After a two years of sitting in my sewing queue, I can finally check the Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio off my list. I knew this project was going to be a major time investment and the only way I could make it for this winter was to work on it during break between semesters – and boy was I right, I’m drowning in finance homework! No way I could work on a project this size right now with grad school in session.
I’m obsessed with this coat – I’ve worn it non-stop in all kinds of weather since it came off of my machine. If you haven’t read my earlier post, the shell of the coat is a delicious wool melton and the lining is a warm-back coat lining, both from Britex Fabrics. I was skeptical at first that these two layers alone would make a coat warm enough for Boston weather, but I was pleasantly surprised with how toasty I felt wearing this coat in 20 degree weather. Melton is a very thick, dense wool, and the warm-back satin lining has a nice flannel feel on the wrong side and a tight weave. Both of these layers prevent cold air from cutting through the coat. I wouldn’t want to add any other layers to this coat, like an interlining, because this coat is heavy enough as it is! I’m also surprised at the amount of drape in this particular wool melton, I always imagined melton to be a stiff wool fabric. You can see in some of the photos how fluid the fabric is based on how I’m standing or positioning my hands in the pockets.
Like all of Jen’s patterns, this came together in a snap. The sewing itself isn’t hard at all, it’s just the amount of pattern pieces and layers of fabric you need to sew through that make this project a bit challenging. Plus, if you make this out of a plaid, that’s a challenge on another level! The only regret I had was not reading through all of the tutorial posts on the Grainline blog before cutting out the pattern; I missed the errata post about the length of the front band and had to fudge/guess the correct length and make the adjustment. It worked out fine in the end.
It’s honestly dumb luck that I got the plaid on the zipper band to match – I cut the plaid contrast lining out haphazardly thinking that it wouldn’t matter at all if the plaid didn’t match in the hood! Completely forgot about the zipper band, hah.
I love that the plaid peeks out from the hood in the back. The hood is a nice size as well to keep the elements out of my face (and hair). It would look super cute with a fur trim around the edge. The construction of the hood is clever, too, with the facing, although I found that there’s too much lining fabric inside the hood for my liking.
The lining is where I got hung up on a big, silly mistake, of all places. I goofed when I cut out the lining somehow and the lining extended 1.5″ too far past the coat facing once the facings were attached. I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, and bagged the lining per the directions (which is a brilliant way of lining a coat/jacket/blazer, I need to do that in the future). When I tried on the coat, everything fit beautifully except that you could see the gold lining hanging out around the bottom of the coat. No big deal, I ripped out the stitching, carefully trimmed the lining, and sewed the bottom lining hem in place.
Umm…well, that would have worked, except that I trimmed the lining too short this time and ended up getting all sorts of weird pulling across the outside of the coat since there wasn’t enough ease in the lining length! My fix for this problem, after futzing around for awhile (about three episodes of Poldark, actually), was to attach an extension piece of lining to the area where the lining was too short and with trial and error try to determine the appropriate amount to turn the lining up without getting weird pulling on the outside of the coat. You can’t see it in the picture above, but there’s a pieced sliver of lining fabric across the bottom of the center back hem. It’s not pretty, but it solved my problem and no one is really going to see it or know it’s there but me.
I also tried to add some plaid bias around the coat where the facing meets the lining for an extra little detail – it’s barely visible, I didn’t calculate correctly where I needed to baste it vs where the seamline stitching would be. Whoops.
I love everything about this coat – the flannel-lined patch pockets, the leather toggles, the bright blue wool, and the big, oversized hood. I’d love to make this in the shorter version for spring out of a waxed canvas or some kind of rain coat fabric. Well, maybe not this spring, I need some recovery time from this coat!
Pattern: Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio
Fabric: wool melton and warm-back lining, both from Britex Fabrics; plaid flannel from Mood
(psst! Looks like Britex is having a 20% off sale on wool until 2/6!)
Leather Toggles: Bias Bespoke
Sweater: Lane Raglan (blogged here)
Jeans: Paige Denim