Ducks Fly Together {Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat}

webDSCF0672

People tend to laugh at Queenslanders when we talk about the cold, but it’s all about perspective, right? Sure, our wintery days might end up a mild 22 degrees, but last week the mornings were starting at 6 degrees and while it might warm up outside, our houses are designed to keep the heat out and it’s often warmer outside than inside the house. It’s not unusual to add layers while inside the house and shed them when out in the sunshine.

webDSCF0671

ANYWAY, the point is that I do occasionally have a need for an extra outer layer. Plus I enjoy the process. Be nice to your Queenslanders.

webDSCF0670

My need for a new coat began when Potter and Co posted a sneak peek of this lovely pink herringbone wool. It was love at first sight. In my early 20s I had a RTW coat from a cheapy chain store in a similar colour and I loved that thing to death and ran it into the ground after a few years. It was time to create a similar version and relive my youth.

webDSCF0669

I have a couple of coat patterns hanging around, but a fancy wool calls for a fancy pattern and the nicest one I have is Grainline Studio’s Casacade pattern. It has a lot of pieces. So many pieces. Separate linings and outer and interfacing pieces. Neat little hem and sleeve facing pieces. Two piece sleeve, yoke, upper and lower outer pieces. Many, many pieces. It’s all worth it though. It feels very fancy and couture once it’s finished.

webDSCF0673

This isn’t my first Cascade coat rodeo, I made the short version a few years ago. I thought I blogged it, but maybe I didn’t because I’m having trouble finding it. Here she is:

DSC_9070

The tartan is cool and all, but I don’t wear it a lot because I tend to live in prints and it clashes a bit. Hence the sensible pink. Also, how nice is it to have a warm butt? The shorter version isn’t as toasty on the rump. I remember struggling with my first Cascade a bit at the time, but I’ve learned a heck of a lot since then so wasn’t too worried about giving it another go. There’s an excellent sewalong for it and the instructions are good. Don’t fear the coat. But don’t think it’s something you’re going to smash out in a couple of hours either. It’s slow fashion at its best.

webDSCF0676

It’s possible I was somewhat overconfident going into this one and I did end up having a couple of issues. Not huge deals, but definitely a few things to think about.

webDSCF0677

webDSCF0714

The wool is quite lightweight, which is ideal for our winter. I don’t need anything super heavy. It also makes it nice to sew, because you’re going through about 6 layers of fabric at the centre front. No broken needles, I’m pleased to say. It did however, stretch and move a fair bit. I unpicked and sewed those pockets on about three times before giving up. They wanted to stretch and move no matter how many pins I used. I didn’t prewash the wool as it’s dry clean only but I did steam the hell out of it as recommended, to preshrink it before cutting. Go me.

webDSCF0709

webDSCF0720

My downfall was possibly the use of the devil’s very own fabric, satin. I really wanted a slippery, slidey but fun lining and those ducks/egrets/cormorants realllllly appealed to me. The colours are ideal. I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge when I started cutting and it was leaping out of the way of the scissors and generally just being a pain in the bum. Then of course, there’s the pressing – the delicate balance of actually trying to get it to stay flat versus melting it.

webDSCF0710

webDSCF0692

In the end my lining has ended up too big and is bagging a bit on the sleeves and at the hem. I could unpick and attempt to fix, but I’m not going to. It doesn’t hang below the hem so I will just deal. The satin seemed to grow or shrink as I sewed it, depending on whether it was sitting closest to the needle or feed dogs. Words were said.

webDSCF0685

webDSCF0702

Another couple of things for next time:

– I think I need heavier interfacing. This one was quite lightweight to match the wool, but I feel the bands would sit better with a more gutsy interfacing.

– The zipper bands should be interfaced. I really don’t know why they aren’t and I’m really annoyed at myself for not doing it. I know better.

– The bottom of the coat wants to sit open. I can’t get those bands to sit flat. Might be my giant hips, might be because it wants another closure, might be because my interfacing is too flimsy. Could be a combination. I will say though, I searched through blog posts and instagram hashtags and found that almost every single other maker has the same flippy band at the bottom. So at least it’s not just me. And am I really bothered? No. Do I feel like I have to point out every flaw in my sewing? Yes. Ha.

webDSCF0701

webDSCF0704

Challenges aside, I bloody love this coat and will wear the heck out of it for the 12 days of winter we actually have.

PS Toggles seem hard to find, but Grainline have a good tutorial on making your own. Mine are from Spotlight, but I’ve had them stashed for a couple of years.

 

 

 

Crazy Dog Lady Item #456 {Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat}

webDSC_7855

Duffle coat? That ain’t no duffle coat!

Correct. I’m honestly bloody proud of this effort because I had to adjust that pattern in ways my brain really didn’t like, but look! I love it.

webDSC_7857

So, I was bumbling about in Spotlight recently (something I don’t get to do often because our nearest store is 45 mins away, but they had $5 patterns so it was worth the trip) and found this really cool soft shell fleece. I’d never seen anything like it available as fabric before, but to be honest, I’ve never really looked. They had two prints – the dogs and a cloud print in pink. That was an agonising decision and quite frankly, I can’t promise that I won’t go back for the pink. At $20/m I thought it was pretty well priced and it feels like it’s decent quality too. So I grabbed two metres and hoped that would be enough for a jacket.

webDSC_7859

Main Fabric: Soft Shell Fleece from Spotlight

Facing Fabric: Cotton and Steel

Pattern: Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat

webcascadecoat

I’ve made this pattern before as per all the instructions and I do love it. And maybe if I’d used my brain, I could have scoured the pattern books for an unlined, zip up jacket pattern instead. But noooooo. I assumed I’d have something suitable in my stash at home. Well, turns out I didn’t.

That’s fine! I’ll just adjust the Cascade pattern!

Alright in theory, a bit harder in practice. The coat is lined and I didn’t want my jacket to be, so there were a few adjustments there. I ended up binding each seam so it looked super pretty. I regretted that decision about halfway through, but now I’m really glad that I made the effort.

webDSC_7861

FYI this stuff doesn’t seem to fray and besides that, I could have overlocked everything to finish it, but this looks cooler. Wobbly stitching and all. Those armholes were a bugger.

I was most worried about omitting those zipper bands and attaching the zip to the front pieces. I just extended the front band slightly and facings slightly and it all turned out fine. I don’t know if that’s the legit way to do it, but it works for me.

webDSC_7875

The original pattern has facings to finish the hem, sleeves and hood. I wasn’t sure about the additional bulk with this fabric (in hindsight it probably would have been fine, it wasn’t a problem to sew anyway), but I figured I’d just continue with the binding and finish the raw edges that way. Until I ran out. So I used the cool C+S fabric for the hem.

webDSC_7884

I probably should have sewed the pockets on before the facing, but I don’t mind that the stitching is through the facing, it holds it in place. I also stitched it though the jacket at the shoulder seams because it was flipping up all the time. In the proper duffle version, you stitch it to the lining, so that’s not a problem and the finish is super clean.

Anyway, damn pleased with this guy. Not sure how water proof it is, but it will be great for those chilly days when it’s windy and I’m sure it will go ok in light showers.

webDSC_7881