First, here's what a Spanish snap buttonhole looks like (click on the photos for eye-popping close-up detail).
This technique came to mind for the project of re-lining my Auckie Sanft jacket. One of this jacket's fantastic features is that it's lined to the front edge. But... that meant that its buttonholes were originally sewn through both the fabulous Linton tweed, and the lining fabric behind it. Removing the lining meant literally cutting the lining fabric out of the buttonhole stitches. I needed a way to make buttonholes that would lie behind the original ones and look good from the inside. The latter requirement meant that sewn buttonholes were instantly rejected. (Sew buttonholes in one layer of lining fabric? No thank you!)
Then I remembered reading that Chanel jackets sometimes had bound buttonholes made in the lining to back sewn buttonholes in the outer jacket. And I dimly remembered the Carr technique.
Ms. Carr wrote: "Frequently used by the designers, this buttonhole has very thin lips that can hardly be seen. I like to call them 'invisible' bound buttonholes. The advantage of a Spanish snap buttonhole is that it can be made very small - as one might use on a silk blouse. On the other hand, Spanish snap buttonholes are equally effective used on a tweed or nubby fabric with the lips made from wool flannel or worsted."
Sew around the marked football, pivoting at the pointy ends, using teeny-tiny stitches (1mm on my machine). Here's a close up of the stitched patch. You can see I've trimmed my patch to an oval shape. Ms. Carr suggests starting with this shape but it really doesn't matter.
Snip carefully along the marked centre line to (but not through) the stitches at the pointy tip. Then pull your patch through to the wrong side.
Next comes the magic, ineptly illustrated here because I was holding my camera with one hand. To quote Ms. Carr: "Holding each end of the egg shaped patch with the thumb and forefinger, pull in a snapping motion. One good 'snap' and the bias will wrap around the 1/8" (.3cm) seam allowances and automatically create tiny narrow lips."
This is the right side, even before pressing!
Magic, I tell ya!
No additional sewing is required - Ms. Carr says you can use a tiny bit of fusible web at each end to keep the patch in place. (I will however tack the patches to my jacket to keep the buttonholes in place.)
In other news, I had approximately 50 minutes while in Toronto to shop, and I wanted to do two things: visit Perfect Leather at 555 King Street West; and look for waterproof (or water-resistant) fabric for the fur coat.
Guess which one prevailed? (This photo from Perfect Leather's website.) All I can say is WOW! I think you can find any kind of leather; any colour; any finish; any size; any combination. Needless to say there is a very intoxicating and leathery perfume in the place. I bought 4 sq.ft. of orange goat leather for a little project...