Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Grainline Cascade Duffle: I made a coat!

I did it! I made myself a winter coat. The rather lovely Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studios. This adventurous beginner did a Samwise Gamgee off to Mordor.

My Cascade Duffle. 

Looking at it now there are a number of small mistakes that I could list out and focus on obsessively but what's the point? I made a coat, I worked methodically through a pattern above my skill level and it paid off, why mire myself in each little mistake that's just a learning exercise anyway.

I think it would be much more productive to list the new skills gained:

  • Lining
  • Interlining
  • Bagging a lining 
  • Using waxed cotton
  • Using rayon bemberg
  • Using thinsulate 

The pattern itself and additional sewalong mean that this pattern is definitely accessible to a sewist with only basic experience (and a willingness to disregard the indicated skill level). I'm not sure I like a sewalong being referred to as 'hand-holding' though. I am not afraid! I am a foot soldier in fibre based battle taking my orders from my general. This is no little girl's tea party this is outerwear construction.

Sapphire seems to like it too
I chose the thinsulate as I'm not a big fan of wool but I still wanted my coat to be warm. I have since learnt of a fabric called kasha which is flannel on one side and satin on the other. I think a repeat of this coat would be lined with that as the thinsulate does make it quite bulky. Little bit Michelin Man bulky. Just look at the flannel I did line it with though? I adore this pattern and I especially love it on the zipper band.

This is why you stitch on the tag before you stitch the lining to the shell 

Making it out of waxed cotton was tricky due to the limitations it places on ironing. Everything I'd read had said DO NOT IRON IT. One helpful resource likened it to ironing a wax crayon. I didn't want to not iron it at all so I used some spare flannel as a pressing cloth. There are still some spots that I'd like to go nuts with steam and heat but I'm not sure I can???

I made a coat!
The hood and me had words and I must have done something wrong as my notches just didn't match. I went for the route of easing the living daylights out of as after the 50th time of pin, baste, stitch and it still not being right I'd had enough.

I love the buckles. I know the buckles will be faff to do and undo and that most of the time I will wear this coat open but having trawled Pinterest for ideas I really liked the way the buckles looked as opposed to toggles. I also went for four rather than three as when I have my hands in my pockets I didn't like the way the bottom would splay out exposing the zipper bands.

I cut a straight size 18 as I was incredibly pleased that an indie pattern had my measurements straight out the bag with no grading up to do. The sheer number of pieces is easier to manage if you label each one, I pinned a piece of paper with the number to each and undertake a like fabric pile system.

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