Posted in sewing

Handworked Buttonholes, the All Boo’d Up Edition

I’ve not posted much the last few months because I am all *boo’d up. Well, at first I was busy with work / election. But, now, I’m just **boo’d up.  Being boo’d up presents a certain set of challanges to my home life. The first thing to take a hit is always sewing, as you have helpfully addressed before. I’ve decided this time to go with the hot-and-heavy and sew when I’m able. As my mom has so delicately said, “It won’t always be like this. So, enjoy it while you can.” It also seems that my yard is never quite mowed and my house is never exactly in order. But, I’m adjusting.

I’ve also been watching an OBSCENE amount of football this season. Previously, football season meant time to myself. But, not with this one. Football is a social activity that all the friends watch (women included).  I mean, I’ve watched more football in the last two months than I have in 30+ years. This of course means that once or twice a week I’m sitting on a sofa, boo’d up, with nothing to do but eat and watch football.

I tried to take Elizabeth’s advice and take up knitting again. I mean, I’ve been working on this scarf for two years now. Seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing for me to do during a game. Well, I’m not good enough at knitting to stop and start. Lindsay T has suggested I may actually come to *like* football. It happened with her and baseball. Right now, I’m just aiming for basic comprehension.

What I AM able to do during games is handwork. Heh. Enter, my red trenchcoat.  This coat has needed buttonholes since May. Yeah. This is one of my two major UFOs. My automatic buttonholer couldn’t accomodate my 1.5 inch buttons. These buttons were purchased in the UK special for this coat and there was no way I wasn’t going to use them. I decided to do handworked buttonholes and put them on during Michigan and Ravens games over a couple of weekends. What’s funny is it took several weeks for it to even occur to me that I could make my own buttonholes!!

I understand that handworked buttonhoeles are more couture. But, my handwork is shyte. But, at least I have buttons for my coat!

Oh, before you ask. The collar is totally jacked. It’s off center by about 1 inch due to a massive #FAIL on my part back in March when I started the project.

Next… hemming. Seriously. All I have to do now is hem this trench and stitch down the shoulder pads (how do you like those pins on the left shoulder?). I may actually get to wear it while it’s still cool but not yet cold!

* There’s no pithy nickname for the current boo yet.

** Boo’d up. I’ve noticed an age and cultural divide on knowing the meaning of boo’d up. Here’s what Urban Dictionary has.

47 thoughts on “Handworked Buttonholes, the All Boo’d Up Edition

  1. If you add some sort of strap(s) or tabs to the edge of the collar like on the sleeve hems it may look like you planned to have the collar off center…be quirky!
    Good try on the buttonholes!
    Love the color and your friends will not be looking for small flubs, they will be dazzled by the great workmanship, top stitching and fit!

  2. I didn’t even notice the collar flub. I mean, I noticed it was off-center, but I thought it was intentional.

    I love your red coat (and football!).

  3. Congrats on the boo-ness. 😉 I apparently needed the help of the Urban Dictionary. So helpful of you to provide that link. I too think the collar looks like it was supposed to be that way. Work it!

    Can’t wait for you to wear it.

  4. Beautiful coat!

    This 62 yr old thought boo’d up meant sad in the title but by the third sentence I went: oh…boo and I got it. he-he

  5. The only epic fails are the ones that bother you. If you’re okay with the collar, leave it alone and call it a design feature. I like the idea of putting a tab on it. I’d rip it out and redo it, but that’s just me. But then, I opted out of making a trench and bought one instead, so I’m a wimp. 🙂

    1. I thought long and hard about ripping it out. But, the problem is that my centerfront is not the original center front. So, while the collar is centered on the coat, it’s not centered on the front. I didn’t even realize it was off until I took these photos! The collar may also be a little tall. So, it still may get ripped out after all 🙂

  6. Love the Red Trench! And kudos for your buttonholes. I’ve never attempted one in my life, although I may to finish off a UFO in my life, similar to yours! As for the football, my DD1 plays football. I am, to this day, completely ignorant of the entire game. Does it have to be so complicated?

  7. Hi! – a jolly nice coat you have there. I make hand sewn buttonholes when I make a Scottish kilt – heavy duty ones that bear the weight of thick leather straps.
    I always go over the button hole twice. The first round looks like yours. This acts as a foundation for the next round. When going over the second time double up your thread to two thicknesses (use a button hole thread – I call it a 75 poly core, not sure what else it might be) WAX the thread with tailor’s beeswax otherwise you will knot up.

    Use a longer length of thread than you think you might need as you cannot re-start.

    The second round of stitching stands nice and proud and envelopes all the loose raggy bits that poke through the first round. This works well on a nice light weight wool, so I would be tempted to try a sample one first.

    sew the ends separately to bind OR you could keep buttonholing the ends in and sweep round them in button hole stitch forming a semi-circle at each end, (does that make sense Anyway, enough of my wittering – it’s a great coat!

    1. Thanks! I was contemplating a second go-round. I used mercanized cotton since I didn’t have access to buttonhole silk twist. I did wax and did them double threaded. I also used a buttonhole stitch on three of the five. But, a second go-round will hopefully give me the look I want. Thank you for the tip on how to finish them. I was at a loss!

  8. Those buttons are OUTSTANDING! With the ‘little things’ like pocket and collar contrast, the buckles on the sleeves, the shoulder cap, and THOSE buttons, the offset collar fits right in. Strikingly beautiful…a reflection of it’s seamstress.

  9. You are the cutest thing ever. I wish you lived in NYC.

    A key to easing your way into sports is getting to know some of the players’ backstories and what they’re like—where did they go to school, are they married with kids or single, are they all-around good guys, etc—and then root for them. Like you’re watching reality TV and Mr. Football Player is your favorite housewife. Next step, figure out the big-picture rules of the game so you have some basic clue of what’s going on. (You don’t want to look like a total bimbo here.) Later, when you don’t understand a nuance of a play, ask the significant other and let him impress you with his mastery of the sport. Read the sports pages every goddamn day.

    Love your coat. You know I would have had buttonholes made for you at Jonathan Embroidery if you mailed it to me.

    1. I originally thought I would bring the coat to New York and get them done. It didn’t occur to me to send it to you! And you think like I do about sports. He gives me their backstories and I find it so much more interesting. I have a general big picture idea of what’s going on now. But, the why they do what they do is what’s escaping me.

  10. I didn’t even niotice the boo-boos in the coat – it looks lovely. I didn’t know the exact meaning of boo’d, but I got the gist. I will have to dazzle my son with the term – he loves to speak eubonic and it would surprise him that 1.) I know the term and 2.) learned it on a sewing blog! Over the years I have remembered all the cute things you say about your mom – I admire her wisdom and your sweet relationship with her.

  11. Eating and sports watching, oy, what a recipe for weight gain. i understand it’s a social activity, but given m choice of time-consuming activities, I think I’d rather sew.

  12. I am also boo’d up and I LOVE football! But… Make sure not to over do it. I managed to gain 20lbs that doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere

  13. Congrats on tackling one of the last remaining items on your trench. It looks great regardless of any flaws you might point out. Get that hemming done and then enjoy the coat!

    (My own trench pattern is still neatly stacked on the sewing room floor. Some day I will have the guts to tackle it.)

  14. Whatever that age divide is, I’m on the wrong side of it, thanks for the handy link. 😉 And is the boo a Michigan fan? If so, I must applaud his good taste (I’m a Michigan alum.) Though, I never have anything good to say about the Ravens. And football is really awesome!

    1. He didn’t go to Michigan, his father played for them. And he’s a HUGE Michigan fan. To the point that all weekend activities are planned around their games and if we watch at my house, we have to have a back up viewing location in case cable goes out, etc.

  15. I say where the coat as is and where it proudly with yo’ boo. Love the red. It’s all Valentine-y and lovey-dovey. Also diggin the Burberry lining I see peeping through.

  16. You are putting me to shame! I bought my fabric after you posted it on your blog, so basically the same time. Glad to see one of us has a raincoat in sight! Sometimes the end of a long project feels like your are in quicksand. Get it done so you can finally wear it! It looks great and the red is fabulous.
    Glad you posted a link to Boo’d because I had no idea. Congratulations.

  17. That’s not an easy fabric on which to do handworked buttonholes–good job! Congratulations on other aspects of your life as well.

  18. I had to look it up. Does that make me Olde?

    Mom is right – enjoy while it lasts! 😉

    And definitely – take up the knitting. You won’t find a more portable project that you can work on WITHOUT ACTUALLY LOOKING at it.

  19. I wondered what happened to your coat, and thought perhaps it had become a wadder or UFO! Sooo glad you have pulled it out and put effort into finishing it! It is lovely…I’d copy it in a minute but I can’t find the lining….lol

    BTW…I love football…always have. My dream weekend is to wake up to Sunday football with the NT Times, CBS’s Sunday Morning, and the background stories running on the sports channels. In California, the games come on at 10am, and the afternoon game starts at 1pm. Time to crawl outa bed, shower, and go to dinner. LOL! Enjoy yourself and know you will soon discover how to squeeze in a creative moment.

    Good to hear from you…

  20. Coat look good, your buttonholes cam out well. I agree with somebody who commented earlier that you could add a tab to make the offside collar look like it it was done on purpose.

  21. Well, there’s nothing in the world with have a little “boo” in your life, and nothing more heart-filling! It happens to all of us. I’m with your mom – enjoy it while you can cause watching football with your boo is a lot of fun! And I’m a sucker for the Ravens ever since “The Blind Side”!!!

  22. Well I’m glad you put the link in as I was 100% wrong in guessing what you meant! I don’t think that phrase has made it across the pond(UK). I’m glad for you, and love your coat with it’s imperfections. You will look great in it anyway.

  23. Well I have zero interest in sports – zip nada nothing. There is so much wrong with professional sports; the sanctioned drug use, the tolerated criminality, the “woe is me I’m just a working stiff up against the evil owners” breast beating by millionaire players, the ridiculously high ticket prices. And don’t even get me started on the evil business practices of the NCAA and all that garbage about noble “student athletes”. The only thing interesting about professional ports is how differently they run their business: impressive top-down micromanagement (the NFL) vs. dysfunctional squabbling (Major League Baseball, which as been destroyed by the free agent rule)

  24. Oh man my other personality cam out there for a moment sorry about that…Your coat coat is awesome! I had to make buttonholes by hand on my trenchcoat (machine crapped out mid-project) and they are lasting much longer than machine buttonholes.

  25. How did you meet your boo? If that’s too nosy you don’t have to say, of course…just, as a single person, I’m curious, and like to hear encouraging stories….thanks! Congrats, also! ,

  26. I’m glad Urban Dictionary let me know boo’d up is a good thing! I was worried for a second…

  27. I just love the coat! They are hard to make and come out right. I also loved the hand done button holes. I do mine by hand too, and found out that the best way to finish them off is by embroidering a button hole stitch. I do this all the time, cause I can’t get my button hole attachment for my sewing machine to work right. Come to think of it, my sewing machine doesn’t work right either. Time to fix the tension and get it working. Would love to make some quilts, dresses and skirts. Can’t find some decent fabric though.

  28. I loathe television sport so I admire your ability to be able to sit through it. I also admire your ability to hand make buttonholes. I made a jacket that needs them and I can’t be arsed just yet. Maybe you have inspired me and I can do that while I watch television this week. Maybe. I, too, thought the off-centre collar was intentional. The red trench is gorgeous. I want a red coat!

  29. Enjoy yourself. And thanks for the Urban Dictionary. But I got it after reading the first sentence.
    Your coat is just amazing. Love everything about it. Perle Cotton is sometimes good to make the buttonholes.

  30. Your Trech is great, great, great !!! Nice button holes. As for the Boo’d up thing… May I say that the definition is so cute… but the word lacks elegance :_)))))) But that is the point of view of a French speaking person.

  31. Well,I have never heard that expression before. I thought the asterisks were to block some swear word…lol. Good news though :)) Coat is looking good.

  32. I agree with Lydia…you off-center collar looks intentional and adds a bit of unigue style to this coat I would leave it as is and bet you get very, very many great compliments on it too! Great job, it’s a beautiful coat I think anyone would love to own…I know I would!!

  33. Wow, the trench looks fantastic. And the red will be so great on you. I really hope you will finish it and wear it a lot!

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