I have been very tardy in responding to a query or two about thread tracing. Thread tracing is when you mark the sewing lines on your fabric pieces with a long running stitch made by hand. This is done in contrasting thread. One reason to do this is you don't have to rely on a particular seam allowance width to know where the sewing line is. Also, the sewing line and other markings are visible from both sides of the fabric. Tany thread traces most of her garments; following her blog is really what inspired me to try this technique. She has created some excellent tutorials on thread tracing so I will defer to those for the details:
Thread tracing part 1: Tailor's tacks and thread tracing basics
Thread tracing part 2: Darts and other markings inside the pattern piece
Thread tracing part 3: Thread tracing fabric that needs to be interfaced
This is the first time I have thread traced all fabric pieces for a garment. I decided to do this because the wool I'm using for my coat is somewhat thick and woven, I was concerned about the raw edges unravelling while handling the pieces, so I wanted to cut large seam allowances.
Every single one of my fabric pieces required at least some interfacing (the hems, the upper bodice, the pocket openings), so I skipped the tailors tacks; after fusing, I thread traced each fabric piece in a single layer using the pattern piece pinned on as a guide (as described in Part 3 of Tany's tutorial).
Yes, it takes a little bit of time, but I'm sooo glad I did it. I feel confident that I'm putting the pieces together accurately, and it's actually easier to sew the pieces together right along the thread tracing than to try to maintain the SA width by watching the gauge on the machine.
Speaking of the coat, I am actually making progress. The first thing I tackled was the buttonholes. I tried a bound buttonhole technique described in The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction (thanks Cidell for reminding me to take a look at this book). It's found on page 192 of the book (the 1966 edition), and it's referred to as the "trade-method".
I'm not sure that you can see the buttonholes very clearly, the herringbone fabric kind of hides the details (which may be a good thing). But I am really happy with how these turned out, and they were very easy to do.