project winter coat: finished it!

holy smokes! i made a coat! a real coat that looks… real!

woooooo!!!!!!


way back when i started planning out this coat, the style, fabric choices, etc… my oldest daughter (8 yrs old) was nosing over my shoulder and said: “what, are you making a sherlock holmes coat?” huh? no. well… oh… hmmm. see, i kind of became obsessed with all the sherlock holmes novels and stories this year along with the fabulous bbc tv show “sherlock” (seriously the best show ever. ever.). in the show, his classic trench coat is almost a character in and of itself, and i noticed that it has red buttonholes. which got me to thinking that i, therefore, needed pink buttonholes on my coat.


so i finished this little beauty off with some fancy hand worked buttonholes. i won’t go into detail about them as i am by no means an expert. i don’t have a keyhole button feature on my machine so i had to go with either bound or handworked. and since i wanted bright pink thread… handworked it had to be.


oh how naive i was. not only was it a challenge just to locate the right supplies, my research indicated that handworked buttonholes are a tailoring specialty. and having  done a few, i can see why.


so i practiced and practiced and practiced my stitches. the thing is, using a contrasting thread color, every imperfection is highly visible. so as much as i just wanted to jump right in, i kept practicing until i had something passable. i have to say, i’ve kind of fallen in love with making them. so much so, that i didn’t stop at the three buttonholes the pattern calls for, but added a lapel buttonhole and functioning buttonholes on the back tie.


while they are faaaaar from perfect, i love them. and i plan to order that giant spool of gimp so i can keep practicing, because there will be more of these in my future.


the only other detail i haven’t shown here is my interior pocket. i had planned to show you how i made it and such, but i so badly botched the construction that i’m just happy it both functions and isn’t terribly unsightly. seriously, i’ve made so many welt pockets over the years, why i screwed this one up so badly i will never know.


but, there you have it. you’ve seen every inch of this coat, inside and out, and i hope my extensive posting has been helpful. now i am soooo ready to make something quick and easy!


oh yeah, and i love it!!!

β€”lisa g.

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36 thoughts on “project winter coat: finished it!

  1. Gail says:

    It's fabulous! Well done!Thank you so much for all the hard work you did along the way, documenting each step of the process. I know that added a lot of time to your project, but I for one truly appreciate it and am glad I'll have these posts to look back on when I'm ready to start my coat!

  2. Andrea B says:

    Lisa it's amazing! Great job. I want to snatch it off you and keep it for myself, but I'll resist. Funny you mention Sherlock because I just watched an episode of Sherlock tonight, actually, and the coat had quite an important part. Enjoy it!!!!

  3. aleah says:

    It's amazing! It's funny, because as your post loaded and I saw the lapel with the contrast buttonhole I actually thought "cool, like Sherlock's coat" – then I read that that's what you intended! I love love love contrast buttonholes, and I can't believe you took the time to do them by hand. Awesome!Thanks too for all your fantastic posts about the construction – I'll definitely be referencing them when I get around to my winter coat… someday…

  4. Maria says:

    I just found your coat on the burda site and had to come here to tell you I loooooove you pink buttonholes! I want them! I need something like this! They are soo beautiful… Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. dixie says:

    wow! you did an incredible job. this looks like a coat you'll be wearing for many years. the pink button holes are a fun touch! thanks for all the other posts on construction details. i'll be referencing them if i end up sewing a coat this season. lovely!!

  6. poppykettle says:

    Oh my – this turned out beautifully!!!! You've achieved what I always really want – a really great and sharp silhouette across the back shoulders. And the hot pink button holes are to die for – such a great colour against the coat fabric. I'm not half surprised you want to go back and get that spool of gimp… you won't regret it ;)Love your work!

  7. K-Line says:

    Hey Lisa: How many did you have to make before you could start on the “real” ones? And, can you direct me to some good sources for hand worked buttonholes. I believe I’ve bookmarked a few, but even in the tailoring books, there’s very little info!

    • lisa g says:

      i think i made about 15 before i tried the real ones! initially i practiced with thick topstitching thread and without gimp just to establish a rhythm and spacing of stitches, so as not to use up my good supplies. for my last few i used gimp and silk twist so i could get the feel of that. here’s a link to poppykettle’s blog. at the end of her post she has several very useful links, you should be able to find everything yo need there! the “cutter and tailor” link is by far the most useful. http://poppykettle.blogspot.com/2012/08/v8333-hand-worked-buttonholes.html

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