Buttonholes, pockets and padstitching....

Hi all!

The last weeks I've been doing a lot of work on my 30s coat. And it's actually getting somewhere. Because of all the padstitching, progress is slow. But I don't mind. I love taking my time with this coat.

30s coat: Bound Buttonholes WIP
Welts of bound buttonholes
After practicing the bound buttonholes with some scrap fabrics I started making them in the front piece. I was very careful and checked and measured again and again before I dared cutting into the fabric. But I'm happy with how they came out :)

30s coat: Bound Buttonholes WIP
I use towels to prevent pressing the fabric flat

With the bound buttonholes finished, the next step was making the pockets. I had more confidence making those, because the welt can cover up some minor flaws. Which isn't the case with bound buttonholes. Unlike the buttonholes you don't need to make a row of them which have to be aligned correctly. But, of course, I still checked if the pockets were put on the right place.

30s coat: Practicing Pockets
One always needs a cup of tea while sewing

After making the pockets I sewed the front pieces to the side front pieces and the side back pieces tot the center back. This wasn't very difficult to do, just some regular sewing ;)

30s coat: Pockets WIP

During my sewing course, which I took a few years ago, I did practice padstitching, but never applied it in a real sewing project. So, this was a first for me. When I made a muslin of the coat I decided where the roll line of the lapels and collar should be and transfered this to the pattern. First I sewed the pieces of the under collar together and did the same with the hair canvas. Then I transferred the roll line and padstitiching lines to the hair canvas. The roll line is also marked on the under collar. Next I basted the hair canvas to the under collar with permanent stitches through the roll line.

30s coat: Padstitching Undercollar WIP
Clockwise: 1 Basting hair canvas to fabric; 2 Creating a fold at roll line with pusing hair canvas to roll line; 3 Finished padstitching; 4 Pressing collar in shape using a towel
Now comes the important part. You start padstitching at the lower part of the collar. While you put your needle through the fabric you push the haircanvas to the roll line. You do this with every stitch in the first 2 or 3 rows. While doing this you will allow the fabric to fold on the roll line. After this first couple of rows you can continu padstitching without pushing the fabric every stitch. When you finish this part of the collar you continu with the upper part. You repeat the pushing method in the first 2 or 3 rows and continu padstitching in the normal way without pushing the hair canvas to the roll line.

Sewing Assistants
My cats are always nearby when I'm sewing

I discovered that it's easier cutting the haircanvas with seam allowance. I cut it without the hem allowance, but because you're moving the fabric toward the roll line you come a little short at some places. This can be easily corrected when you have some extra fabric. Afther padstitching you cut the seam allowance away.

30s coat: Padstitching Lapels WIP
Clockwise: 1 After preparations started padstiching the lapel; 2 Finished padstitching; 3 Removed seam allowance haircanvas and added tape; 4 Pressing the finished lapel
When I padstitched the lapels I followed the steps explained in 'Tailoring. The classic guid to sewing a the perfect jacket' with the addition of pushing the hair canvas to the roll line in the first few rows of padstitching.

30s coat: Padstitching WIP
Finished padstitching

Subsequently I sewed the shoulder seams with my sewing machine and hand basted the collar, side seams and sleeves, because I wanted to do another fitting. Luckily there are only a few minor alterations to be done.

30s coat WIP
The coat is ready to fit

Hopefully I will finish this coat soon, because spring is on it's way and temperature will start to rise again!!

30s coat Sewing Assistant
Silly cat!

Oh, and don't you love my sewing assistants :)


  1. This post made me happy :) I love a bit of tailoring, and your cats are adorable! Good job with the bound buttonholes :)

    1. Thank you! It's my biggest tailoring project so far and I really like it.

  2. lovely! Thanks for sharing so many fascinating photos of your sewing / tailoring process. I've used the same book for most of my tailoring projects. So loaded with helpful tips. Looking forward to seeing the final coat.

    1. I love this book, it's so helpful! The content is so clear , I can reccomend it to everybody who wants to sew a coat or jacket.

  3. This looks beautiful. I am hoping to tackle a 1940's tailoring project in he next month or so, so this is really helpful

    1. Good luck with your project! I'm looking forward to see it finished!

  4. WOW! This looks AMAZING! Your bound buttonholes are BEAUTIFUL!!

  5. Your coat is looking fabulous. Sounds like a lot of work but worth it.

    1. It's definitely a lot of work, hence the little break I took to sew something quick and easy :)

  6. Goodness that is an amazing amount of work, but totally worth it as its looking utterly fantastic, those button holes are just perfect! Love your little helper too! x

    1. Thank you! Actually, I have two little helpers :)

  7. Wowsers! You coat looks amazing! The bound buttonholes and welt pockets look great, and your pad stitching is so neat - and that's a good tip about putting a towel on the ironing board. Thank you for sharing all these photos, and good luck with finishing your coat. I'll look forward to seeing the finished photos.

  8. Craft/sewing room kitty pics are the best! :) On those uber rare occasions when I actually find time to craft in mind (instead of just using as my home office + tiny photography studio) Stella, our cat, adores lending a helping paw, too. :)

    Many hugs & all the best to you with this elegant coat,
    ♥ Jessica


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