Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have to credit the following link with the inspiration for this one:http://www.englishcut.com/archives/000099.html
As is correctly pointed out, buttons which are to fasten a coat together need some "shank" in order to avoid puckering the coat when buttoned. This is easy to achieve with metal shanked buttons, but what about cloth covered ones? Following the method in the link above, here's what I did:
First the button locations are marked, and a stitch is taken through all layers of material. Some tailors prefer just to go through the canvas, but I like to have at least one pull all the layers together.
The thread is passed through the wool on the bottom of the button, then back through the coat cloth.
A toothpick is placed through the loop formed by the threads. This gives you the necessary spacing to form the "shank". Subsequent stitches are taken around the toothpick.
After about five stitches, remove the toothpick, then wrap the remaining thread around the shank. Sew through the shank as shown to secure. One down, nine to go...and remember the ones on the tail pleats don't need a shank.
Hope this is interesting,