WOW! What a beautiful coat. I think you're right that the atitches should be bound off instead of put on holders. The directions say to sew bound off stitches of collar facing together. HOWEVER, you could graft those stitches using Kichener stitch or do a three needle bind off and have one less seam to sew! Hope this helps.
OTN: Mystic Water KAL
Felted Entrelac Tote