Prickstitching, Pockets, and Buttonholes, Oh, My!

Lots going on with the Cashmere jacket and I thought I would point up a few things I have done contra the pattern. Come to think of it, can't really say that I have actually looked at the pattern. Maybe a cursory view now and then, but that's it. You can see my lining fabric. I love it. Its a silk crepe de chine that has a wonderful shade of the necessary gray amidst all those red circles. I don't like the idea of lining fabric, especially a red one, peeking out of my pockets so I cut a piece of the facing fabric 2 1/4 inches wide by the length of the pocket. I cut with the selvedge on the edge so the selvedge would stay the pocket opening and I wouldn't have to further tape it. This strip was attached to the pocket and then it was installed in the seam. I get the great feel of the silk pockets but no possiblity of red peek a boo.

Cashmere is a pisser. The nap is long and therefore very difficult to mark accurately, even with basting. The best I could come up with was using 1/4 inch quilter's tape for my marking needs. I planned on prickstitching most of the seams. I made some samples and decided on the thread I would use for the prickstitching. (Luv that word.) Once that was set, the challenge of how to accurately mark this deep nappy stuff had to be dealt with. I wanted my stitches accurate and equal. I thought of tiger tape which is hard to find and only comes in 1/4 inch increments that I know of. So I decided to make my own tiger tape.
I used 1/4 inch masking tape and laid it down an 1/8 of an inch from the seam. Then I took my trusted sharpie and a crappy little plastic ruler and marked it out in 3/8 inch increments. That was the measurement that seemed to work best with the samples. This worked great. As of tonight most of the coat has been marked and stitched.
You can see how this worked out on the inseam pockets above.

Then came the bound buttonholes that have so set me to procrastinating. Loads of samples once again. Do I do windowpane or strips? I wanted to do the windowpane method but the fabric was just too bulky. I did the strip method and was pleased with the final results. Again, the biggest challenge was the marking, absolutely critical for BBs. I went to the 1/4 inch masking tape again. One trick with using this method is to make sure you pull the tape off with the nap so as not to damage the fabric.
So I taped off the grid for the buttonholes, made myself a few notes on placement, and forged ahead. I went really slowly with the stitching. The tape worked beautifully here and I would highly recommend this technique if you are dealing with nappy fabric and BBs. In the end I am pleased with the results.

Next I did some tweaking on the fit in the armscye area. Ever try your garment on and you see something thats not quite right but just in an ever so teeny way? That was the armscye. I took it in a little more deeply from notch to sides seam and it all worked out fine, more comfortable too!

So as soon as all prickstitching is done, next will be a hem facing and then the lining. Will this make my turkey day deadline? No.........................Bunny


  1. Thanks for the tip on the masking tape. If I ever get to my coat I will use this idea. Love the lining too :)

  2. I can't wait to see this finished. It is going to be magnificent.

  3. Your welcome, Vicki.

    Don't hold your breath, Martha. I am not sure magnificent will be the right word. The coat is really quite simple and rather plain. It will have great buttons though and I am hoping a nice fur hat will jazz it up. But it should last for years.

    The last time I tailored myself a coat it was a full length black melton wrapped coat with a big shawl collar. I LOVED that coat and got so much use from it. It also was quite simple. It wasn't barely into its second winter when it got stolen. I still haven't gotten over it as you can tell. I guess I should be flattered.

  4. This is looking so beautiful. What thread did you use for the prickstitching?

  5. Bunny, Tobywan52 left this comment for you on my blog:

    Bunny - it's easy to feel totally isolated in Upstate NY - I'm in binghamton and I despair of ever finding anyone interested in tailoring or more challenging garments or using vintage patterns.

    Love seeing your coat progress here.

  6. Thanks, Lindsay.

    Liana, I interviewed a lot of threads and was leaning toward silver metallic. When it was all said and done I decided on a Coats and Clark "carpet" thread as the spool says. There is only 50 yards on the spool so I did some quick math to make sure I had enough, thanks to Summerset's episode. I have looked at their "button and carpet" thread and the current offerings don't seem to show this color. I used a double strand of the thread and did my backstitching loosely so it would float on top and not get lost in this wicked nap. I finished all the stitching this morning. Next my hem facing....

  7. Funny, I identify with a lot of your post! The red lining is fabulous. I use the same crappy little rulers and sharpies, of course. I have my collection of sad rulers, with one halfway decent metal one to round out the group.

    Yes, I often find I am tweaking little bitty things no one else would probably notice. They do bug me until I fix them, so I've just resigned myself to it!

    I buy most of my specialty threads in NH from Vacman and Bobbin in Laconia, NH. (Actually Belmont, I think.) They carry almost every color of Sulky, some Iris, Mettler, loads of Robison Anton, some Superior and YLI, too. I usually go there first and if I can't get it there, I order it online.

  8. Wow Bunny, love the lining, great technique for preventing the "peek a boo" effect. Those buttonholes look like a lot of work, and while you might not make your deadline, it's a wonderful and timeless coat.

  9. Thanks Bunny! I've used the carpet thread before and it's nice, but they don't have much of a color selection, do they? Always on the lookout for different threads. I like some of the heavy (12 wt.) quilting threads. They could use more colors too, though. Never satisfied, are we?

  10. Thanks, Summerset. I have not been there for years. I will have to revisit the vacman. Love the name of that place!

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