It's been a weirdly warm, low-snow winter in Maine. So it's probably fitting that after wanting a new winter coat for several years, I finally got around to making myself one in the year I've needed it the least. (For example, it was 51 degrees when I took the majority of these photos)
But I don't mind. I live in Maine, it's gonna get cold again at some point.
In truth, I love sewing coats. Yes, the materials are more costly. Yes, they usually have a ton of pieces and take a long time to sew (about a month in this case). But I know that I'm going to wear it everyday for months, so it's totally worth it. My Minoru Jacket gets a ton of wear, and this one will too.
When I first saw the Cascade Duffle Coat pattern, I knew it was just the thing I was looking for. I wanted it to look like something a 1950s co-ed would wear on campus and came across this great green plaid at the Dorr Mill Store. Though my plaid matching skills were pretty on point for this project, I wanted to break it up a bit, so I took inspiration from sample on Grainline's website and did a contrasting black yoke and put my pockets and zipper covers on the bias.
I used the contrast fabric for my zipper bands, which was the one thing I wouldn't recommend. The six layers of thick wool fabric was almost (but not quite!) too much for my machine to handle. It was touch and go there for a while, but we pulled through. :)
I also did my first leather sewing on this project, as I made my own toggles, which was super easy and I would recommend over buying some.
In another, "don't make my mistakes" moment, I was a little lax on finishing the seams of my lining since there weren't visible, which meant after about a week of wearing, I had to turn the whole thing wrong side out again and re-finish them, because the more delicate fibers stuck to the wool like velcro and started to shred. I think I fixed everything all right (time will tell), but it would have been easier to do it right the first time.
All in all, it's super cozy and will definitely stand up to a more normal Maine Winter.