It’s the home stretch of our Vogue Patterns V1467 pea coat process. Last week my co-host Rachel went over the hem and other finishing touches on her blog; today I’ll be talking about buttonholes on your pea coat.
Though there are 12 buttons on your jacket—10 on the front and two on the back—you only need to stitch nine buttonholes. That’s five on the right front, two on the inside left front, and two on the left back belt.
Use piece 18 to mark your buttonholes on the right front:
Mark where you’ll be sewing-on the buttons to the right front (indicated on the tissue by Xs).
You also need to mark the two buttonholes on the inside left jacket front. Piece 18 doesn’t indicate which are the left front buttonholes, but it’s the first and fourth buttonholes you need to mark here. Don’t forget to mark the left back belt too.
Now you’re ready to sew buttonholes! Use your favorite method for making buttonholes: hand-done, bound, keyhole, etc. If you live in New York City like me, you head to Jonathan Embroidery on W. 38th Street in the Garment District and have them make your buttonholes for you on their industrial machines. They’re fast and reasonable: Nine buttonholes for $10! I love this place so much.
Or. sew your own buttonholes. You’ve already stabilized your jacket front in step 1, so you’re good to go. You can either attach the buttonhole foot that came with your machine and follow the directions, or you can stitch them without a special foot. That’s how Tatyana, our head dressmaker and sewer extraordinaire, prefers to do it. Watch her sew a buttonhole in this quick video we shot on our iPhone:
First, set the stitch width to 2.0 and the length to 0.6. Stitch the first long side, stopping with your needle down and on the right. Lift your foot and pivot your fabric 190 degrees.
Change your width to 4.0/5.0 and bar-tack for about 4-5 stitches. Stop again with the needle on the right. Change your width back to 2.0 and stitch the other long side. Stop with the needle down and on the right. Change back to 4.0/5.0, stitch 4-5 bar-tack stitches. Last, set the width to very narrow and stitch a couple of stitches in place to secure the thread. That’s it!
Final step: Adding your buttons. The buttons are a focal point of this jacket, so I think it’s worth spending a few extra dollars here. I got my silver crest shank buttons at M&J Trim, also in the garment district here in NYC. Pricey, but I love how they look against the periwinkle wool of the jacket.
The pattern envelope tells you to buy twelve 7/8″ buttons and two 3/4″ buttons; the two smaller buttons go on the inside of the right front facing, so you can use inexpensive, flat buttons here.
Tip: To make sewing on buttons go faster—because seriously, who like to sew on buttons—sew with four strands of thread at the same time. Cut a length of thread that’s about two to three times longer than you usually sew with, then double it. Thread your needle with two threads, pull through and then double again and knot. Now you’re sewing with four strands and you’ve reduced the time to sew on a single button.
Next week: Rachel and I reveal our finished pea coats! How are you coming on yours? Don’t forget to use the hashtag #V1467sewalong.