Today's the day! We have a little topstitching to do, we'll add our buttonholes and we will sew on our buttons.  And then, of course, give our coat a very thorough final press before presenting it to it's lucky recipient.

Begin by performing the last bit of topstitching - the most visible topstitching on the entire coat. Stitch precisely 3/8" from the edge of the coat beginning at the hem, up the front to the lapel, around the collar and back down to the hem.

I like to curve the stitching where the lapel meets the collar for an attractive shape. If you keep your stitching straight, it creates quite a narrow angle when you pivot onto the collar, I think the curve looks more natural.

Now it's time to add our buttonholes. Make sure your button and hole placement markings are still 100% accurate (hold the tissue pattern up to your coat front to confirm and also just look to make sure the buttonholes are level with the buttons). Notice that there are three buttons and buttonholes on each coat front (some traditional Peacoats have six holes on one coat front and six buttons on the other but ours are sewn three a side so that the coat can be worn open and still look symettrical and attractive).

Mark the entire length of the buttonhole with chalk so you can trace the chalk line with your buttonhole stitch to ensure that your stitching stays horizontal. Stitch the buttonholes.

I’ve only added the three to close the coat front but you can also add one to the lapel as marked to hold it buttoned open or, as I’ve seen some sewists do, position the button on the opposite side of the coat front so you can close the lapel when wearing the coat in stormy weather.

Sew on the buttons to match the buttonholes. You might like to refer to my tutorial on sewing buttonholes to ensure that your buttons stay firmly sewn on!

If you have sewn the hood, you will also need to sew on the corresponding buttons to the neckline.  If you've sewn the epaulets and sleeve tabs, you will of course need to add the buttons for these!

I like to do my most thorough pressing at this point since the coat has been manipulated quite a bit while all the handsewing was performed. Now's our chance to make sure it looks crisp and fresh for years to come!

On Monday I will be posting photos of Matt wearing his new Peacoat and we will discuss how best to care for a wool coat so that it will last decades.

Congratulations on finishing your masterpiece coat project!

October 17, 2019 — Morgan and Matthew Meredith