contiguous experiment went very well and I now have a quite nice-looking finished garment. I made this for my six year old, with room to grow. The design is my own, though I used the contiguous method by SusieM for top down set-in sleeves. The yarn is our local acrylic worsted weight on 4 mm needles.
My daughter is very happy with the coat and wants a hat to match, so I guess that is going to be my next project. I have to say I love all these buttons, make me think of a ladybird.