What better time than Christmas vacation to cut out a major project like the Cascade Duffle Coat. Last Christmas, I cut out my wedding dress, hah! This pattern has been on my “want to sew” list since it came out, but I never seemed to get around to making it in past winter seasons. My friend Karissa’s coat is really what kicked me into gear to make this project, she made one out of plaid and it’s fantastic looking!
There’s a ton of pieces with this coat (hello, 40!), and I knew it would be a big time investment once I got started. It took about two afternoons of cutting out all of the outer fabric, two types of lining fabrics, and interfacing. Whew!
The fabric I’m using for the coat shell is a wool melton from Britex – I totally splurged on the materials for this project when they had their Cyber Monday sale in November (kind of made it my Christmas gift to myself, haha). I’m also using a gold warm-back coat lining so I don’t need to add any additional bulk with an interlining layer to make the coat warm
I opted for a contrast hood and zipper band lining fabric, and this plaid in my stash from Mood is a pretty close match to my shell fabric. I didn’t think I’d need to match up any plaid at all when I cut out my fabric and I lucked out with how closely the plaid matches across the zipper band. Eeeek!
Now, onto the trouble I had with the DIY toggles….
I had a hard time sewing these…I don’t have a teflon foot for my machine and I wasn’t about to put tape on the bottom of my blind hem foot, so I used my walking foot to attach the toggles I made. I’ll be honest – I don’t sew curves well, especially small curves, and I found it almost impossible to stitch close to the edge evenly on these tiny leather pieces with my walking foot. The stitching should really be more like edge stitching and the above stitching is about a 1/4″ from the edge. Ugh. This coat was looking so nice and professional until I added on these crappy toggles. Plus, I think the leather I used to make the toggle was too thin.
Not to worry, I found a solution:
So much better!!
Etsy is seriously my favorite place to shop for sewing notions and supplies these days. I bought these beautiful Italian leather toggles from Bias Bespoke and they are absolutely perfect – each point of the toggle has two pre-punched holes for easy sewing. I’m embarrassed to tell you how long it took me to get all of them aligned evenly across the front because I already removed my tailor tacks and the toggles are longer than the pattern’s toggles…but I eventually got them just right after several attempts. Hooray! Those other toggles ruined the effect of the duffle coat. After all, the toggles are really the defining element of a duffle coat. Can’t have them looking like crap!
I’m planning on finishing the coat this weekend (maybe squeezing out another project as well, hooray for long weekends) since this is my last weekend of “freedom” before the spring semester of grad school starts next week. It’s been a good month off from school, hopefully I can still find some time here and there to sew in the next few months. I missed it so much!