The Cascade Duffle Adventure, Part 1: Fit

So, believe it or not, I do still write this blog. In fact, I even still sew. A lot. Apparently I just haven’t felt like writing about it in a while. Oops 😛

Anyhow, I had mentioned a while ago that I was embarking upon Grainline Studio’s Cascade Duffle Coat, which I literally just finished about an hour before writing this post. Before I post (and take) final photos and discuss construction, though, I wanted to take some time to talk about fit. Those of you familiar with this particular coat might be scratching your heads at this point, thinking, “fit? But it’s such a loose-fitting coat, you shouldn’t have to worry about that…” However, since I had a dread fear of putting in countless hours of work only to end up with an ill-fitting garment, I decided I’d rather be safe than sorry.

…and I’m glad I did! Although the coat would’ve fit fine without any tweaks, I thought this project was a great illustration of how just a few small changes can dramatically improve fit. Since I didn’t want to take the time to do a full muslin, and since the style *is* pretty loose, I started by cutting the larger of my two size options (I was waffling between a 2 and a 4), and basted all the main pieces together to check the fit.

***Warning*** The photos that follow were taken for fitting purposes only, and were not originally intended for public consumption so…please excuse the terrible lighting. And I may or may not be wearing pajamas. And slippers. Like ya do.

Notice the diagonal lines pointing from the bust outward on the front view? And how the hem tilts up from back to front on the side view? Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of that, either. I also didn’t love that the sleeve was falling slightly off the shoulder (though I think the design is intended to look somewhat oversized). So, those were the various issues I wanted to address.


In this next picture, I altered the shoulder seam, taking out 1/2″ at the sleeve and tapering to nothing at the neckline. As you can (sort of) see, that lessened the diagonal lines on the front. While it didn’t completely alleviate the problem, it did improve it enough that I called it a success.


Next, I did a type of sway back alteration by removing some excess fullness along the bottom seam, taking out about 1/4″ at the center back and tapering to nothing at the side seams (you can sort of see it pinned out in the picture). This fixed the hem issues – you can see that it’s level here.

I also shaved 1/4″ off the armholes to raise the shoulder sleeve. I wish I had lengthened the sleeve, but I forgot to do that before I cut out the coat, and I didn’t have any extra fabric to re-cut. So, the sleeves are a bit too short (sigh….), but not the end of the world.

So, in my next post (which hopefully won’t take another three weeks…oy…), I hope to present the finished coat! I have to say, I’m super proud, and I can’t wait to show y’all!


4 thoughts on “The Cascade Duffle Adventure, Part 1: Fit

  1. Just a suggestion to add length to the sleeves, maybe wool rib wrists sewn inside the sleeves would improve the comfort.

  2. I think it’s great to share all the fitting issues – warts an all! Your warning made me smile. I have some photos I’d be quite embarrassed for my friends to see (but they don’t read my blog!) but it’s ok to spread them around the world, lol 🙂

  3. Pingback: The Cascade Duffle Adventure, Part 2: Construction, and all that jazz | Dressing the Role

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