One of the very last stages of the coat is opening up the rear of the bound button holes on the coat facing. Everything else is done. The lining’s inserted. The hem is hand sewn. The shoulder stays have stayed and the collar is collaring. All you have left to do is make some almighty error, and months of work will be down the pan.
No pressure, then.
Oh, and did I mention? Opening up the rear of the button holes involves cutting into your facing. With scissors. That might slip.
Yeah, go and pour yourself a drink. I would.
I’d checked out Gertie’s tutorial and thought things looked relatively straightforward. I was soooo tempted to cut to the chase and start work immediately on the coat. Thank goodness I didn’t. Thank heavens I forced myself to have a practice go, because this is how it turned out:
If Aunt Sally made Worzel Gummidge a bound button hole, this is what it would look like. No way did I want this on the inside of my coat! I love Gertie, but it was clear her tutorial wasn’t going to cut the mustard – at least not with this wool.
I turned to page 308 of the Reader’s Digest New Guide to Sewing and used their windowpane method instead. It involved basting patches of lining fabric to the rear buttonhole, then machine stitching and opening up:
Press and hand stitch down, until you have this finished rear bound button hole:
It wasn’t perfect, but it was a helluva lot better than my first attempt. It would do. Now, all I faced was applying this technique to four button holes on the actual coat. Here are some shots of the work in progress:
I want you to take a moment to imagine wrangling an entire coat onto a sewing machine so that you can sew those ickle patches of lining fabric to the facing only. Feeling sick, yet? Face drained of blood? Yeah, I had those emotions, too!
This is all a long-winded way of saying that if you are going to use this technique, I strongly recommend referring to The Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing. It might just save your sanity.