Cascade Duffle Coat

This is a really long post.  If you just want the nitty gritty of the pattern and modifications I made, scroll down to the bottom and I’ll have a bullet point list for you!

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Round five of the Super Online Sewing Match is here and I’m so excited to share with you what I sewed!  This is truly the most intricate thing I have ever made, and also the sew that I am most proud of!  Here’s the Cascade Duffle Coat!  This pattern is by Jen of Grainline Studios and it is a really, really good pattern!

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

When Beth and Kristin from Sew Mama Sew emailed us the pattern for this challenge last Monday, I had a mini panic moment (maybe even a big panic moment).  I thought this was going to be way too much for me to handle.  A coat!  A real winter coat!  Yikes.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

My family has had a family vacation planned for August 14th for some time and my goal was to finish my sewing for the Super Online Sewing Match before we left for vacation.  That translated to only three days available for me to sew the Cascade Coat.  (Hence the panic moment.)  Josh and I talked for a minute on Monday and he convinced me that this was doable and if I stayed focused I definitely could finish the coat before vacation.  I spent three whole days, I mean three days from sun up to sun down to finish the coat.  Kind friends jumped in and watched the kids for me.  Josh helped keep the house running with food and cleaning.  And the coat was all sewn and ready to be photographed by last Thursday night!

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Ready for some details.  As soon as we had the pattern in hand I went shopping for fabric.  I drove up to Orlando knowing that there would be a few fabric store options.  The closest fabric store in Orlando was Jo Anns so that is where we headed.  And amazingly they had everything I was looking for.  I know most people would see this Duffle coat and immediately think it should be made out of wool.  Well I live in Florida and own one wool coat, which hasn’t been worn in a few years.  It rarely gets cold enough to need a winter coat here.  And we rarely travel in the winter time to cold locations!  So I looked into some other coat fabric recommendations.  Jen talks about fabric options for the Cascade Duffle Coat and mentions bottomweights and twill fabric.  Jo Ann had this great blue twill fabric that had some weight to it, and no stretch…perfect.  They also had this gray bemberg rayon that I used for the lining.  That’s really all I needed to grab.  I already owned the zippers and buttons so I was ready to sew.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

The  coat pattern came together easily.  It took hours and hours to sew, but nothing was difficult, just time consuming.  I would equate this to running a race.  Just about anyone can run, it’s just one step at a time.  Same with this pattern.  It’s just one step of the pattern at a time.

I sewed a straight size four.  That’s where my measurements put me, and the fit is perfect!  I sewed all the steps as directed, just made a few additions.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

I really liked the patch pockets on the coat, but also knew that sticking my hands in a patch pocket would be a little awkward.  They are perfect pockets to put my things in, though.  I added a flap to the pocket, and I’m sure you’ll also see I made a way for me to put my hands in my pockets on the side.  I decided to add welt pockets right on the pocket placement line for the patch pockets.  This worked out perfectly.  I used this tutorial from Thread Theory to guide me through making the welt pockets.  And the welt pockets are lined in bemberg rayon, and go the distance from the pocket line, all the way over to the middle of the coat.  I tacked down the lining at each corner of the welt pocket so that the pocket bags wouldn’t bunch up.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

I also looked through some pictures of duffle coats for inspiration and saw a picture of a coat with a great interior zipper pocket.  I added that pocket to the facing piece, two inches in from the inside seam.  I wasn’t sure where to place this zipper, so I saved that step towards the end until I could try the lining on and find the best placement.  The zipper is a nine inch zipper, and the pocket lining for this one is nani iro double gauze.  I again tacked down the corners of the pocket to ensure it wouldn’t bunch up inside the lining.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

The lining for the interior zipper pocket matches the front bands for the zipper up front.  I wanted to make sure the lines matched up on the nani iro fabric on either side of the zipper.  I also saw the greatest idea from Jenny of Cashmerette to add some flat piping in the seam between the lining and the facing.  Often times my goal when sewing is to make my clothes look like something I would buy in a store.  But at the same time, it is great to add extra special details that you normally would not find.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Jen mentions making the toggles on the coat out of leather.  I had some brown leather on hand, but didn’t care for the contrast in colors on the front of this blue coat.  So I decided to make my toggles out of the same blue fabric as my coat.  I used the toggle pattern piece, added 1/4 inch seam allowance to the pattern piece and cut out six blue toggle pieces from the blue fabric, and six from the lining.  I sewed these pieces right sides together, left a small opening to turn these pieces right side out and flipped them.  One trick I have learned when sewing small curved pieces is to using pinking sheers to grade the seams down, instead of notching around the curve.  The cord for my toggles is some braided white cotton trim.  I made sure to stretch the cord as much as possible when measuring their placement to make sure they wouldn’t be stretched out when I buttoned it closed.  The wooden toggle buttons were stolen from a jacket I had sewed for my daughter a few years ago that she’s outgrown.

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Here’s a couple pics of the inside of the coat.  Everything is super neat and tidy.  I was nervous when it came time to bag the coat, but Jen’s instructions and pictures from the sew along helped tremendously!  I think this is the step that made me the most nervous, just because it was something I had never done before, nor had ever even tried to wrap my brain around.  Turns out, it was not scary at all, and leaves you feeling like a sewing magician!

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Whelp, that’s it.  All of the coat details.  I ended up with a great coat that is not too heavy, not too warm and will definitely get worn in our mild Florida winters!  I am so excited for the weather to cool off now so I can throw on my new coat and wear it around!  I should also mention that I am so thrilled to have been able to participate in the Super Online Sewing Match.  This competition has been a great experience!

Cascade Duffle Coat :: Dandelion Drift

Okay…here’s a quick rundown for those just wanting quick details:

  • Pattern: Cascade Duffle Coat
  • Size: 4 (exactly where my measurements placed me)
  • Material: twill (with no stretch) and bemberg rayon (both from Jo Ann)
  • Toggles: self made out of exterior fabric

Pattern additions

  • welt pockets on pocket placement line
  • pocket flaps for patch pockets
  • interior zipper pocket
  • flat piping in between lining and facing


  • You did so great during the whole competition and this coat is sooo good. Wishing you luck for finals hcoice. Hope you win!

  • I’ve been loving everything you’ve made during the competition. This is just the icing on the cake. What a great coat!!!

  • Hélène

    Not only do you have a great new coat (made in only 3 days, unbelievable!), but you’re also blessed with the most supportive family and friends! Wish you good look for the finale.

  • k

    This is a beautiful coat – I actually wasn’t too inspired by this pattern, but your version makes me want to make one. Great job, great modifications, beautiful choices.

  • Emily

    Love this coat! And thanks for sharing all the details, I love the vertical zipper pocket on the inside.

  • A beautiful coat set for many years of wear. Good luck.

  • It’s beautiful! Love the little details–can’t believe you cranked that out in only three days–wow!

  • This coat is AMAZING! I love the Nani fabric accents and your changes are great. It’s very ambitious to make such detailed additions when you’re working on a deadline. I also appreciate hearing the time and effort it took to sew. Bonus point to your husband for helping out! 🙂 I hope the fall is chilly in Flordia so it gets plenty of wear!

  • Looks great, the extra detail you’ve put makes all the difference. Gorgeous coat 🙂

  • I love interior coat pockets, that was a great idea! This is the perfect coat for Florida, light weight and comfortable.

  • Wow, great cost in only 3 days! I especially like the inside zipped pocket.

  • What a fabulous coat! I love the changes you made with the pockets, and the addition of the piping.

  • Yippeee! Your coat is fabulous…every detail really sings! And to have knocked this out in three days is insane! Very well done, and the very best of luck to you!

  • Oh wow! The coat is amazing! Stunning! I can’t believe you finished it in three days!

  • Claire

    Wow just wanted to say what a beautiful coat. I love the extras you have added especially how you changed the pockets. The pattern has been on my wish list for a while, you have given my inspiration to have a go.

  • Amazing coat! The welt pockets next to the patch pockets are genius! Love the flat piping and the color of the coat. Bagging the coat is my favorite way to finish up a lining.

  • Fantastic job! Great attention to detail! Good Luck!

  • Wow, it’s so pretty! I love the color!!! And in three days?! My jaw dropped when I read that. If only I lived in a warmer climate, twill would work for me, but I need something heavier and warmer. I’ve been keeping my eye out for a nice organic wool 😀 That coat looks like the one I have dreamed of finding in a store, but haven’t. The interior pockets really had be swooning. : )

  • Your coat came out so lovely! I especially love the Nani Iro details and the changes you made to the pockets.

  • Teresa, the coat is wonderful. I love all the modifications you have made. I hope this coat will get a lot more wear than your wool coat. Good luck, I am keeping my fingers crossed for you! Oh, I hope you have had a wonderful holiday ?

  • jm

    Great coat with so many amazing details. I have really enjoyed following along during this competition. Great job!

  • Julie

    I have loved following your entries in the SewMamaSew Sewing Match. This coat is stunning, and I love that you made it fit your needs and environment in Florida. Congratulations for excellent work here and at every stage of the competition.

  • At least your coat draped nicely in the back. Grrr. Not happy with the outcome of this competition either. I love your version of the coat since I live in a hot climate as well. You did a great job customizing the coat to fit your needs. I’ve signed up to follow you so I can keep up with your creations! Great job in the competition.

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