Buttons! Belts! Bits!

I have a favorite button shop.  It reminds me of a notions shop you might find in a tiny lane off Diagon Alley; I can take a walk with Lila and be there in fifteen minutes.

The front of the shop takes up about ten feet of space, but extends indefinitely.  It’s dusty and a little like a black hole- dark and cool and dank despite the blistering sun outside. I suspect notions (and polyester fabrics) go there to die, and have for at least a few decades.  Their button selection is unsurpassed.

The other day I decided to round up all the metal buttons I could physically get my hands on, to see if I could find something for the coat.  Yes, I found the double-fish buttons but I’m not completely sure they’re right.  I also wonder if I should have two big statement buttons on the coat, then two smaller versions of the same button on the sleeves.  If I do the type of pocket I’m thinking of, I’ll want another two scaled-down buttons for that.

Now, many buttons pretend to be metal.  In fact, some make you pretend to believe they are metal because of the exquisite work.  My friend, a few simple tests in shop.  Touch the button.  Cold buttons are metal buttons.  Room temperature buttons don’t deserve a second look when you’re after metal.  I don’t care for the fakes; the varnish wears off and they look tawdry.  The second test is to buy one of the buttons you aren’t sure of and bite it.  Another test is to jingle it in your hand with a coin.  If it does jingle, you have a metal button.  If all’s quiet, you have a forgery.

A belt must be considered.  I must find a buckle.  I’m toying with the idea of a self-fabric buckle.  The same dank shop offered a supply of self-fabric buckle kits in decayed plastic wrapping, you can bet I bought a handful of them.  I also have this old buckle lying around:

Full of happy memories.  It came from France, my best friend biked from Paris through Provence one summer by herself.  We always bought each other utilitarian souvenirs when we traveled.  The belt died long ago, but I hold on to the buckle.  It’s a trifle cheap, but I don’t care.  Could the coat be the way to slip it back into my working wardrobe?

That’s classic.  And recycled.

That’s green.

Also green, and beautiful.  
I could also haunt thrift shops for a while, watching for the perfect buckle to reclaim.  I’m an opportunistic shopper.  I like to know what to have my eye out for, so when I find it I’ll know.  I spent 8 months with an eye out for the perfect black leather mid-height pumps for work.  They’re perfect.  They’re so perfect I am about to have them re-soled.
Finally, the piping. I’m sure I won’t settle this for a while, it’s sitting in a little pot on the back of the stove in my mind.
I decided and distinct advantage of having two coats on the go at once would be that I can use scraps from Husband’s coat to pipe mine, and vice versa.  I think I’ll make some thin piping from my fabric and use it where his lining joins the facing.  Anyway, on my coat I keep dithering about where to put it, thicknesses and so forth.  K.King stirred me up more by mentioning double piping.  Check out my charcoal and black double piping.  Pretty sweet.  
I’d really like to double pipe the shaped waistline seam, to draw attention to the cut of the coat, especially in the back.  The problem is I would have to also pipe the seam of my sleeve, which I don’t want to do especially.  The layered piping only works for straight lines and slight curves.  I don’t want to have some heavy line on the sleeves, the sleeves have such a clean line on their own.   Also, I want to pipe the opening edges of the coat, to set off the collar.  My main concern is losing the amazing cut in my patterned fabric.  I did think of a thick piping around the outside edges, and thinner on the waist seams, and perhaps a little on whatever pockets I do.    I might take some time and do a little sketching.  I feared too much piping would look stupid, then I saw this:
My jaw, I must pick it up off the ground!  Wow!  Brocadegoddess’ entry into the PR lined jacket contest.  Wow.  Just, wow.  Check out her detail pictures in the review, they will make you cry.  Wow.  The fit, the color, the details!  
Now, I know I’ve been canting on about these coats for ages.  The sewing goes quickly once I make up my mind about the details.  I am most interested in them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a pile of FO’s to show you.  They’re just less interesting to me to write about, and I have to be careful of my time.  Also I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing around the house lately, and I think about piping positions and so forth while I clean.  If I must do menial work rather than what I want to be doing, I’ll have fun thinking beautiful thoughts.

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