Sunday, 31 May 2015

Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat

I love winter coats. I have four that I wear regularly (including my Jackie Coat), but my favourite is a threadbare black hip-length hooded duffle coat with two missing toggles. My mum bought it for me over 8 years ago and it's been a staple ever since. It's some sort of magic coat that goes with every outfit and some how fitted me perfectly across three different dress sizes during this time. I desperately needed a new perfect coat.

Enter the Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat pattern, which I bought from Indie Stitches. View A is an almost perfect replica of my favorite coat except that it needed View B's hood.  I cut size 6, grading out the to 8 from the waist down. It took for freakin' ever to trace and cut out all 27 pieces required. There were a few pieces that I didn't trace because they weren't multi-size or could be folded.

It took some time to gather all the material. I used leftover black wool felting from my Jackie coat, and bought some gorgeous grey speckled wool from the cloth shop for the contrast. I couldn't find any premade toggles I liked so I purchased these from M Retch. The delivery was super quick, but I'd prefer a courier service that drops the product to the local post office if the recipient isn't home rather than having to reorganise a time with the courier for pick up. Searching for the leather was frustrating. I couldn't find any soft textured black leather in my local fabric stores. I hunted for leather handbags in opshops but didn't find anything quite right. In the end my sister gave me some scrap leather used to cover their kitchen chairs with - it was perfect.

I wanted the coat to be quite warm and thick so I interlined the bodice pieces with leftover PJ flanelette (pea pods and wolves). I did this by tracing the whole bodice pieces, without the yoke/bodice seam allowances, basting the main and interlining fabric together and treating them as one.

This Jacket was a labour of love. Every time it seemed close to being done I'd be shocked to see how many more steps there was in the instructions. Thankfully the instructions were really well written. The process of the sewing and attaching the lining can be a little confusing but a quick glance at the sewalong was all that was needed to confirm what you are doing.

My only complaints about the coat are the size of the pockets (not a big deal, but I'd make them smaller next time) and that the hood and hem lining wants to pull down and sit strangely. Because there is excess ease in the lining (to allow for movement) the hem facing and hood facing have the tendency to fall out of place (even after a good press). I fixed this by tacking the facings down. I simply stitched in the ditch of the side seam (hem) and centre seams (hood).

I love the style and fit of the coat. It definitely fills the hole of my old perfect coat. It is on the short side, but I'm short torsoed so it doesn't both me. I find the sleeves slightly too firm given the number of layers I'll be wearing under the coat, but hopefully the interlining will mean less layers. Overall, I'm incredibly happy with how my Cascade Duffle Coat turned out and I've promptly filled the (massive) pockets with tissues and spare gloves.  

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