Tailor-Made Texture

Cheryl Stranges
Tailor-Made Texture

Dress up a cozy fall jacket with coordinating yarn and oversized covered buttons. Select a nonraveling heavyweight fabric, such as boiled wool, and use an easy serger technique to finish the seams. Skip the lining and save time for the fun part--embellishing!


  • Jacket pattern (such as Kwik Sew 3732)
  • Heavyweight main fabric and notions (as indicated on pattern envelope)
  • Mediumweight woven fusible interfacing
  • Coordinating fabric (for covering buttons)
  • Two 1 3/4"-diameter covered button kits
  • Thread: all-purpose, invisible polyester & 12-wt. cotton (optional)
  • Two 1/2"-diameter snaps
  • Coordinating wool yarn
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Machine feet: yarn couching & edgestitch (optional)
  • 100/16 topstitching needle (optional)
  • Fabric glue (optional)

Tip: When working with heavyweight wool fabric, press using a dry iron and press cloth.  


Position the upper collar pattern piece on the main fabric. Cut one fabric rectangle slightly larger than the upper collar on all sides, and then cut one 5"x7" rectangle for the button accents.

From the interfacing, cut one upper collar.

Cut the remaining pattern pieces from the main fabric according to the pattern guidesheet.

Tip: Make sure that the selected yarn width is compatible with the yarn couching foot. If you don't have a yarn couching foot, attach the yarn to the collar by machine or hand needle felting.

Create the Collar & Buttons

Cut numerous yarn lengths several inches longer than the upper-collar rectangle width. Position each yarn length on the upper-collar rectangle right side in pleasing arrangement. If desired, first draw the yarn placement on the upper-collar rectangle using a removable fabric marker, and then position yarn over each design line. For the featured jacket, the yarn was arranged in a diagonal 1"-wide lattice pattern (1).


Install the yarn couching foot and thread the machine with matching or invisible thread. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to couch the yarns in place on the upper-collar rectangle. Press the rectangle from the wrong side.

Center the upper-collar pattern over the couched rectangle, and then cut it out (2).


Fuse the interfacing upper collar to the fabric upper-collar wrong side, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Repeat the couching process to attach the yarn to the 5"x7" fabric rectangle. Press the 5"x7" rectangle from the wrong side, and then cut it into two 2"x3" rectangles.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to cover the two 1 3/4"-diameter buttons with coordinating fabric (3). If using lightweight fabric, stabilize it with a scrap of interfacing. If using heavyweight fabric, apply a drop of fabric glue between the button front and back layers to prevent shifting.



Finish each fabric edge using the desired seam finish (see "Fancy Finish" at TK).

Construct the jacket according to the pattern guidesheet, omitting the closure instructions. If desired, topstitch the jacket seams using matching 12-wt. thread, a 3mm to 3.5mm stitch length and an edgestitch foot.


Try on the jacket. Pin-mark the desired placement for two covered buttons along the jacket right placket.

Position one small couched rectangle over the first button placement mark. Edgestitch the rectangle perimeter through all layers. Repeat to attach the remaining small rectangle over the remaining mark.

Center the covered buttons over the small rectangles, and then hand stitch them in place.

On the right placket wrong side, center a male snap piece under each covered button, and then hand stitch in place. Hand stitch the female snap pieces to the right placket.

Fancy Finish

Use this serger technique to quickly finish seams in bulky fabrics. The finished garment inside is almost as pretty as the outside!


  • 1/2 yard print cotton fabric
  • Thread: matching all-purpose & 2 spools of invisible polyester
  • Serger (See "Sources.")
  • Rotary cutting system
  • Serger thread nets (optional)


From the print fabric, cut several 1/4"-wide bias strips (A).


Determine which garment seams require finishing. Bias strips add bulk, so don't apply them to very curved edges, such as the armseye and sleeve cap. 

Set the serger to a 3-thread overlock stitch. Thread the needle with matching all-purpose thread. Thread the loopers with invisible thread, and then position a thread net over each spool, if desired. Set the stitch length to 3mm and the width to 6mm to 7mm.

Test-serge a fabric scrap to determine the appropriate tension and differential feed settings to achieve a balanced stitch.

Position one bias strip right side up 1/8" from the raw edge on the fabric right side. Serge along the bias strip edge, trimming away 1/8" of the garment fabric (B).  


Before constructing the garment, note that the seam allowances will be 1/8" narrower than the original width. For example, if the original seam allowance width was 5/8", stitch the finished seams using a 1/2" allowance.

Construct the garment according to the pattern guidesheet, pressing open each seam after stitching.


Husqvarna Viking provided the Designer Diamond and Huskylock s25 serger: (800) 446-2333, husqvarnaviking.com.

Kwik Sew carries Kwik Sew 3732:  (612) 521-7651, kwiksew.com.


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