M5525 – bound buttonholes

Bound buttonholes
After speaking with Renata about all things trench coats, I had to make bound buttonholes on this trench. She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse so I decided to test out 2 methods that I found online.

I pulled out every tool in my sewing kit to attempt these button holes.

Coletterie‘s version worked out but the button hole was a bit bulky and to be honest, this was my first ever bound buttonhole. I showed DH the amazing bound buttonhole and he nodded politely and gave me that “walk away from the crazed sewer” look.

Then I used Sherry’s method. While this was my second ever bound buttonhole, I felt more confident sewing with the basting guidelines. pencil lines would hsve worked too. I used a zipper foot for these buttonholes. The buttonhole was slimmer and flatter. What you see below are the basted guidelines and it looks messy but this worked for me.

Below is the buttonhole guide on the actual trench coat. This is where the ‘rubber hits the road’. That night I gave up after making the first buttonhole and made the other two buttonholes the following day after a good night’s rest.

If you think your trench could use a bound buttonhole, push yourself and learn a new skill with the sewing reference that suits you. This was a huge push/learning curve for me and I’m a bit critical of how they look.

The middle buttonhole was too closely trimmed and pulled apart when I tried to unpick the hand basting too fast. No tears were shed but I did take a very deep breath, had a nice cuppa, and then re-sewed the buttonhole again and used lots of Steam a seam lite 2 to reinforce the buttonhole. This time, I didn’t trim the underside so closely.

If you use waxed thread when you sew, keep a bunch of waxed thread close by because you’ll need them to finish off these impressive buttonholes.

I used
Sherry’s method because she’s also updated her bound buttonhole technique and I’ve listed Sherry’s post on the side of my blog – so I can find it fast!

The next step is to read the references I have on my bookshelf and practice this technique because I’d like to use this technique again.

Peggy Sagers tutes
Jacket or trench coat collare finishes are the same. I found a handy video by Peggy Sagers on Youtube. Peggy talks about overstitching when you sew a collar and overstitching when you sew the trench facing to the trench with the finished collar piece sandwiched in between the facing and trench coat.

The same video tute includes tackling sleeve ease with a bias strip and a method for welt pockets. Peggy has a whole stack of interactive video webcasts I use from time to time. She gives up her time and knowledge so regularly and they’re free.

Welt pockets and bound buttonholes:
Have some fusing tape like Steam a seam lite handy to reinforce the back of these features for a firm finish. I used quiet a bit of Steam a seam lite on my Derby Day Peony for the exposed zipper and hem.

Peony QAs:
I did wear the Derby Day Peony on Melbourne Cup to work – but not with the screamingly high strappy heels.
Carol mentioned she’s been avoiding the whole exposed zipper thing. I had been too but the eyelet fabric wasn’t going to behave with an invisible zip so the exposed zipper would worked really well. I think the black piping helped pull the desingn aspect together. I did this 2 days working this out. That’s how I seem to learn new skills these days.

Lena commented that the eyelet fabric would have also worked with a coloured lining. I agree that it would have and I’ll keep experimenting with laces/eyelets and colourful lining while it keeps my interest.

I’m still working on doing beautiful piping like Carolyn.

And I’ve allowed anonymous comments but I’ll have to keep an eye on the non-comments/spam that keep filtering in.These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished


  1. I'm impressed with your bound buttonholes, I haven't tried these myself and don't imagine they will work on my raincoat fabric, ah that is why I'm doing a concealed front button placket 🙂

    Thank you for all the trench links on the side, this is going to save me a lot of time, very much appreciated.


  2. Nice! I plan to do welts soon (not on the trench) but I'm going to hack it. By which I mean mark the front and back, glue in the welts after folding in the outsides and sew the sh*t outta the sucker. In my mind it seems infallible.. time will tell XD


  3. I'm not big on hand sewing either and I think the next time I make up bound buttonholes, I'll be using the sewing machine to sew the life out of them too XD
    It's only fabric XD


  4. Your trench coat is looking absolutely superb, very professional 🙂 The bound buttonholes are a treat to the eyes!
    You might be interested to know that Burberry trench coats do not have bound buttonholes, and of course, Burberry invented the trench coat. Their buttonholes are worked in a very very tightly and closely sewn buttonhole. I know this for sure because my husband has one and I just hopped into the wardrobe to check it out 🙂


  5. Bound buttonholes are something I want to try – they look so special . Thanks for trialling different techniques – will make my life easier one day !


  6. I know who to turn to when I get 'round to trying bound button holes! Thanks for the reviews of the two tutorials. I didn't notice any of the issues you mention when you showed us the coat on Sat…it looked great!


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