Grey wool duffle coat | Grainline Cascade Coat sewing pattern | Closet Case Files // closetcasefiles.com
Sewing Projects

CASCADE DUFFLE COAT LOVE

Hello friends. Let me introduce you to my new cold-weather life partner: the Cascade Duffle Coat from Grainline Studio. We’ve already made a lover’s vow; I will try not to spill hot chocolate on her, and she will help alleviate the rising anxiety I have about this Game of Thrones winter never, EVER ending.

I snagged this beauty of a pattern the day Jen launched it. This winter marked the first in over a decade in Montreal that I finally caved and bought a real-deal, no kidding, looking-cute-is-not-a-priority parka. And yet, as warm as my new North Face parka is, I needed a break from it, desperately. While February may seem a little late in the season to make a winter coat, it was actually perfect timing. I was thisclose to setting my parka on fire out of pure snow rage, and it’s finally warming up enough to get away with just a wool coat. A few of you lucky enough to not suffer from real winter laughed about this on Instagram, but seriously guys. When it’s -15 Celsius (or 5 Fahrenheit for you Yankees) you won’t/can’t/shouldn’t leave your house unless you have a layer of goose down between you and the frostbite that wants to claim your soul. So, this Cascade is my -10 buddy. She’s super warm and hits that sweet spot between “Oh my god, I’m going to die if I have to walk one more block in this frozen icy hellscape” and “Let me just casually throw on this lightweight coat since the sun is shining and I can see the tulip buds emerging from the earth like the little beacons of spring that they are”.

Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline Studio

This is a great pattern. If indie patterns had an all-star team, Cascade would be point guard, or linebacker, or whatever sports-ball term I don’t understand that means “workhorse”. As with all Grainline releases, it’s impeccable drafted and thoughtfully designed, with lined patch pockets, a two piece sleeve, roomy linings, and simply perfect proportions.

I tried to stash bust for this project, but when I looked at the charcoal coating I had at the ready, it just made me sleepy and bored. When Sara came for a visit in February, we went up to the wholesale district and I found this gorgeous grey marle felt at Tonitex for $14 a yard (!!!). It’s DIVINE. Super dense and an utter joy to cut and sew. It literally purred whenever I steamed it and I got that pure sewing buzz that comes from working with natural fibers. Wool wants to be made into clothing. It basically begs for it, climbing into your lap and pleading for a nice short straight stitch and lots of hot steam. Wool, you are the lapdog of fabric and I am happy to give you a belly rub.

Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline StudioCascade Duffle Coat Grainline StudioCascade-Duffle-Coat-by-Closet-Case-Files-3

Jen counsels you to use rayon bemburg for the lining, but I live in Canada, so I went with something a little warmer; thankfully I had yards of this chocolate brown kasha in my stash. If you’ve never worked with kasha before and have to deal with northern winters, do yourself a favour and line all your winter coats with it. It’s satin on one side and flannel on the other, and adds a crazy amount of warmth without the bulk of a thinsulate layer. I also used it for my leopard print cape; I’m obsessed with it. I just heard that the Canadian manufacturer who produces it went out of business, so I’m praying there are other suppliers.

The toggles are semi-handmade. I found the rope closures with the little brass detail at Accessoires St. Hubert and picked up a scrap of leather at my new paradise, Cuir Boillard (expect lots of leather makes now that I’ve found an affordable source for hides). This was probably the trickiest bit of sewing. Once you sew the toggles on you’re dealing with multiple layers of thick wool, and my topstitching suffered without a teflon foot.

Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline StudioCascade Duffle coat

Construction wise, this is a surprisingly easy pattern to assemble. I think even a relative beginner could do it, especially with some hand holding from the sewalong. It’s just lots of straight stitching and seam grading. The biggest challenge is managing all of the pieces but I just labelled everything and hung the lining and wool on separate hangers, although you do have to be careful not to lose some of the smaller tissue pieces. If your wool is really thick like mine, it can also be tricky to get them all under the presser foot; I had to wrestle the fabric a few times. But honestly? SEWING COATS IS SOOOO FUN! I forgot how much I loved making outerwear. It’s as satisfying as making jeans, and you will watch heads explode when you tell people you made your winter coat. Making this was just the kick in the butt I needed to continue developing the dressy winter coat pattern I had planned to release last winter since wool is just so delightful to work with.

Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline StudioCascade Duffle Coat Grainline Studio

My favourite detail is the chevron linen zipper band and brass zipper. It adds a little texture to what is otherwise a fairly simple silhouette. But please, if you’re using a loosely woven fabric like linen, please learn from my mistake and interface it first! My band ended up ripping after a few hours of wear which required a truly wabi sabi repair solution. I ended up zigzagging the fabric to secure it to the zipper, and added a little leather patch where the rip was particularly bad. I am wholly to blame for this; I made a straight size 10 when I should have graded the hip to 12. That extra 1 1/2″ inches of ease would have given me a little more room around the hip and would have reduced the pressure on the bottom of that zipper band. You may have noticed that the front flap wants to skew to the side when the coat is closed… I think this is also the result of not making the right size in the hip. A reminder to stop being lazy. Seriously Heather. Get your act together.

Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline Studio

Hip sizing aside, I am sooo in love with this coat. It’s perfectly casual, just the right thing to wear when I’m out and about running errands. And believe it or not, I’ll probably be wearing it until the end of April so I’m really happy I started working on it so quickly.

Finally, the crazy pink crushed velvet leggings are a recent make too. I stumbled on the stuff for $2 a yard and whipped up a pair for the leggings/knit fabrics workshop I’m teaching this month. They are bananas. G teased me that I looked like I had pink ham hocks for legs, but boys are dumb and I love them unreasonably. They feel less 90’s than they ought to because of the un-grunge colour I think….

Cascade Duffle Coat Grainline Studio

What about you? Are you interested in making outerwear? Did you buy the Cascade? Tell me all about it!

Details: Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio, Espresso Leggings by Cake Patterns, Black Hunter Boots, Lipstick: MAC Lady Danger, Vintage hat

Photos by Guillaume Gilbert

  • Andrea Tursini

    I LOVE this coat! I’ve been keeping my eye out for some nice wool in this color after I saw Jen’s. You nailed it.

    • Thanks Andrea! I was so happy when I found this fabric – if grey marle is a colour, it’s one of my favourites.

  • Cashmerette

    I almost have the lining done and I’m hoping to get the shell done this week! Woop! Yours looks awesome – pale grey was my next choice after the navy that I got.

    • Did you have to do a FBA? I didn’t bother muslining since Grainline patterns always fit me and it’s such a simple shape.

      • Cashmerette

        Nope, because there’s a huge amount of ease. That does mean it will be a bit boxy on me, but that’s OK because I’m going for Paddington Chic 🙂

  • charlotte

    oh god, PLEASE make a coat pattern! I will love you forever!

    • It’s happening! I have the technical drawings and basic block done. Just have to refine all the details and test it thoroughly. It’s a goodie 😉

  • Marina

    Yay! It looks so good. Hoping to finally work up the courage to try bagging my lining this weekend. Re: sewing the toggles without a teflon foot, I just did the entire thing with the handwheel. It didn’t take as long as I worried it would and I was really happy with the results.

    • Okay, so bagging seems scary, but then you do it, and it’s PURE MAGIC!!!! Seriously, such a fun technique. As for the toggles, the last three looked much better than the first three, but nobody would ever notice unless I shoved their face there so I’m not worrying about it 😉

  • I really like the clean look of your coat and I love the color, but I’m obsessed with your velvet leggings! They are all I can look at, stunning!! 😀

    • Hahahaha! Thanks my friend. They felt a little crazy (especially after all the grey and black I wore this winter) but I find them immensely cheering, especially on overcast slushy days.

  • Oooo, this is so dreamy! I have been working (on and off) on a wool motorcycle jacket for nearly three years now and it’s almost actually done. When I got back to it a month ago I was reminded of what an utter delight wool is to work with. I’m definitely looking forward to making a Cascade for next winter!

    Did you underline in addition to the kasha? Do you think that would be overkill? I live in MN (so just as cold as Montreal, if not colder, I think!) so I’m wondering how one could make this coat as warm as possible.

    • I didn’t underline and didn’t find it necessary with this crazy thick wool. When this coat stops cutting it I switch to the parka! The sleeves of this pattern are quite slim so I would be worried about what underlining would do to arm movement.

      • Yeah, I’m running into that with the motorcycle jacket because I didn’t take the underlining into account when I made the muslin (and I made the muslin so long ago that I gained a few pounds since then, ha).

  • Mandykatt

    ” Wool wants to be made into clothing. It basically begs for it, climbing into your lap and pleading for a nice short straight stitch and lots of hot steam. Wool, you are the lapdog of fabric and I am happy to give you a belly rub.”

    Can I just say, I love you? That description is going to keep me in giggles today while I wear a wool dress.

    Beautiful coat! I have some wool waiting for the right pattern to be made into a coat. I live in Vancouver, so the season for a winter coat is short. (Sorry!) But you have me inspired to find it’s destiny of a pattern now.

    • Haha, happy to please you! You damn westcoasters and your temperate climate. At the very least, we see teh sun a lot more often then you do during winter so I am going to stoutly hold on to that while I shiver over here. What about making this in a waxed canvas? Hello rainproofing!

  • petitejosette

    I love this! I didn’t know about the Cascade, but I would love to make a duffle coat, so this might be the pattern! I’d never heard of Kasha either, but it sounds really interesting. Even thought winters don’t get cold in Vancouver, I could see using that type of lining with a lighter type wool, just to keep it warm but not bulky…Thanks for the tip!
    I hope winter comes to an end soon for you back east – my whole family lives there, and they’re pretty over it too..

    • I think this is THE duffle coat pattern. Colette released one a year or so back but I think the details are much more refined in the Grainline design.

  • I really
    like this pattern and your version is gorgeous. I don’t need a winter coat
    anymore at the moment in Belgium. But I might make it for next winter.

    • You could also get away with making a lighterweight one… in canvas perhaps? I don’t think Belgium gets mega cold does it? (lucky girl)

      • Canvas is a
        great idea! It doesn’t get as cold as in Cannada, 0°C in winter is already
        really cold for us. We had our first nice days last week with temperatures over
        10°C, so I don’t have the need for a wool coat anymore.

  • missceliespants

    Oh, Montreal! What will the weather be end of June? Because that’s when the hubs and I are coming. If I still need even a jacket by then, I may curl into a ball and cry into my poutine. Your coat really is beautiful. I also bought the pattern same day and now it sits and waits for me to get my act together. Kasha is also sold as Sunback. Or, it was. That’s what they call it at my local shop at least. Excellent. And, the world always needs more dressy coat patterns.

    • The weather will be glorious, promise. The only reason people live here is because we have a beautiful time May-November. I’d love to see you if you have time! I’ll take you to my secret wholesale spot if your cutie patootie husband doesn’t mind….

      • missceliespants

        I would love to! As long as we feed him and/ or give him a place to sit and read, he’s pretty content to give me a few hours with the sewing community. We’re taking the train up on June 27 and leaving July 3. Current debate is if we should try and go to Quebec City or Ottawa too while we are there (we’ve both been to Montreal before).

  • amazing coat! amazing leggings! and yes to wabi sabi!!!

  • I have no words. Or maybe one: stunning. And while I usually hate pink (sorry), I am strangely liking those leggings. Must be the velvet.

    • Right?! There is something strangely appealing about them.

  • Hélène

    This grey wool is gorgeous, so luminous! Thanks for sharing your shopping sources so generously. You’re a doll and you write beautifully. I love this: (…) but boys are dumb and I love them unreasonably. They feel less 90’s than they ought to (…).

    • Merci Hélène! Hope those sources come in handy!

  • oh it looks so great! Jen has a dove gray one that i’ve spotted in her instagram picks too and it just calls to me. so pretty. love your little extra details, even if the chevron didn’t hold. don’t hate me but it’s too warm where i live now for a coat like this; i’ll be biding my time until fall! unless i made it as a raincoat…

  • Fabric Epiphanies

    I am so tempted by this pattern for our Southern Hemisphere winter. I laughed at your down jacket comment! Mine gets pulled out when the temperature falls below 15 degrees Celsius! I can’t imagine cold like that!

    Your coat is stunning and it is such a practical style, I am sure it will get lots of wear.

  • Kate Carvalho

    Eeep. Looks cold! Love the coat and the tights too. Duffles are the best and this version is killer. Definitely going to make me one

  • I love it! If it wasn’t for my beloved duffle coat that I’ve had so many years I had to replace the lining, I’d have bought this pattern. What can I say, I loves me a duffle coat!

  • so good! and I can feel your pain with the North Face breakdown. my last winter in Chicago I did the same thing… just couldn’t take it another day in my cold (but far cuter) coats and got me a big ol puffer. but clearly this is far superior to any of that nonsense! well done!

  • Liliana

    Oh, duffle coats – I always wore them as a child, they were my favourite. It’s tempting to make my own, grown-up version now, but I’m kind of afraid of making outerwear… maybe I’ll tackle this coat next winter… Your’s is so beuatiful, really tempting!

    • Nothing to be afraid of, seriously! As long as there is no tailoring it’s not much different from making anything else. Just thicker fabric and more steaming 😉

  • First off, as a fellow Canadian I will totally vouch for you with how incredibly cold it is. Montreal is especially cold because of the crazy humidity. The first time I visited there in winter, I almost cried when the cold bit right through my clothes and it was only -5˚C. The humidity made it feel like -50˚F and I felt incredibly spoiled to live in dry old Calgary.
    Anyway, gorgeous coat!! I have dreams of making Cascade too. I bought the pattern the day it came out, but chickened out. I have plans to make it up this fall though, and I’m thinking of a Canvas or Twill one as a lighter version for my first go.
    I can only imagine how amazing a coat pattern you design would be!

    • I can TOTALLY see you in this coat! And I’ll take Montreal humidity over dry Calgary any day – it fricking snowed in like May and September there last year dude! Although, Chinooks.

  • Vicky Gorry

    It must be the week for impressive works of sewing this week, yours is not the first. I love the styling, the red lipstick is perfect. I also love the leggings, they look warm and cosy and as stylish as the lipstick. The coat is fabulous and your delight at working with wool makes me think that maybe, one day, I might make a coat. Possibly. If my children ever stop putting in requests for butterfly dresses and Marvel quilts.

    • Hahaha. It’s hard to say no to cutie patooties 😉 I think you’d love the process. When you take it slow (I made this over the course of 2-3 weeks here and there) it’s a very meditative and calming process.

  • Fabulous coat, but those leggings! <3

  • This is wintry awesomeness! Loving it, and the zipper fix is a good lesson! Shout out to the velvet leggings – I have a crushed blue velvet pair on the cutting table currently…

    • Yeah girl! Velvet leggings are amazing. I need a bunch more.

  • Holy winter wonderland! I know you must be sick of it but for me being an Aussie who never gets to see snow that is freaking amazing. I love your coat! It looks so stylish but classic in that grey.

    • It IS beautiful but it also gets to be a bit much by like, month 5. When it snows in March people are basically a hairs breath away from going full mental.

      • I can imagine! That’s exactly hoe I feel about our never ending summer.

  • Love love LOVE. You are so making me want to make a longer one. It just looks right at home in the snowy wonderland. I also love how you chose to fix the zipper band boo boo, it’s perfect. I’m finishing up the touches on the post for my View A version, yippee. Agree this is just such an awesome pattern!!

  • The photos are amazing!

    What a great coat, I’d have struggled with a lot of things (especially all those pattern pieces) but it’d have been so worth it! You’ve made it to beautifully! Shanghai is MUCH colder than I had imagined, so this could be my goal to wear next year!?! Love it!

    • There were a LOT of pieces but I think if you tag them (I just pinned post its to each piece with the name) and keep them properly sorted it’s totally doable!

  • This turned out so so beautiful!! And my heart just broke for you when I first heard about the zipper disaster. I think you saved it very gracefully. 🙂 and I laughed reading this post, because I just blathered on about how much I love wool on my blog too. I’m considering sewing and wearing nothing but wool 365 days a year. Where would I have to live to pull that off?

    • We posted our wool comments like an hour apart, hahaha. Brain trust 😉

  • patsijean

    As a Michigander living out of state now, I do agree with you about the need for a good winter coat. I consider it an investment. That is why I purchased one of Land’s End Classic Squall Parkers my myself and one each for four grandchildren.

    • I was looking an LL Bean parka but it was just a smidge to short – gotta keep the thighs warm in the winter!

  • AuntyMaimu

    Dude! If I only could I would sew wool coats every day! I just simply love it! !!

    Nice coat! Love the fit, wish it had come out a bit earlier, would have made one for myself.

    Btw, thanks for the shout out on Sunday, Manely Dad stoped by my blog and I did a fangirl squeal XD

    • Hahahah amazing. Mainely Dad is the best.

  • Love love love this! That wool looks gorgeous and is totally a perfect fit for the pattern. Def need to get mine photographed and posted now!

    • It’s the only project that makes sense to photograph outside when it’s this damn cold out!

  • sallieforrer

    Yes! I have been waiting for this post ever since all your instagram teasing! I love LOVE reading about big, meaty projects like coats!! And yours just turned out so incredibly lovely – so classic, yet so modern. I love this pattern, but sadly this year was just not the right year for me to make a new winter coat – I need to really be able justify wool coat making where I live, ya know? But all your snow and this lovely coat makes me super nostalgic for REAL winter. Also, I love that chevron linen zip – if I ever get around to wool coat making I want to get my mitts on such a pretty little detail. It’s those little things….

    Also – RED HOT LIPPZ!!!!!!

    • Darling, wool coats are not an equal trade-off with year round warmth. I wish winter just lasted two months and then I would have nothing to complain about! Anyway, hopefully you’ll be moving to a coder climate at some point and we can all see Sallie coat beauty….

  • I had put my Cascade aside (Ginger Jeans were calling and couldn’t be ignored!!) but your coat really wants to make me pull it back out!! I love making outerwear, I think it’s my favorite thing to sew if I were forced to choose…and I love working with wool- it’s as much about the steaming and pressing as it is sewing, it needs to be molded into shape and something about that is very satisfying. I am making a short, lighter weight wool version now but I want to make the long version as a raincoat, because Portland 🙂

    • WAXED DENIM!

      • hmmmmmmm, interesting!! Do you have to wax it yourself or can you buy waxed denim? I’ll have to look around.

        • Just use whatever denim or twill you want and then apply Otters wax (made in Portland I believe!)

  • Your Cascade + velvet leggings = total win!!

    • Thanks babe! I thought maybe it was a weird outfit but I like the way they look in photos a lot.

  • This is SO fabulous! I bought the Cascade right away (and, I’ll be honest- I’ve had coating stashed away for it for over a year), but between a neverending cold and winter burnout I decided to wait until fall to make it. Totally kicking myself now because I’m SO SICK of my parka and it’s just too cold for my lighter coats. 🙁 I’m right there with you in love love loving wool- it’s just the best!

    • I can so see you in this pattern – totally your style.

  • Your coat is gorgeous! I really want one in a light gray like yours or like Jen’s pattern sample. I have a black wool coat that has held up fine for 5 years or so, and I have a huge list of things to make where I already have fabric + pattern, so I’m going to try to wait until the fall to make the gray Cascade coat of my dreams…

  • Obviously your coat is AMAZING but the part that impresses me the most is how well you’ve pressed it! I know that sounds funny but I really like ironing (lol!) so when I see someone who clearly loves pressing sewing projects as much as I do, it deserves to be noted 😉 Seriously! Such a beautiful, well made coat!

    • I LOVE MY GRAVITY FEED! And wool is such a delight to press it’s easy to spend lots of loving time working it into shape 😉

  • Great post! It’s lovely to read about all the little construction details and choices you’ve made. And you made a great one with that gorgeous soft grey wool! I’m very intrigued by that kasha! I’ve never come across it before.

  • As someone who has never seen snow, and thus has zero comprehension of just how cold it must be where you live during winter time – garment reveal photos + snow backdrop is seriously the most coolest thing ever. It’s almost otherworldly to me.
    But your duffle, as previously seen on IG, is a wonder to behold. It’s just beautiful. I absolutely adore the texture and the colours in that marle grey fabric. The zip, even though it unravelled on you, is a stunner. Hoods on coats don’t need any adjectives because we know we’re both thinking the same thing. I really love this make. Can you tell?

  • Chloe

    I love your coat! I have this beautiful bouclé wool and kasha that I was going to use on a Gerard coat (http://www.republiqueduchiffon.com/2013/11/05/patron-manteau-gerard/) but as a fellow Montrealer I feel this one would be a lot more cold-proof! Just one question, as I can’t find it anywhere: is the seam allowance included in the pattern?

  • Jenny Robertson Johnson

    this looks really nice. I had never heard of kasha and this blog entry came up because I searched on thinsulate. great idea. Also, sorry about your zipper. I always look for a two way zipper on my ski clothes and rainwear, and unzip them at the bottom . while that is lame, and doesnt look great, it works.

  • Dana Bultje

    I know this is ages ago…. but thinking about making a coat for the coming winter. Stupid, cold, Canadian winters. But this is lovely… and I am all over a Closet Case files coat pattern 😉