Or how to fake elaborate buttonholes with soutache.

The next installment of my series about dressing Madame Juliette will have to wait another day. I‘ve been asked how I did the fake buttonholes on my finished 18th century suit.

I have a little step-by-step guide for you.

First, quite obviously, you mark out the buttonholes themselves. The best are drawn perpendicular to the front seams, the size should be at least 1,5 times the width of the button.

For attaching the soutache use a fine thread that closely matches the color of your soutache, I recommend machine embroidery thread. In this case I‘ll use a red thread on white soutache, so you can see what happens.

If using polyester soutache you can simply cut it with a hot knife to avoid unravelling. In this case we’re working with rayon soutache which quickly unravels unless treated right.
Start with simply tying a knot into your thread and stitch through the middle of the soutache.
Wrap the thread tightly around the soutache several times, then finish off. Start measuring from the outer edge of the wrap – the one close to the cut end. Measure out the length of soutache you will need for the buttonhole, mark it, and wrap a second time just inside the marking. The third wrap is a little distance off and marks the beginning of the second buttonhole
Cut the soutache close to the wrappings being careful that you don‘t accidentally clip the wrapping threads.
Attach the fastening thread to the base fabric at the end of the buttonhole farther away from the front seam. When faking such buttonholes around an already attached button, make sure the loop sits tightly around the attachment threads.
Place the two wrapped ends of the soutache on either side of the thread making sure the soutache isn‘t twisted but lays flat. First stitch around the right leg, then around the left leg in kind of a figure-eight-stitch.
Follow the first attachment up with several stitches spanning both legs of soutache.
The back view.
Attach the soutache with small stitches, keeping the two legs as parallel and tight as possible, fasten the loop end with one or two stitches going over both inside halves, finish off and your first buttonhole is done.

I hope that helped you a little bit.