Sunday, January 9, 2005

Step 3. Allowing for the buttons and buttonholes

The Marfy pattern is designed for a center front zipper. I do not want a zipper in my jacket.

The Marfy pattern is designed for a collar. I do not want a collar in my jacket...I prefer it to be a collarless Chanel style jacket with buttons.

The Marfy pattern has a separate front facing which is attached to the Center Front piece on the center front line. I want to put buttonholes in and do not want a seam at the front edge, because it just adds bulk. Therefore, I had to make a new Center Front pattern piece with the front facing cut on, and the foldline placed perfectly for the size of my buttons.

I made the following modifications to the center front pattern piece:

1. I raised the front neckline 5/8" at the center front, tapering to nothing at the shoulders.

2. My buttons are 3/4 inch in diameter. I followed these rules from Roberta Carr, in her book, "Couture"

a. The width of the fabric extending past the center front is equal to the diameter of the button.

b. The buttonhole should start 1/8" past the center front into the front extension

c. The first buttonhole at the neck should be set below the neckline at a distance equal to the diameter of the button plus 1/4"

d. The lowest buttonhole should be at least a distance from the hem of 1 1/2 times the distance between the buttonholes.

I marked two buttonhole positions to start out, then, the position of the first button, and the position of a button right at the level of the apex of the bust, where I prefer one. Using my Simflex gauge

I spaced six buttonholes down the front of the jacket. I checked, and the last buttonhole stopped above the hem at a point slightly more than 1 1/2 times the distance between any two buttons.

I marked the foldline of the Center Front piece as a distance of 3/4 inch from the Center Front line. Once that foldline was established, I added an attached front facing piece onto the Center Front pattern piece.

Now my new Center Front piece has an attached front facing and has the perfect allowance for the buttons which I have chosen for the jacket.

Here is a picture of the original Marfy Center Front pattern piece with 5/8" seam allowances on the neck and middle front edge and a 1 inch seam allowance past the center front. To the right of that pattern piece is my Altered Center front pattern piece which shows the neckline raised for a collarless design and with an attached front facing to minimize bulk at the front opening.

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