I’m really excited to share my finished version of the Grainline Patterns Cascase Duffle coat today! If you missed last weeks post, check it out in this link for lots of details on the supplies I used and my top tips.
I’m so pleased with this make. It took me longer than I thought it would, and thinking about it is probably the hardest thing I have ever made, but that was mostly due to the fabric. It’s thick, which makes it perfect for a warm durable coat like this, but sewing with thick fabric is a work out!
You can see the coat up close in my latest Youtube video or keep on reading for more pictures and tips.
Making my leather toggles
I mentioned in last weeks post that I would go into more detail on this as there are a few options when it comes to toggles.
You can buy your own toggles, which come with the little leather or faux leather patch and toggle button attached, and then you just stitch them on.
We stock them in 3 colours - find them in the shop by following this link.
I decided to make my own for a few reasons. First reason is when I was making the coat, I didn’t have any ready-made toggles and I really wanted to get on with just making the coat. I would recommend attaching the toggles before you attach the front bodice to the back bodice, as it will mean you are dealing with less bulk.
I had some leather from another project and was originally going to go for this muted pinky colour with gold punched holes but I decided the contrast was too much for me. So I went to an amazing local leather warehouse (its called Manorside Fabrics and is only a 20min drive from the shop) to look at other options.
Trying to match the colour of the fabric was never going to happen, it had to be a contrast, so I choose this lovely light grey one with little punched holes. There is a subtle gold fleck in each dot too. It's quite a thin leather which made it easy to work with. They also had beautiful metal toggle buttons too which set my back £3 each, but I think they are really lovely!
Next I had to work out the best way to sew on the leather patches. I experimented with using the sewing machine, using different needles, stitch lengths, normal thread, top stitch thread, the lot! Nothing was quite right.
So in the end I used my leather punch to make holes in the leather and then hand stitched it to the coat using the thick top stitch thread. It took ages! I had to punch holes and sew the little loops out of leather too. I am pleased I did it, but I think the easier option would have been to just use ready made ones!
Making the hood
The hood on this coat has a facing, which I love in a hood, but I got mixed up a bit when attaching the lining. The pattern pieces say to cut out the hood in main fabric and lining, but then the lining was too big because of the facing. I didn’t realise until it was all stitched and under stitched so after unpicking it all, I reduced the side of the lining to take into account the facing. Maybe I missed something in the instructions somewhere, but might be worth watching out for that.
Bagging out the lining and turning inside out
This part of coat construction always seems like its not going to work out and you can’t ever imagine that sewing it all together, including the sleeves at the cuffs, will result in a beautifully turned out coat!
It’s one of those magical sewing moments and then all of a sudden you have this coat and there is only one little gap in the lining! Ah the satisfaction!
The pattern recommended leaving the gap in the lining at the sleeve but as this fabric was so thick, I decided to make the gap in the side seam of the bodice lining. In my youtube video I’ve filmed the process of turning it all inside out – it looks pretty cool so if you haven’t got time to watch the whole video, just skip to XXX
Overall fit, sizing and details
Overall I’m really pleased with the fit of this coat. It feels really warm and cosy and weighty.
The length is great and will mean no drafts can sneak up chill me.
The hidden zipper and toggles also help to keep the heat in too!
The pockets are great and nice and big, which is awesome!
I’m really pleased I went for the fancy Liberty lining, I know its on the inside but it makes me happy and that’s the main thing!
Washing and caring for the coat
My own personal plans for this coat are to keep it as stain free as possible by wearing a scarf when I’ve got it fully done up to minimise make up transfer and just spot clean with a damp cloth when needed.
I didn’t prewash or pre treat the fabric, my thinking was that if I was to buy a coat like this from the shops, it probably wouldn’t be prewashed or pre-treated and would have a dry clean only label on it.
I actually got a whole bunch of our woollen fabrics, including this one, dry cleaned as a test to see what would happen and they all came out exactly the same, no shrinkage or change to the fabric that I could notice. So maybe one day I’ll get it dry cleaned if it really needs it.
I really hope this has inspired you to have a got at making a coat! It really is such a rewarding thing to sew!
Here are links to the supplies I used again