Sometimes it is the smallest little detail which can make or break a sewing project. In the case of my pink coat, it was that single loop at the top front edge.
Normally loops are very straightforward, but with this pattern, that was not the case. When I looked ahead at the pattern instructions, this is what I found:
Because the front facing is not a separate piece, but rather folded back from the front edge, there was no seam within which to secure that loop. The instructions directed me to “slash” the yoke front facing through the center of the “squares,” shown here in basting:
And this was supposed to be done after the collar was already on and the facing properly secured in place. Well, I knew I wasn’t going to be slashing anything without getting a second opinion, and furthermore, I knew I would need to do the installation of the loop before the collar was on and the facing turned. I did not know how I could ever secure the loop without access to the inside of the facing.
I went online to Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing Club which is by subscription on Facebook. Once I posed the question about the best way to accomplish this task, Mary Funt of the blog Cloning Couture suggested I use an awl to work holes where those squares were, separating the wool threads and enlarging the openings to the size I needed. Then I could whip the edges with silk buttonhole twist to secure them. Mary also suggested I use a medical clamp (hemostat, which I highly recommend as a vital sewing tool! I have had mine for years and use it frequently), to help flatten the raw ends of the loop.
First I practiced! Here are my practice holes:
The hemostat was also helpful in pulling the end of the loop through the holes I made. Susan Khalje further suggested that the loop would need to be very securely fastened inside, and she suggested I under-stitch that part of the facing, catching the loop in the stitching.
Oh my goodness! Thank you Mary Funt and Susan Khalje! Using this method produced exactly the results I wanted.
After the mystery of the loop was solved successfully, it was on to the collar, and ultimately on to the final steps before attaching the lining. The completion of this coat is in sight, after all this time. I can’t wait!