M5525 – Belt carriers

McCalls trenchcoat has a main belt across the waist as well as the faux belts near the sleeve hems so a stack of well-finished belt carriers are worth making – if you have the time.

This stage of making the trench drained my energy because I knew that I could finish it fast once I attached and finished the sleeve belts (plural) before sewing on the bagged lining. Sewing on the lining includes hemming and that’s when I can really feel the end of the project near. The last steps are attaching the buttons and making the buttonholes and then the trench would be finished.
But not just yet.


At the beginning of construction, I made up the belt carriers. I didn’t use tape like Steam a seam lite 2 or any fusable hemming tape. The belt carriers worked out without tape but after doing a zipper workshop, I saw how well finish this detailing becomes when you use fusable hemming tape. So I’ve used hemming tape on the coat hook loop at the back of the trench. 

And the sleeve belt carriers were constructed the same way.

The belt will have a buckle – now that I bought a few from Birdsall’s leather, the leather saddlery place at Botany.

A note from Heavenlyprincess:
I just finished up a red wool coat with trench detailing! In fact, it won a state fashion design competition on Saturday. We’ll see how it does at Nationals.
Anyway, here’s a link to the post I wrote about
understitching while making this coat.
All the best at National HP!
Webcasts
I’m really loving the webcast Peggy Sagers(Silhouette Patterns) has on trench coat construction and finishing.

I also had the chance to ‘participate’ in the holiday blouse webcast that Peggy did this week. She has a lot of industry knowledge. The webcast was a great experience from a viewers point of view – if this makes sense. The whole hour was live and the audience could interact with each other via ‘instant messaging’ during the webcast. Peggy answered our questions as they were asked. The webcast replays are just as great to learn from but I thoroughly loved the interaction too. Thank you Peggy and your wonderful team.

007 Skyfall:
Judi Dench’s character ‘M’ wears a double breasted light coloured trench. She also wears a dark brown/aubergene two- button duffle woollen coat with welt pockets in a country scene so even M has at least two winter coats.  M’s office wardrobe is dark, fitted and fierce!

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

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

Single breasted trench – M5525

This pattern has all the bells and whistles for a trench coat, but I really wanted a single breasted version. I’m making View E and it will have lots of detailing, even though I’m probably a touch too short to carry it off.

So I folded out the excess from the centre front on the centre front piece and the collar. 

I’ve also used this purple fabric because it’s a fabulous colour and I’ve used red trim, so that means red top stitching – is that too much? Most of the trench will remain purple. I’ll leave the leftover cream snakeskin trim for another time. Mmmm.

DH gave me the obligatory nod to use red lining. I think he’s getting used to the decision making side of sewing. Or is he just being polite. Maybe both 🙂

What I will need is the patience for making each trench bit, so this trench might take a while to complete.


I do have a couple of knit dresses in the wings as a distraction, or to keep me motivated.
Note to self: do not rush this coat!

I did cut out a light interfacing for each piece of this coat. It’s a fairly soft fabric and I’d like to make sure this trench keeps its shape over time. Is that being pedantic?

Why is it when you’re working on a project, you see it everywhere. I’ve seen a yellow trench used here at Cardigan empire from a post about when to spend and when to splurge.

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