot by the magnet question.

    These are the only magnets I bother with any more:

    http://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=sewing-magnets

    They will hold just about any kind of fabric closed - the larger the magnet the stronger the pull. I've used the largest ones with multiple layers of leather and canvas/sailcloth on luggage. They are shielded so they don't zap your c-cards.

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    Replies
    1. Weird question: do you think there's any harm in wearing magnets so close to your body?

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  26. BTW - love the hat! Did you make it? If not where did you find it?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sean! Believe it or not it's just a synthetic cheapie from the Salvation Army.

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  27. How about something like a kilt pin? ~Kelly, in Norfolk

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