Monday, April 27, 2015

Grainline Cascade Duffle Coat - the muslin

I've never made a coat before. Not only does it seem a dauntingly large undertaking, I think the Grainline Cascade is the first coat pattern that's really jumped at me as a 'must make!'. And it seems the perfect project to try out some of our beautiful new Japanese wool.
I'm opting for View A, but with the hood instead of collar. I am hoping this will be a jacket I'll have and love for some years, so although the fit is simple and boxy enough, I thought it was definitely worth making a quick muslin of the critical parts.

The first thing you'll notice is a LOT of pattern pieces. Straight up I decided to do the usually-unthinkable (for me) and cut right into the pattern tissue rather than trace. I think I'd rather pay for a brand new pattern than ever have to trace this! According to my measurements, I graded out from a size 12 at the upper to 14 at the hips. The pattern sizes have been deliberately 'nested' to make this easy.

I chose to use the calico we have at the shop ($6/m) for this muslin, because it has the stability and precision I wanted for a jacket mock-up. (More often I'll use old sheets but that would have been a bit soft.)
I'd looked around the webs at other versions of the Cascade and noticed a couple of things I wanted to check:
- did I want to slightly lengthen View A (short jacket)?
- the patch pockets seemed to sit impractically high on View A, so could I adjust this and still have it look okay?
I used just the upper and lower outer body pieces and two sleeve outer pieces to make my muslin. (Please excuse the poor quality selfies.)

 Fit looking pretty good in the shoulder.
I'm pretty happy with the back too: I want plenty of ease for movement and it's meant to be a casual, boxy kind of shape. I'm also happy with the length on me, but those with a longer torso might like to add a bit at the lengthen/shorten lines which are clearly marked on the pattern pieces.

So here you can see how the large, rectangular patch pocket sits rather high on the short version. It's the same size on the longer version but sits much lower. I really like a useful pocket and I think the opening of this is just too high to work well. Fortunately it's a very easy fix since it's a huge pocket and can be cut a good deal smaller and still be a decent size. Below, the top is folded over about 4.5cm which shows the size I will make my pockets. (Yes, I went to the effort of making a lined pocket muslin, and a good thing too because I made a sewing error and messed up the top corners, which I won't do in the final garment now!)
I'm still pondering the sleeve length.
 Pretty long, but I quite like a long, cosy sleeve.
And with arm bent... still, from a technical tailoring point of view, this is a bit long, isn't it? What do you think? Maybe I will fold out about a centimetre at the lengthen/shorten line.

I've read through all the instructions (very clearly written), I've chosen my lining (ooh, Liberty!), I've bookmarked the online sewalong and I'm ready to cut!

Is anyone else out there contemplating the Cascade... or making one... or finished?

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. Fantastic! I have been pondering a coat for ages but wasn't brave enough to have a go and couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I will be following this with much interest. Thank you for sharing it. Vicky

    1. Thanks Vicky! The Grainline patterns are always really well put together - everything matched up so beautifully on the muslin - and the instructions are very clear. I thought it was a good first coat pattern. Will share more since it's definitely a project to bite off in stages.


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