Tailoring the Cascade Duffle

There are so many good resources for tailoring out there. I use the Singer Sewing Reference Library “Tailoring” as my main resource. But, I have a slew of others that I tend to read through before a big project to refresh my memory and help me make some final decisions. The original pattern is very lightly tailored. A friend showed me photos of her Gloverall coat and the Cascade definitely is more in line with traditional methods. That said, the Gloverall is a beautifully heavy melton wool and my fabric isn’t as thick, so tailoring it is!

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Personally, I prefer a fusible rather than hand or machine tailoring methods. Ok. Admittedly I haven’t tried hand or machine tailoring. But, I like the speed of the fusible. I love structure in garments. So, I deviated a little from the included interfacing instructions for the Cascade Duffle.

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First, I interfaced the entire front instead of just the upper bodice with medium weft interfacing. While double sided, my fabric is a little on the limp side. I love a coat that can stand up on its own if I’m being honest.

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I did use the included interfacing pieces to cut my fusible horse hair canvas for the armscye reinforcement. I have an insane amount of it and wanted to give it a go. It’s lovely. When I make a no-nonsese tailored work coat I’ll be using this.

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The pattern instructions have you interface the upper back bodice and the armscye. I just did the upper back because the back stay I added (below) would cover the back armscye. The back stay is a poly muslin blend from my stash. Normally, you wouldn’t interface AND backstay. But, my upper back was cut on the bias and I wanted to stabilize it so there wouldn’t be a chance of it stretching out.

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I also added interfacing to the hem of the coat at the back (the front is already interfaced). If you recall, this pattern has a separate hem facing that I decided to integrate into the back and front. I’ll also be using wigan on my hems when it comes time to do the actual hemming (and when my order from New York comes in).

And, I interfaced everything else called for using the weft interfacing. Oh, I also interfaced my pockets and zipper band — not sure if that’s called for in the instructions.

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Finally, I waffled a bit (too long) on the sleeves. I don’t mind block fusing per se. But, I didn’t want the sleeves to feel stiff. I also really personally hate when my sleeves wrinkle at the elbow crease during wear. So, after flirting with a few ideas I decided to underline the sleeves with a cotton batiste from my stash. I considered silk organza (too slippery to be bothered), muslin (too stiff). This will hopefully give the garment the light support I want in the sleeves and stave off wrinkles.

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And, for the sleeve insertion I added a sleeve head to give the cap some support. I think I’ll skip a shoulder pad. But, I’m undecided.

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I just need to bag the lining and I’ll be all done (man am I glad I already sewed the lining!) Quite ahead of my Christmas schedule if all goes well. But, never fear. I bought more coating last weekend at Fabricmart 😚.



  1. Good grief woman, go to bed… 😏
    I was just browsing sites, and you popped up unexpectedly. I’m in a completely different time zone from you, and was surprised.
    The coat looks really good so far.

    • 😂 Fair point! I had most of it written and just needed to add photos. I don’t always sleep though the night so I finished up this post and went back to bed 😄

    • It feels like I’ve made a real thing! I kind of wish I’d interlined it with lambswool for warmth. But, I’ll just make another heavier / warmer coat 😀

  2. Wow. You are a machine! Looks like a well-made garment. A lot of work and it shows–the coat is beautiful.

  3. This is really going to be a beautiful coat when you are finished. It’s beautiful already, but I can’t wait to see it on you. For the scarf, I think a cream color would look make a lovely frame around your face, but you must do what floats your boat. So much work! Are you really going to make another coat soon? My word, when you jump in, you jump in with both feet! Send me some of that energy!

    • Ha, ha! Right? I’m not *totally* crazy. But, I think I feel a little guilty about adding more coating after I just made this pledge to sew what I have. I promised my husband a tweed bomber jacket for his Hanukkah gift. And, I could really still use a long special occasion / business style winter coat, an oversized fit-anything-underneath-it winter coat, a fall pea coat, a warm rainproof parka and a tailored and fitted knee-length work coat. I’ve really thought this all through, lol! But, I will probably make Jordan’s jacket and one more this season then go back into coat hibernation for seven more years 😃.

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:03 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


    • Oh, I also considered cream too (it would be my first choice). But, I’m nervous about my foundation making it dirty since I wear makeup every day. And, I think brown might be too close a match to my skin and look a little blah.

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:03 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  4. It never would have crossed my mind to make a duffle coat in plaid. The colors and scale are perfect. It’s gorgeous! Well done!

    • Thank you for saying so. I’ve been worried it’s a little busy. The minute this fabric posted on Fabric Mart I bought five yards. Of course it sat for two years because I was too nervous to work with plaid!

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:31 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. What a great coat! Your plaid matching work is beautiful. I love this coat. If I send you the fabric will you make one for me? After you finish the one for your husband, of course… Haha!

    • NEVER AGAIN! LOL. I had to cut the plaid on the floor and my back can’t take it like it used to. Maybe plaid again if we move and I can fit a much larger cutting table in my sewing room. I have to say the sewing of this went really well. I do wish I’d added two rather than one inch to the sleeve width and length. But, it doesn’t bother me enough to redo it.

  6. Beautiful work.
    Go for the red – a nice dark red – and enjoy. Someone out there has to max out the fabulousness, why not have that person be you?

  7. Ok, so I ain’t doing a plaid version…LOL!! But I was thinking duffle coat and seeing yours – I have to have one now!!!!

    Also, you made me check my coating stash — I have fabric for FOUR coats! eek!! I need navy though. A navy duffle coat?!? swwon.

    I cannot wait to see this completed.

    • I keep telling myself I’m done with this pattern. But, I can see it in navy and camel too!! I remember Cashmerette did hers in navy and it’s beautiful. This coat would serve you well in the tundra. Not counting technical rain fabric, I have FIVE coats in my stash not including one leather shearling OR two coatings for my husband 😚 Eek.

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:05 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. In your spare time how about a tutorial on how to bag a lining? I just finished my first wool coat and I am tickled pink with how it turned out. Yours is gorgeous.

  9. This is looking really nice!!! You are inspiring me to get moving on one of the many coats I have planned.

    • It got so cold here over the weekend. I wish I’d started this in September!

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 11:24 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  10. Your coat is stunning, that blue is one of my favorites and I can picture it looking so lovely on you. I agreed with the red scarf, probably burgundy or wine or maybe a brown small print fabric such as polka dots (I love a cheery polka dot). A mid length work coat is on my list, but I still need to perfect the fit on a bra yet (it’s getting close) then on to a coat. I will definitely refer back to this post when I start! Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh, polka dots would be so nice! Blanket scarves are really in fashion still. I was hoping I could knit something to go with this and if I do I’ll go with a red. And, if I don’t I’m looking for a fun print like you’ve suggested!

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 1:51 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  11. Love the fact that you made the pockets and zipper guard on bias…so much more interesting than matching more plaids. The colors are gorgeous and I’m with you on not interfacing sleeves to the point the are like cardboard tubes…yuck! Compliments are coming your way when you show up wearing this coat!

    • Thank you! I was worried about too much bias but I think it all worked out. I couldn’t bear to do anymore pattern matching. The sleeves aren’t quite matched either (in that they are different from each other) due to the unbalanced plaid. They are also a little snug with a sweater underneath. But, I have plans for a larger unfitted coat so I’m not going to sweat it. I hope I don’t ruin this in the hemming and finishing!

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 3:46 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  12. This is looking great. Plaids can really be intimidating. But your work on this just shines.

  13. Your coat looks so good, all that inner tailoring work really makes a huge difference to the finished product which I cannot wait to see!

  14. I got to your last picture and just stopped for a second.
    It’s incredibly beautiful. Oh, My, Goodness. Beautiful.
    The tailoring, the plaid matching, the plaid!

  15. Wow wee! You certainly have made the most perfect coat. It is really gorgeous and lays beautifully on your form. I am so excited to see more of the incredible work that you have made on this beauty. What fabric are you choosing for the lining? I am dying to see what you are using. A gorgeous burgundy scarf is going to be a total knockout with this coat! What yarn are you going to use – Malabrigo? Or A solid Noro would be spectacular!! Loving to see what you come up with, in your passions of sewing and knitting.

  16. Your coat is looking great and I finally see the toggles you found are perfect! Worth the effort.

  17. Heyyy finally found your blog… I’m late. I have heads in my cascade but no pads. The yoke is substantial enough that pads weren’t needed.

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