A Great BRRRRRitain Duffle Coat | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Thrifted Red Heavy Linen, $5; thrifted tartan knit, $0.20; thrifted green waffle knit $1
Patterns: Simplicity 5965, thrifted $.10
Notions: Vintage zipper, $0.20; thrifted quilt batting, $2; toggles $3.50 a pair
Time to complete: 8 hours (plus 8 hours thinking time!)
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes, it's very warm!
Total Cost: ~$18.90
I've been thinking of this Duffle Coat for over a month before it was made, so please be wary that I am lovestruck this week!
Yay for all you fine UK seamstresses for meeting up in London meaning we had some great colours to choose from this week! And for me, the best part of the Union Jack for me is the colour red! As you may know, Australia is part of the Commonwealth, and we have the Union Jack in our left corner of our flag, which is very much red, white and blue.
My duffle coat started as a little dream when we were planning Book Week, and I found this red linen (that's super heavy) in my stash, thinking of Little Red Riding Hood (obvious choice) or Paddington Bear! Obviously, I put the project on hold for a bit, as I really needed time to think about it as I just don't make jackets, and I really wanted to make sure it was warm. It's getting very cold in Melbourne lately, so had to think how to make that heavy linen warmer.
Over the weeks, I paired it with different lining fabrics from the stash and spent a lot more time thinking. I thought about a lot of you seamstresses following Gertie's Lady Grey Sew Along, and then I'd also read Peter's Toggle Coat making process too recently, so I had batting and bulk on the braing! In the back of my cupboard, I had some quilt batting that I'd found at an op shop last year. You know when you thrift stuff just because it's there right then and there, and will probably be gone if you want to buy it later!?
So, you could probably say my planning period was just as much as the sewing time!
- I'd never batted or quilted a thing before!
- Never self drafted a lining to a jacket (this pattern is just the outer shell)
- Never sewn or even bought duffle coat toggles before!
I didn't have enough of the hood lining fabric to line the whole jacket, so I used a green waffle knit from the stash to 'practice' quilting the batting. Now I know that perhaps a knit fabric wasn't the right choice for a first step into the quilting world, but I have a bit of pluck and a test toile of lining wouldn't hurt!
The lining back was easy to draft, I just used the back piece, but the front pieces were a little trickier, as I had to improvise a little around the front, straight edges. Using the most pins ever, I sewed the batting to the knit lining with vertical lines, and it all seemed to come together ok.
Somewhere along the way, I decided not to quilt the sleeves, thinking I'd be like the Marshmellow Man in Ghostbusters! And it certainly made the whole lining smoother to stitch together. The raglan sleeves of the pattern also meant the quilting wasn't too bulky where it was harder to sew (the arm holes, neckline etc).
Again, pinning was my best friend with attaching the outer to the inner as well, and I'm so amazed with how neat a lot of my hems and joins are. AMAZED!
There are a couple of 'improvised' joins, but they ended up tucked away on the inside, so I've already forgotten what they were!
My friend told me that she'd seen the toggles as a 'set' so I went on a hunt to Spotlight to see if it was true! As a serial thrifter for my stash and haberdashery, I don't often end up in real fabric stores, so I was amazed at how many 'Toggle Sets' there were to choose from!
Whilst the toggles were terribly hard to sew on (they moved a bit and it was a lot of fabric sandwiched together), but they're kinda cute with my bad stitching!
So the real test of a warm coat? Dog walking! I haven't called this post Great BRRRRRitain Duffle Coat because it's joyful and sunny!
It's been freezing in the mornings for us (BRRRRR!), and I really needed something easy to throw on quickly so I can take our darling dog out for a run! Of course I usually don't wear my heels down to the park!