V1419 Sewalong: Steps 64-86

10 Nov

Good morning, sewalongers! This is the week we finish up our coats – woohoo!! (and those of y’all who are not following the sewalong – this is the last week you have to skip a boring sewalong post! Woohoo!). Can you just feel the excitement radiating in the air? πŸ˜‰

So, the good news is – this is the final construction post before we have our sharextravaganza next week. The bad news – it’s a HELLUVA post. Lots and lots of pictures (in advance: I’m soooo sorry! Tried to cull them down as much as possible. On the flip side, none of them are of me πŸ˜‰ lolololol), lots of little fiddly steps here. On the flip side, this is all finishing – which means when it’s done, the coat is done – but expect this to take some time, especially since there is lots of hand sewing in this section.

Anyway, onto finishing!

The first thing you will want to do is sew the bias facing to both of the opening edges of the coat front, as well as along the neckline and across the hem. I’m not going to go into detail of how to do the facing – we’ve all done enough bias facing on this coat, I think most of us can do it in our sleep at this point πŸ˜‰ – but I did want to mention a couple little tips that helped me.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Once I sewed the facing on and trimmed down the seam allowances, I pressed all the raw edges toward the facing, using lots of steam.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Then simply press the facing to the inside of the coat. You will want to hand baste this in place, which will give you greater control when top stitching (especially important at those coat front edges).

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
At the hem and neckline, you may find that where you are intersecting seams tends to be *very* bulky – like, so bulky that you can barely turn the facing to the inside. I used my scissors to chop out as much of the bulk as possible (being careful not to cut into the stitching line or outside of the seam allowances), and them hammered them down like crazy with my clapper, to make things very flat.

Actually, if you have a clapper – it’s a good idea to smack down those edges after you’ve top stitched them, to flatten them as much as possible and give them a nice sharp crease. This will make your coat look much more professional πŸ™‚

Now, for the button holes! Fair warning – these took foreveeeeer to finish! Lots of fiddly pieces, lots of fiddly hand stitching. I know at this point, most of y’all are probably over this coat and just want to finish so it can be worn, but please take your time with these steps. The button holes are one of the most visible parts of the coat, and you don’t want them to look sloppy!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Remember when we sewed around the edges of where the button holes would go? Now you need to cut right in the middle of those stitches. I first used chalk to mark where the V would start, and then cut along the lines indicated. Cut right up to the stitching, but not through it.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
You will have a little V flap at the inside end. Fold this to the inside and press.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
To make the button hole binding, find those 4 bias pieces you cut, and press down one long edge about 1/4″. You will want to cut the binding into 20 pieces – 4 pieces will be 2.5″ long, and 16 pieces will be 2.75″ long. You should have enough binding to cut exactly the number of pieces needed (if for some reason you screw up and need more binding – just salvage a piece of leftover facing, and cut it in half at the fold. Y’all have lots of bias facing left over, right? I do hahaha). Fold in 1/4″ at short edges of each little piece and press. Yes, this part takes forever. Sorry.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
On the bottom of your button hole, pin a piece of binding with the right sides facing and the raw edges matching. The edge that meets the front edge of the coat should be flush, the edge against the end of the button hole should extend a bit farther. Be aware of what binding goes on what button hole – the 2.5″ binding is for the top 2 button holes (on the left and right side of the coat front); the remaining binding is for the remaining button holes.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
I went ahead and pinned the top binding as well, because I am impatient.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Sew the binding to the coat, stitching along your original stitching lines. I found it easier to do this from the inside, so I could make sure I was sewing in the correct place. When you get to the end of your stitching line – where the stitching pivots to the end of the button hole – stop and back stitch. Do not go any farther than the existing stitching line.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Your binding should look like this on the outside of your coat. Notice that the stitching does not go all the way across to the tip of the binding. This is good; it means we can pull the end of the binding to the inside.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Here it is from the inside.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Starting at the open end, fold the binding to the inside and pin into place. I pinned both top and bottom because – again, impatient. You could also work with one side at a time. Whatever is easier!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
For the end of the binding that is by the V you clipped, pull all the binding to the inside of the coat and pin down. This should cover the V completely, but if not, you can always clip whatever is sticking out πŸ™‚

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Repeat for the bottom (or top). Your finished pinned button hole should look like this.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Here it is from the outside.

The next thing you nee to do is slipstitch alllllll those bindings invisibly to the inside of the coat. Yep! This part takes forever! I also stitched my bindings so the edges encased the edge of the coat front, as well as slip stitched the open ends together with a few stitches. When you get to where the binding covers the triangle, be sure to catch that in your stitches so the button hole is secure. Check from the front occasionally to make sure everything looks good, especially making sure that triangle is pushed all the way to the inside of the coat and not sticking out.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Once you’ve finished the torture that is slipstitching ALL THAT BINDING, give everything a good press (and maybe a smack with the clapper, too, if it needs it. Mine did!). We’re not done yet!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Next up is thread bartacks! Start by marking where the bartacks will go – you will have 4 total for each button hole – left and right (so a total of… 40. Woof.). There will be a bartack at each end of the button hole, plus another bartack 1/2″ from each end. I marked mind with chalk.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
The bartacks will go faster/look better if you thread up with multiple strands. I used 3 strands of thread, and then doubled my needle, for a total of 6. You can also use embroidery floss – I just didn’t have any of the right color on hand.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Starting on the inside, make a small knot with your thread, or tack it in a couple spots to secure it. I made a small loop and then pulled the needle through it.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Pull the needle to the outside and stitch across the button hole to the other side, letting the thread connect the two sides. Make another knot on the inside (or, again, secure with a few stitches), and then pull the needle back to the outside.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
To make the bartacks, loop your thread like so.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Then pull the needle through the loop to create a knot (same concept as a button hole stitch, or a blanket stitch).

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Pull the loop until it knots at the end. Repeat this over and over until you have a chain of knots that completely covers the thread. This is your bartack. Do this 4 times for every button hole. Also, have a glass of wine while you’re doing this – you’ll be sitting for a hot minute πŸ˜‰

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Some bartack tips:
– You will get better as you do these! I recommend starting with the button side first, at the bottom button hole, so your practice attempts won’t be as easily seen πŸ™‚ Of course, you could practice on scraps first – but, naw, not me!
– Don’t pull the knots too tight, or you will distort them and they won’t be as pretty 😦
– Try to make your knots in the same direction as you go – this will keep them uniform and hopefully prevent twisting!
– If at all possible, try to do these in one sitting. The repetition means you will get better as you do it, so if you complete them all in one sitting, you won’t need to go through multiple learning curves (than if you picked it up several times during the week).
– The original Rucci coat has the bartacks continue on the back side of the bound button holes as well. The instructions for this pattern only call for the bartacking in the front (which is what I did). If you want to mimic the original and bartack the back of the button holes – well, don’t let me stop you πŸ™‚
– Don’t get too hung up on perfection – yes, you want these to look nice, but at the same time, most of them will be covered by the buttons. Not worth killing yourself over!

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Once you’ve finished your loops, time to sew on those buttons! Sew the buttons in the middle of the binding on the left front, catching both bindings in the stitches. For the top button, sew it 1/2″ away from the edge (it won’t be quite in the middle).

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
You can also go ahead and sew those back buttons on the belt. The pattern actually has you make button holes first – which of course you can do, but I omitted mine.
One word of note about the belt – don’t try to cinch it in too tight, or you’ll create gathers on the coat sides. Pin the belt closed first, and try it on to make sure everything is smooth and flat.

Finally, all that’s left is the sleeves. Go ahead and hem them with the bias facing – same concept as the other hemming and facing we did in these steps.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
The last thing we will do is make these little sleeve binding pieces, to cover the edge where all the crazy sleeve seams intersect. Cut 2 pieces that are approximately 1.5″ long by 1″ tall (or possibly taller, if your fabric is very thick and bulky – I cut mine 2″x2″, because my fabric required the extra room!). Fold one long edge under 1/4″ and press, and both short edges as well.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Sew the binding to the outside of the sleeve, with the right sides facing, at the point where all the seams intersect. Sew right along your topstitching line. If your fabric is bulky, you may want to trim down the seam allowance of this binding piece.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Turn the binding to the inside, wrapping around the sleeve hem and being sure that all folded edges are tucked under. Slipstitch around the 3 edges and press. Again, this is a good time to use your clapper to really flatten those seams. Gah, you guys must think I have stock in clappers at this point hahaha.

V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
V1419 Ralph Rucci Sewalong
Your finished sleeve will look like this. Yes, some of my top stitching is wonky. Oh well!

Whew! That’s all for this post – AND THIS COAT! How’s everyone coming along with their coats? I’ve been loving all the progressing (and some completed!) coats that are popping up in the Flickr Group. You’re SO almost done!! If you want to show off your coat in our Parade of Coats next week (which, obvs, you should!), you have a few options – you can upload to the the Flickr Group, and you can also upload to the Pinterest Fan Gallery. Be sure to use the hashtag #v1419Sewalong so you’ll appear in our Tagboard, where we will also be pulling finished coat photos. Can’t wait to see everyone’s coats!! πŸ˜€


23 Responses to “V1419 Sewalong: Steps 64-86”

  1. McCallPatternCompany (@McCallPatternCo) November 10, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Lauren, great job with this post! Lots of stuff to cover with these last steps. I feel like we should be handing out rewards to anyone who gets through all the steps, especially the buttonholes! β€”Meg

    • LLADYBIRD November 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      Forreal! Maybe we should have a random prize drawing πŸ™‚

  2. mahlicadesigns November 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Holy crap. I’ve never seen button holes like that. If I saw that on a pattern I’d say what the heck? and do it a different way. Any thoughts on why to do it that way?

    • LLADYBIRD November 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      I’ve never seen button holes like this either, but I really like the way they look – they’re very different! I’m guessing they based the technique off Rucci’s finished design, which in turn I’m sure he picked because… it looks so different? Haha, I don’t know! One thing is for sure, these are actually a lot easier/more fool-proof than trying to do traditional bound button holes. Even with the thread bartacks, there’s less room for error πŸ™‚

    • anelisen January 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

      I’ve never seen buttonholes like that before either! Thank goodness for this blog post, otherwise I probably would never have figured it out. I ended up making normal bound buttonholes anyway because I’ve never made them before and wanted to learn how to do it, but these ones turned out so amazing. Patience definitely pays off!

  3. Inclement November 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    On your coat, the button looks like it’s between the two middle bartacks, but on the picture of the designer coat you linked to, the button seems to be between the first and second bartack…is it a different place on the coat or something?

    (I’ve really enjoyed reading these posts here and on the McCall’s blog – nevermind it’s not a style of coat I’d wear; you both managed to make it fascinating to see it go together! :D)

    • LLADYBIRD November 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Good catch! The button I photographed is one of the middle buttons, and the one on the Pinterest board is the very top button (at the neckline). The top button is not centered in the button hole, which is why it’s in a different spot πŸ™‚ The rest of the buttons should be centered between the two middle bartacks.

      I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the posts! πŸ˜€

  4. whatsoccurin November 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Good work!! I really want to see yours right now!!

  5. Renata Tarnay November 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Great Post! I’m not nearly up to the last phase of the coat yet, but when I get there this’ll be more helpful then the pattern’s b&w instructions. I’ve been working like mad to catch up, but bias bindings and topstitching just won’t be rushed!

    • LLADYBIRD November 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      Good for you on not rushing! This is definitely a time-consuming coat, and I’m happy to hear you’re letting yourself enjoy the process πŸ™‚ Our tutorials will be here when you are ready for them! πŸ™‚

  6. Alex November 11, 2014 at 3:01 am #

    I so can’t wait to see the finished coats! I haven’t made the coat but have really enjoyed reading your construction posts (my interval voice is screaming “NERD!”)

    • LLADYBIRD November 11, 2014 at 7:44 am #

      The best kind of Nerd, tho! πŸ˜€

  7. mommylap November 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    This is like buttonhole porn.

    • LLADYBIRD November 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      I originally read that as “butthole porn” and, well. That would have made for an interesting twist. ha!

      • Indoor Kitty November 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

        And a whole new set of creepy blog stalkers.

        • LLADYBIRD November 11, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

          Oh, those people have been around for ages. I had to stop looking at my Google search terms because some of them were really creepy hahaha

  8. Camille Whitney Barigar November 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Thanks to our veterans, I have had all day off to handstitch those buttonhole bindings. I have a small headache from concentrating, I think my vision has gone deteriorated, I have watched more episodes of The Gilmore Girls than anyone should in one day, and I hate everyone. This reminds me of that time two years ago when I made tiny vintage barbie clothes for a friend’s daughter for Christmas (my teenage boys didn’t really want them), and after ironing and sewing all of those impossibly tiny facings, I swore I would NEVER sew barbie clothes again. Tiny tiny facings. I hate everyone.

    I should have waited until the evening, so I could have wine and the Real Housewives of Something or Other.

    Confession: I have never done bartacks. I fully admit to skipping that step in everything I have sewn, trusting that the linings would stay where they should. Time to learn, as I now have a coat with the bound slashy thingies, and that’s not good for anybody. Bring it!

    I am so ready to put this bitch to bed at this point. I can’t be the only one:)

    • LLADYBIRD November 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Hahah! I think you’ve nicely summed up my feelings after I finished hand sewing all my button holes – ihateeveryone ihateeveryone ihateeveryone hahaha.

      AGREED with being ready to put the bitch to bed. Just keep reminding yourself – fabulous coat, fabulous coat, fabulous coat. It will be worth it in the end!!

  9. Crystal Rice November 21, 2014 at 6:43 am #

    My house has been sick sick sick for 2 weeks. Respiratory infections, stomach bugs and even the puppy has had some intestinal…issues. Needless to say, I stalled out when I got to the welt pockets for lack of concentration. You guys hating everyone is not helping the motivation to pick it back up!

    LOL. For real, your details look beautiful. I hope mine turn out half as good!

  10. mertxelasierra December 7, 2014 at 2:50 am #

    Its a beautiful and original way to sew buttonholes, I must reckon! But I cannot use it for my reversible coat, ’cause I need both sides to be perfect. I’ve been thinking about my own buttonwholes for days now, and there is only one solution I can think of…

  11. Crystal Rice March 10, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    What, 4 months behind? But I sliced my button holes open today and stitched on all my little welts. It’s all down to hand sewing now.

    • LLADYBIRD March 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

      One step closer to finishing though, wooho! πŸ˜€

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