Monday, February 18, 2013

Paralyzed by Fear, or how I learned to love hand-worked buttonholes

Work on my jacket continues...slowly.  While focusing on the sleeve vent buttonholes, I once again became paralyzed by fear -- the fear of cutting into the tweed boucle and ruining a sleeve.  Probably not true fear, maybe just anxiety. Even though I practiced a few times on scraps, I was hesitant to pick up my scissors and cut into the thread-marked sleeve.  So the jacket sat unworked for a few days until I told myself "this isn't brain surgery" and finally cut into it.  I should have approached it as though it was brain surgery.

The first hand-worked buttonhole came out very nice.  Not sure what happened during the second -- maybe I drifted off to sleep or was distracted by the dogs or the kids or the doorbell -- I ended up tearing it out. The the third and fourth were even nicer.  Whether it was more practice or just paying attention to my fingers, I can't be sure, but I am happy with the outcome.

I really enjoyed the hand-worked method (with a faux bound buttonhole on the inside).  I was disappointed that I didn't give myself room for buttonholes down the front of the jacket, so this was my way of redeeming myself.  I used purple silk buttonhole twist and a fairly thick cord for gimp. When I initially constructed the sleeves (in late 2011), I hand-stitched a 2" wide strip of organza into the end of the sleeve.  It came in very handy as a stabilizer for the bottom buttonhole, and I wish I would have extended the width 2 or 3 more inches to reach the second buttonhole. 

All that's left is the trim and the chain!  I just can't believe it's almost finished.  I had hoped to finish it over the long weekend, but life (and mending) got in the way, so it will be an evening project this week.

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