How to Sew Couture Trim and ButtonholesTwo unusual techniques elevate a coat
Bias binding accents garment edges, but it can make them bulky. The wider the binding is, the more difficult it can be to achieve a smooth and flat finish. For the contrasting trim shown on the back cover, French designer Jacques Esterel skipped a binding and instead appliquéd mitered 1-1/8-inch-wide silk bias strips by hand along the exposed collar and lapel edges. This method is time-consuming and requires control to get a precise result. You can try the following alternative method that adds the contrast band by machine early in the garment construction.
The double-breasted coat also features what, at first glance, look like in-seam buttonholes, and yet the coat front panel is cut as a single piece with no available internal seamlines. The sleek and unobtrusive buttonholes are openings in three narrow, horizontal darts. This ingenious solution is worth considering when you want a nearly invisible opening for a button.
Contrasting edge band
You can make this type of trim up to 2 inches wide. Begin by making separate edge band patterns. Sew the band pieces to the collar and lapel, then proceed with construction as usual. The process is shown on a collar pattern but is the same for a lapel.
1 Begin the patterns. On the original collar pattern, mark the seam allowance. Draw in the desired contrast band’s seamline, which will be its inner edge. Add a seam allowance for the contrast band and an alignment line for the band. Draw a diagonal line through the corners.
2 Make the contrast band pattern. Trace the collar pattern from the outer cutting line to the contrast cutting line. Cut the piece and transfer all the lines to it.
3 Prepare the pieces. Cut a collar piece from the original pattern, and mark the contrast alignment line and…