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!!
Source: Cascade Duffle Coat Pattern by Grainline Studio
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!
Source: 1960s Mighty Mac coat for sale on Vintage Trends
Source: 1960s German Loden coat for sale on Vintage Trends
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.
Source: Simplicity 4110, for sale on Etsy
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!
Natalie @ Threads & Bobbins says
I love the fabric you have chosen! I’m looking forward to seeing you progress through this make! One of my goals this year is to make a coat, but I’m not quite sure whether or not I’m brave enough :-/
My very first real winter coat was that particular style in the mid 70s. And my mother made it for me out of corduroy that she had to special order from the US. We were living in Panama and being transferred to Virginia in January. And no coats to be had in the catalogues so she found a pattern and made it. It was a nice coat that I wore and wore. I liked the style.
This pattern is pretty awesome! It’s def on my want list. Excited to see yours!
I can’t wait to sew this coat!!! I have not one, but TWO fabrics picked out for it… one that I’ve had for a year in anticipation of this pattern (sad and creepy, no?). It’s just such a classic style! Who doesn’t love a duffle? 🙂 Now, I just have to finish my faux fur jacket first… and my bomber jacket… holy crow, I’m going to die buried under a pile of handmade jackets, aren’t I???
Don’t worry, I will be buried under there with you!! I have this short one planned, the swing coat, still want to do a vintage souvenir jacket, I’m leaning towards eventually doing a long version of this duffle too and… oy! I can’t wait to see how your Rigel and your faux fur ones come along!!
Oh I do love a good duffle coat. I’m excited to see your creation, such a lush colour fabric you’ve chosen!!
I’ve just surfaced from making a winter coat so I’m going to wait before I go near another coat project. I am so tempted by this duffle pattern, it’s adorable and give you the opportunity to customise your coat like you’re doing. I’m a fan of mustard too. Your coat is gonna look the business. I wonder if you back one side of the loops with lining as this would reduce bulk and allow you to turn it out.
Ooh now that’s a GREAT idea! Thank you! I’ll have to play around with some ideas, and that will for sure be one of them! Especially if I use a plaid flannel for the lining, that could be really cute if I’m wearing it open and you got glimpses of the lining on the loops.
This is a great pattern! I think that it’s absolutely worthy of a queue jump! We’re planning a group trip to Paris in the fall too! I wonder if we’ll be there at the same time!
Nice!! We’re going with out friends who are living in Wales, so we have to do it on the work break of our friend who teaches and is in grad school, so it’ll be end of October. I’m already totally planning ideas for knitting and sewing in my head. lol
If ever a pattern had your name on it Tasha, then this is IT! It’s so perfectly you it’s ridiculous! I love your fabric and colour choices too, I think a red tartan lining would be awesome. Best of luck with it, I’ll be following your progress with interest. x
PS. Paris in autumn, how cool is that?! Any chance of a day trip to London while you’re there?! 😉
YES!!! Nothing is official yet since it’s so far out and flights are still in the “if you’re planning this far in advance there’s no way we’re giving you anywhere near to a deal” zone, but it’ll be the end of October and we’ll almost definitely fly into London for at least a day first, meet up with our friends from Wales, then take the Eurostar. Once I have a better idea I will absolutely email you! 😀
The pointy tailored ends of the self-fabric loops look great on the olive green example. I think you should do that!
Kittee Bee says
Is it wrong that I want to make one in double knit?
This was my exact response to this pattern too. I am dreaming of a splurge of wool shetland plaid for the jacket view. SO MUCH LUST.
Rochelle New says
This coat is going to look amazing on you and I’m LOVING that Dijon colored wool!!
Oh, I love this plan! You are going to look lovely in your spicy dijon coat. I especially love the idea of a plaid lining – clever girl! My winter coat is a red wool duffle with a hood (I didn’t make it, it’s by Beaver Canoe) which keeps me toasty all winter long. I’ve worn duffle coats for years and love them.
Looking forward to seeing your progress. 🙂
I’m totally in love with the toggles on those vintage coats! Also the mustard is SO good. I had this one mustard swing coat for years – wore holes in the elbows I loved it so much – the color was just too good to let it go though! Your coat is going to be AMAZING and I can’t wait to see it come together!
Thank you for the heads-up on this pattern. I don’t generally follow indie pattern releases, but I purchased the pdf version immediately after reading your post! You should seriously get some sort of commission. 😉
When you figure out the self-loop closures, please show us how you did it. I’d love the option of using some special vintage buttons (not toggles) on my coat.
Oh, and I’m definitely going to put flaps on my pockets, like on that ’60s Loden coat.
Jessica Cangiano says
My first thought regarding styling is that it strikes me as something that Betty Draper might have worn in her more casual of moments. It (this style of coat) strikes me as something she might have worn with skinny ankle length pants and boxy blouse and moccasins or flats and indeed, that is how I’d be tempted to style it myself (at least come spring).
Happy sewing, dear gal!
We Brits *are* pretty trendy! 😉
Lauren of Rosie Wednesday says
Hahaha, I love the expression that you need something like you need a “hole in the head.” My grandma used to say it to me all the time.
Your duffle coat looks like it will be lovely!