Sometimes I find a pattern that tickles my fancy and suddenly I must make it nowwwww! Everything else gets put on hold. This is definitely one of those times!
When I saw the new pattern from Grainline Studio this week, the Cascade duffle coat, oh my goodness, it was love at first sight. An A-line silhouette on a classic coat style, that still looks feminine. (Did you know duffle coats gained popularity due to the British Army wearing them in World War I? Thanks Wikipedia!) A longer version and a hip-length short version. With a mix and match collar or a hood. A hood!!
I need to start planning another coat project like I need a hole in my head, but who am I to avoid the siren song of an awesome pattern? I’ve always loved toggle coats, I love hoods, I wear A-line jackets a lot in fall and spring, and I don’t have a versatile hip-length spring/fall jacket. So I can mush all of those together with the Cascade duffle pattern and make a short, hooded version!
Even better, we’re planning to go to Paris with friends most likely in the fall (sooo excited, but it’s still a long ways off yet). Doesn’t this coat seems absolutely perfect for that trip?! Visions of a duffle coat, Breton tops, cigarette pants, cute flats and matching knitwear accessories are dancing around in my head.
I’ve already purchased my fabric, which was kind of an eye-popping splurge even on sale (fortunately the short version doesn’t take much yardage). It’s a wool and cashmere blend from Britex Fabrics, in a gorgeous yellow ochre that they’re calling spicy dijon. I think it’s going to be delicious. I can’t believe I’m so excited over pooey greeny yellow brown, but there you have it. My mind says it’s totally a neutral and will go with everything!
I’ll probably line the body and hood with a bright plaid flannel for fun (seen any great red ones with a bit of yellow?), and the sleeves with a silk charmeuse or rayon bemberg for ease of getting the jacket on and off. I may want to underline it but I’ll make my final decisions on lining and whatnot once I get the fashion fabric in my hot little hands. Right now, in my head it’s looking about like the below montage…
Sources: Fashion fabric from Britex / plaid flannel from fabric.com / silk charmeuse from Mood Fabrics / line art from the pattern, with me tacking the hood onto the shorter version
Ironically earlier in the year I’d purchased the yellow Boden duffle coat in Jen’s inspiration post, but one size was too big and the next too small, so it went back. I’m really excited to make my own even better (well I hope) version! Plus, I love seeing symbolism in the little things… a jacket to take to France in a color called dijon? Totally meant to be.
I’ve already started a small Pinterest board for my inspirations for this coat. I’m not really planning to stray from the pattern (although I kind of like the idea of adding sleeve tabs!), but I do think I may try a different way to do the toggle closures. After seeing a few different vintage 60s and 70s examples where a self-fabric loop was used, I kind of fell in love with that idea. I think it looks really neat, and would add a nice vintage touch!
As luck would have it, with a little hunting, I found a couple of vintage sewing patterns showing this same closure style. I grabbed a $3 version of the below early 60s coat pattern on eBay. It has self-fabric loops closing one of the views, so I bought it for research purposes! Hopefully I can work something out, although skinny little loops in coating seems potentially really difficult and annoying to work with. Like how the hell do you turn in the ends, and what does it look like on the side with the toggle? I wish I could see those coats up close.
So yeah, suffice it to say this coat is going to do some queue jumping, and I’m totally okay with that.
As it turns out, the timing is perfect. It’s actually better for me to sew the duffle coat before my swing coat (but an update for you on that front: the fabric arrived and it’s totally amazing). Why? Because the swing coat has a hood too, but the pattern’s construction with regard to where the hood and lining meet isn’t great. I want to glean some ideas from Jen’s construction to apply to the swing coat project. So, a cute duffle coat for me and a learning experience to put towards another project. Win!
My head is now full of ideas for how to style it. Have you seen the Cascade duffle coat pattern? Can you picture yourself sewing it? I know it’s an extremely involved pattern but I’m optimistic and will just take it slow. Plus Jen said she’s going to do a sew-along!
How would you style an outfit around a short duffle coat to give it a fun vintage twist?? I’m thinking late 50s and early 60s as a bit of inspiration. I can’t wait to dive into the project and plan some outfits around it!