Last weekend, I finally got through the last bit of finishing for my new coat, which was the closures for the front opening. I used small round glass beads for buttons, building a short thread shank right on the front edge. Then I made a finger-loop braid using silk sewing thread and the first braid described on Phiala's string page.
I attached the braid to the opposite edge using a whip stitch that alternately pierced the braid and the fabric. At each point where I needed a loop, I took a few extra stitches to secure the braid, made a loop and took two stitches in place going around the braid rather than piercing it. This left the loop temporarily adjustable and allowed me to tighten to just the right size for the buttons. Once the size was set, I took several stitches in place, piercing both layers of braid at the crossover, before moving down the edge toward the next one.
The end result is a very delicate, fine finish, and it works really well.