Finished: Cascade coat

This coat was born out of frantic necessity and ridiculous ambition. Did I mention I only started sewing about a year ago? I read lots of reviews and blogs though, and the skills required for this coat  (Cascade from Grainline Studio) didn’t seem that difficult (#famouslastwords). The steps are easy enough, and Jen’s instructions and sewalong are super clear and helpful, but there’s just A LOT. There are a lot of pieces, a lot of steps, a lot of fabric required, etc. It took time, but I had no outerwear (and Belgian winters are damp and cold), so I sewed my little novice heart out.

Cascade duffel coat (pattern by Grainline Studio), made by Small Bobbins

And here it is, my maternity coat! (And postpartum, it’s still going strong!)

Like I mentioned before, I cut a straight size 10. The materials were very cheap (relatively) and I figured at the very least, as long as it was functional then it would be a success. So yes, success!

Cascade duffel coat (pattern by Grainline Studio), made by Small Bobbins

Continuing with my theme of “Everything I sew is way too big”, this coat could zip over my 41-week belly and, so far, still zips up when I’m wearing Tilda in a baby wrap. That tells me a size 10 is WAY too big for normal-sized Kirstin (will she ever return? sniff sniff) and I should probably do a muslin for next winter’s version. I even picked the size based off of the finished measurements and it still turned out big. Originally, I had said I wanted to sew a coat to fit my pre-pregnancy body and then sew a maternity insert to fit the belly/baby, but I still have no need for the insert. (Good thing, too, because I haven’t been in the mood to sew lately.)

Cascade duffel coat (pattern by Grainline Studio), made by Small Bobbins

My final thoughts are mostly nit-picky beginner things. I should’ve taken my time, blah blah blah. The hood is a bit big, it doesn’t stay on my head well. The sleeves could be a teeny tiny bit longer. I need to get better at pressing fabrics (any tips for pressing heavy fabrics like this?), I should’ve tried to match the stripes, and I need improvement on linings. In the end, I had one bothersome opening at the very end that didn’t match the sewalong or pattern instructions, and I ended up tucking a bunch of excess lining fabric inside the coat and sewing it shut by hand. I wouldn’t call it “hand-sewing” since there was zero technique involved, but it got the job done.

Cascade duffel coat (pattern by Grainline Studio), made by Small Bobbins

I’m already thinking of other versions. I had wanted a lighter, shorter Spring version but (gasp!) ended up buying one online. Really, a lightweight duffel coat, toggles and all, but necessity trumped the DIY spirit in this case (my sewing area is still non-existent and the RTW coat was on super clearance #sorrynotsorry). But a winter version will definitely be made, with nice wool, toggles, etc. If you have any favorite online (or Belgian!) sources for fabulous coating, please let me know!

For now, I’m going to zip on my coat and go pick up that handsome young fella from school.

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