|Cascade Duffle Coat, Grainline Studio|
Whilst working away on the toiles and patterns, I agonised over my choice of fabric, then the style of the toggles. I must have ordered at least 20 fabric samples, mostly Harris Tweed but also some boiled wool. I bought this beautiful dark blue Harris Tweed and a grey herringbone flannel for the lining. I decided not to interline the coat.
|It was not easy to see which side was the right side of the fabric. Only the white stitching gave an indication. I guess it didn't matter then but I tried to always keep the same side as the right side.|
It was quite a memorable moment when I finally cut the actual fabric! I had to make further minor adjustments to the outer coat. You may notice the chalk marks here and there, these are now gone. There were still some baggy areas under my arms for example, and the side needed further shaping. We also added a small shoulder pad to give the shoulder a bit more shape. It was sloping a little without and adding it made a great difference.
|You may notice the chalk marks here and there, these are now gone. I am quite pleased with how well the zip facing line up. It was a bit fiddly, so many layers.|
|I just love the hood, it is super cosy. It is a good fit and doesn't blow off my head in the wind|
I also had to make corresponding adjustments to the lining, but we did a lot of the adjustments on the body rather than on the pattern. Inserting the lining was quite time consuming. The pattern suggests a 'bagged' method which involved sewing the lining in completely and then turn it out. This meant to pull the whole coat through the small gap left in the sleeve lining. We used a more traditional method of inserting the lining instead. We sewed in the body of the lining along the sides and the top and turned it out. We then put the coat onto a clothes dummy to align the lining and the outer coat in the arm and shoulder area. You can see that the shoulder needed narrowing on the photo below. The lining sleeves were sewed in by machine at the cuffs but the setting in was done by hand, after making adjustments and basting them in in the correct place. It seemed to take forever!
|Here you can see the small shoulder pad. You can also see how the lining was basted onto the outer layer. The excess fabric was then trimmed off to match the outer fabric.|
The last step was to hand stitch the lining to the hemline. Did you now that the lining needs to be a little bigger to avoid it feeling tight? I didn't and nearly cut some off the lining length... I really enjoyed the hand stitching, it was therapeutic.
|This is not actually where exactly the lining was stitched to the outer coat, the stitching is about one centimetre under the the lining edge shown. It falls to roughly were it is pinned.|
It was a challenging project and has brought me to the edge of sanity a few times. I am not sure I would have been able to sew the coat without guidance and lots of 'handholding'. Cassandra, our teacher is an amazing woman, she is super talented and her patience is as vast as an ocean. We didn't just sew the coat but we also learned different techniques, and learned about different possibilities, for example different pocket types, and different ways of doing things. I am more confident setting in sleeves and have learned a variety of nearly invisible hand stitches. My understanding of the sewing process from pattern to garment has vastly improved, as has my understanding and accepting of my body.
The Cascade pattern instructions were good but not great. There is a sew along on the Grainline Studio website which shows more detail and which helped a lot but it was really Cassandra who helped the most.
Sewing with many layers of thick wool is challenging. I used a walking foot to make it easier. Sometimes it was almost impossible to shoogle the layers under the presser foot. My sewing machine is full of blue lint and probably needs a service... or at the very least a good hoover.
And now, I expect you want to see some photos of the completed coat
|This photo was taken in the studio with proper lighting. The blue is not quite true.|
|This photo was taken on my upper landing, with the camera perched on the bannister. The lighting is a bit random.|
|The hood is a good fit. It stays on in blustery weather. I can spot a dog hear on the left side.|
|I chose this photo to show you that my hair is less messy now. Do you like the painting in the background? A friend of mine painted it, it is a Moroccan harbour scene.|
|For good measure, here a photo with my Dr Evil grin. My acne rosacea works well with this grin.|
What next? I think I might pick up the knitting needles for a change. I will of course continue to sew and I am planning to take a master fitting class in April. In the meantime, I will start to explore my new overlocker and maybe make a t-shirt or two. I also fancy this dress. It is designed for curvy women with big boobs.
If you live in Glasgow, or nearby, check out the other courses at the Stitchery.
Thank you so much for your encouraging comments along this sewing journey!
I am linking up with Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party. Do pop over and have a look at all the creativity that is ever-present in blog land. Jennifer's own hens foot blanket is fabulous, you must go and see it.
Have a wonderful week wherever you are! xx
you are such a clever munchkin! I would be super proud of your efforts - you have done a superb job! Love the colour too.ReplyDelete
It's a lovely coat Christina! My, to think of all the long hours you put into creating it is amazing. The wool is so special, too. I miss wearing wool coats as its so warm here in southern California. I hope your New Year is off to a great start , PatReplyDelete
Wow! Clever, clever, clever. I'm honestly so impressed, what a beautiful job you've made of it. And how lovely to have a coat tailored to you. Nicely done Christina. CJ xxReplyDelete
It's amazing and beautiful. How wonderful to have a coat that properly fits. Enjoy wearing it!ReplyDelete
Great coat, Christina! Love the hood! Well done for persevering, it sounds very hard work, but so worth the effort! I made a wool jacket when I was at school but I didn't line it (did wear it too!). Having read your write up I d love to have a go again - one day. Enjoy wearing it! Barbara xxReplyDelete
I am in awe of that coat and your perserverance. It looks fabulous. I think it is a very good idea to take a class to make a project like that. Where I live there is a dearth of sewing classes. The Stitchery sounds like another great thing in Glasgow. I visited in august for the first time and fell in love with Glasgow!ReplyDelete
That's amazing! I can't even sew a button back on to an item of clothing properly so I'm impressed that you've made a whole coat!ReplyDelete
That coat is amazing and I am in awe of your sewing skills. I am a wreck at sewing and find I can't even sew a straight line. You look just perfect in it, great choice of fabric, great sewing and great fit!!!ReplyDelete
You should be so proud to wear this beautiful coat! You really have inspired me to sew something again. I miss pretty fabric and the process of turning it into what you imagine :-)ReplyDelete
Wow, it's absolutely fabulous, you are so clever. It sounds like you enjoyed the process of learning lots of new skills whilst making your coat which will, I'm sure, come in very handy in the future (when you embark on your next coat!). Well done.ReplyDelete
Wow. Amazing. Who would've thought one could make their own coat? I love the toggles and the hood. Well done - it was definitely worth all the hard work you put into it!!ReplyDelete
It is an absolute triumph! The coat is gorgeous, it looks so warm and snug, but it's also flattering and it really suits you. Plus it's practical, so I think you've sewn the perfect garment really. You look really happy in it, as you should be. I really want a duffle coat now, although I think I'll be looking in the shops not making my own. xxReplyDelete
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Wow Christina - amazing and beautiful and how clever are you to make it. I appreciate how much of an investment in fabric and time you have put into this but truly it is just perfect and it suits you and is so wearable and practical. A bespoke Harris tweed duffle coat - wow again and well done to you.ReplyDelete
Well done Christina. I felt so proud reading this post and you made me laugh too! All the best on your sewing adventures in 2016!ReplyDelete
Fabulous! That would cost a fortune to buy, a Harris Tweed made to measure coat. I love your choices of fabric and look forward to seeing what you make next. xxReplyDelete
Oh Christina you clever old thing you! It's fabulous! Love the colours and the fabric, well everything really, sock knitter extraordinaire and duffle coat maker. There is no end to your talents :)ReplyDelete
What an incredible coat, you slaved on it, but it looks incredibly expensive. You should be very proud of yourself.ReplyDelete
Christina, what a great job it is amazing. I love everything about it, I am a great fan of Harris Tweed and the colour is stunning. PERFECTION!!!!ReplyDelete
I'm adding my hearty congratulations too! I just admire your tenacity and talent. Even with the help you've had, you kept at it. I'm sure the foul language helped too ;)The end result is a bloody triumph. Love the colour. I used to have a duffle coat when I was at Uni. I wish I still had it now....
Wow, what a great coat! The pattern sounds as if it should come with a medal to attach to finished coat to shout 'Yay! I made this!' to passers by! Bravo, lady! xxReplyDelete
Wow Christina - it is very impressive that you made your own winter coat - and it fits and looks very nice! That was a huge project - now I hope you have plenty of cold and blustery weather so that you can show it off!ReplyDelete
That is really amazing! I love duffle coats (have done ever since childhood) but I would never think of making one. Wear your coat (if it ever gets cold enough!) with pride xReplyDelete
Wow...what an achievement..I would have given up at the pattern stage! It really looks professional. How can you follow that! Barbara XReplyDelete
It is FANTASTIC and looks fabulous on you!!! You should be so proud and so pleased with all of your work and the finished coat!!! I know that you will love wearing it! Well done!! xxReplyDelete
Wow, that's brilliant. Well done. I'm seriously impressed. What's next? A complicated evening dress? A suit? Or are you having a rest now?! Love the painting behind you in the pics too. Sam xReplyDelete
Cristina, you have done a wonderful job with this coat! It looks wonderful and love the color.ReplyDelete
I am so super-impressed! What an amazing achievement, to sew, and fit, and alter such a complex garment. I really don't think I could have seen it through. Love the colour you selected, it really suits you XReplyDelete
what a fantastic achievement and you looks gorgeous in it xReplyDelete
I'm in utter awe of your fantastic achievement!! It's brilliant!! Love the colour!! xxxReplyDelete
Wow! That´s wonderful! And the colour...ReplyDelete
Thank´s for your visit be me.
Have a nice day,
Your duffle coat is perfect, Christina! I've really enjoyed your blog posts about making it, and have the greatest admiration for you for attempting such a challenging sewing project. You are an inspiration!ReplyDelete
It's a fantastic duffle coat and you made it yourself! Congratulations!! I love all the little details and the hood is just perfect. Well done for persevering, I'm sure you've learned so much from this. Once again, a very well done to you! XReplyDelete
Wow, Christina! Your coat is just beautiful. You did such a good job with it! I loved reading about the process of making the coat. You're funny too! Monumental bust...I laughed out loud. I'd have to make the same adjustments but I don't think mine is monumental either, just kind of...broad. Ha. Thank you for joining in with my link party. I hope you're having a good week.ReplyDelete
Your coat is amazing and it looks fabulous on you - how clever are you!! Thank you for the new word I've learned from your post, I think it's my new favourite - "shoogle" when one is trying to shove fabric and such into the sewing machine.ReplyDelete
It looks fabulous Christina and really does suit you.ReplyDelete
Christina, your coat is pleasure to view and I hope you enjoy wearing it for years to come. Seeing the various stages you went through reminded me of what my mom went through over 40 years ago when she made a winter coat for me! Cheers for you! xxReplyDelete
It look so beautiful on you!I love the color!I have always wanted one of these! Thanks for writing about it!ReplyDelete