Monday, April 07, 2008

The Jacket is Finally Finished!!!

Yes, it is finally finished to my satisfaction and was worn to work today...

The suit stood out like a beacon in a sea of blackness...yeah, most of the women in my office wore black pantsuits today and there I stood in a seagreen jacket, coordinating seagreen striped tank top and vanilla lined tencil pants. I looked "pretty"...hopefully pretty and professional!!!

I am going to describe the construction of this jacket in a series of posts. Mainly because there was just so much that went into turning my TNT jacket pattern into a version of the Vintage Vogue pattern, that it's too much information for one post. This was one of my most ambitious interpretations but I think the final jacket and tank were worth the effort!

The vanilla skirt still needs to be constructed. As noted above, I wore it as a pantsuit today because I really wanted to wear this spring-like outfit on a dreary and dank day that is suppose to be a spring day but definitely wasn't!

However, today's post is going to be about the buttons and snaps! Might as well start at the end and work towards the beginning since this was the last thing on the jacket. *LOL* Actually, I am starting here because I haven't made a covered snap in over 20 years, so I had to relearn a technique!

Because of the faux welt pockets on the jacket front, I decided not to make buttonholes exactly like the vintage jacket. Originally I was going to add covered buttons from the jacket fabric with covered snaps as closures. Working towards that goal, I found instructions for making the covered snaps in one of my Bishop books, "Fashion Sewing by the Bishop Method."

Of course, the first one I made was very rough. By the third set I had a rhythm down and they were passable enough to put on the jacket. However, I now need to make another jacket where I can use covered snaps so that I can improve this technique.

The instructions for making the covered snaps were really simple:
  • Cut a circle of fabric the size of a small spool of thread

  • I changed this to a slightly larger spool because I was using snaps larger than pictured in the example.

  • Punch a hole into the fabric with a stiletto and place the lining over the base of the snap.

  • Sew a basting stitch around the circle of lining; draw up the thread and fasten neatly on the underside.

  • This took a lot of hand stitches on the first ones but I figured out how to draw the basting stitches tighter on the subsequent snaps.
And a hint or two:

1. Use a straight pin to find the holes on the snaps to stitch was a lot easier than stabbing the needle around looking for them.

2. I also used a double waxed thread in the needle so that I didn't have to stitch through the snaps so many times.

It is a simple technique that with a little practice gives a garment a really upscale finish. I will use this technique again soon!

The final change was regarding my button choice. As I was searching for my covered button forms, I found these amazing gold & flower buttons in my button collection. They gave the jacket a more vintagey flair so I used them instead of the covered buttons. It was like adding jewelry to the jacket and I'm glad that I went with them instead of the covered they hid a lot of the bad hand stitching that was used to stitch the snaps onto the jacket.

It was the last thing added to the jacket but it gave the jacket a wonderful WOW factor!!! More later on the pattern alterations and making the faux welt pockets!


  1. This is simply stunning and I can't wait to see it on you. I love your button choice.
    Carol Trendall

  2. Your jacket is lovely. The vintage buttons are fabulous!

  3. It looks gorgeous, and I can't wait to see it on you!

    You can usually skip the awl on covered snaps unless you're doing really big ones or really tightly woven fabric. Take a large needle and move the fibers aside to create a hole.

  4. " adding jewelry to the jacket..."
    oh my gosh, how inspirational is that?
    Now I have to pick a pattern out just to try this.

    And start a honkin' button stash.

  5. You sound like a ray of sunshine for the office, and I'll bet more than one woman there looked on with a tinge of envy, thinking it's time to put on something beyond the black uniform.
    Lovely button and snap choice.

  6. I haven't made covered snaps (yet) so this is helpful. And the tip of putting the pin in the hole is pretty neat. I am always stabbing around when sewing on buttons etc.

  7. your snaps look great, it weird but I think on monday's our staff were a lot of black too, I guess its the easiest thing to wrap your mind around after the weekend. Can't wait to see the how you made the pants
    take care

  8. How funny you should post this, as I just made a covered snap last night!

    The jacket is gorgeous and good for you for going against the grain and wearing it. You've inspired me - I'm off to find something a bit more cheerful to wear to work today.

  9. I'm sure your outfit was the prettiest and the most feminine! Those buttons are gorgeous and the perfect embellishment for the jacket. And thanks for explaining how to cover snaps. I'm anxious to see pics of you wearing the outfit!

  10. Those buttons are amazing - they give the jacket the perfect finish! Boo to all the black suit wearing clones. Yeah to seafoam green - I bet you totally rocked your springy new suit!

  11. Oooh, the buttons are gorgeous!
    I bet at least some of the women at your office were wishing they'd had what it takes to wear a different color.

  12. Yay!!!!(jumping up and down, waving my "dress up for work" flag)Non-black office dressing. If they'd shut off the lights, the only person who would have been visible would have been you in your lovely outfit(ahem...did I read someone suggesting getting into "button stashing"? Like, I need to collect MORE sewing-related items?). I am so looking forward to seeing you in your outfit. Magnificent.

  13. Your jacket is gorgeous and I love the buttons!!

  14. A++ for button creativity and flair!

  15. This is beautiful carolyn! I love when a garment I've made makes me feel special when i wear it.

  16. Lovely!!

    Angie R.

  17. Covered snaps really add a couture touch. Looking forward to seeing more of your jacket construction info!

  18. Beautiful embellishment Carolyn. Thanks for explaining the covered snaps.

  19. LOL. You 'found' the buttons in your stash? They're a wonderful addition to the jacket.

  20. Carolyn, you are totally inspiring. As a clergy woman with hectic weeks and long hours my sewing time is precious so I need to do things that are simple and easy. I am learning from you that I can have a busy life and enjoy sewing if I get together my TNTs. So I am going to work on that.

    I am also going to work on the whole dress thing which I love wearing but have been reticent about sewing due to my rectangular body shape. You have made some stunning dresses and have inspired me to try some new styles and kick 'em up a notch with tweaking trims and little things.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your journey.


  21. WOW indeed! The buttons are GORGEOUS, I love them! You must have felt like a movie star today! Beautiful job!

  22. You did an fantastic job!!Those special touches you did made that jacket look gooooddd!!

  23. The jacket looks su-pah! I'm really taken with the covered snaps. I hope we see a photo of you in it soon.


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