Autumn Wardrobe | Northwoods Toggle Coat


Another year another new winter coat right? This coat has been a long time in the making. I designed the coat quite a while ago but started on it last winter when I made the pattern, got it cut out and attached the Thinsulate interlining to the body. Then I stalled out…hard. It was SO THICK! How would I ever be able to move around? I felt like a slightly paralyzed grey marshmallow in it and I could tell that I was not going to enjoy wearing this coat. For me, if I’m not comfortable it doesn’t matter how good it looks, I’m not going near it. So I set it aside until I was ready to come to terms with the fact that my original plan needed to change.

Cut to two weeks ago, I took out the Thinsulate and continued on with the new non-interlined plan. I figure that in Chicago either it’s wool coat weather or it’s puffy coat weather and no amount of Thinsulate will change that. This is something I learned, but apparently had forgotten until now, when I bought a Thinsulate lined J. Crew coat years ago. That sucker was nowhere near puffy warm.

Once I took out the Thinsulate, the coat went together pretty quickly. I only started yelling at the coat once, when I was trying to pull the entire coat out of a hole in the sleeve after I bagged it…that was definitely a feat in an of itself. I even left a pretty big hole!

I’m really excited about the hood. It’s not the typical oversized shape usually found on toggle coats, instead I patterned it to be a bit closer fitting in the crown with room for a scarf around the neck. It gets so windy in Chicago that if my hood doesn’t fit close to my head then there is literally no way it’s going to stay up, and if it doesn’t stay up, what is even the point!?

The Details
Pattern : My Own
Fabric : Wool Coating + Plaid Flannel from Mood (both fabrics are no longer available)
Toggle Buttons : M&J Trimming
Leather : Remnant from Etsy
Scarf : Hilary Grant Knitwear
Boots : Madewell
Bag : Hudson’s Bay Company
Chai Latte : PQM (best in the city, get it with almond milk!)

I’m beyond pumped about this coat. It’s the coat I’ve always wanted and never been able to afford, much like last winter’s coat. It’s got room for a pretty good sized sweater and it’s really really warm, I was sweating on our shoot and it was pretty solidly in the 30′s which is a good sign. It also feels SO good to have this thing out of a bag on the floor and onto my back. Phew!! Winter, I’m ready for you now!

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44 Responses to Autumn Wardrobe | Northwoods Toggle Coat

  1. Caroline says:

    Stunning! Perfect colours and great style. Making a perfect coat is such an achievement!!

  2. This is gorgeous! Love a good toggle coat and yours looks so well made. Hats off for persevering!

  3. Almond Rock says:

    This turned out awesome. You’re like a cool plaid Paddington Bear!

  4. Rochelle New says:

    It’s amazing!!! I don’t think I need to elaborate on that. It’s just pure amazingness.

  5. Wow this is just awesome! I love it soo much!!!

  6. prairiemusing says:

    Wonderful! That is the coat I’ve been looking for!

  7. Caitlin says:

    Your coat looks so good!!! I love how you added the plaid along the zipper for extra pizazz. Plus the hood is just awesome. A good hooded coat is hard to find (I’ve been looking forever!).

    And I see you celebrated with some David’s Tea! I looked this up when you were talking about it earlier, we don’t have one here. Seems like they have a ton of different special blends?

    • Thanks! You are not kidding about a good hooded coat…they are a real pain to find. As for the David’s…they do love a special blend. My favorites are the salted caramel, glitter & gold and good old regular chai in the caffeinated department and the licorice twist is amazing if you’re looking for decaf. It’s super cheap shipping to order online, I still can’t believe Chicago got them!

  8. Jessica says:

    Looks great and so cozy!!

  9. Lucinda says:

    I love it! The hood really is the perfect shape and the lining gives it an extra “pop.” I’d love to make that coat, too!

  10. Susan says:

    Gorgeous coat and I love the fabrics you chose! Absolutely lovely design. I admire your ability to push through the issues you had and come out with an incredible finished product.

  11. maddie says:

    The coat looks so great! I’m glad you took out the Thinsulate and finished up this project. I hope it keeps you warm for the winter season! I hear it’s going to be a doozy!

  12. Kelli says:

    It looks so great. Must feel nice to have finished such a huge project. And I recognize that bridge. I miss Chicago!

  13. Olga says:

    This coat is awesome — I love everything about it! I don’t know if the front and back yokes are a traditional toggle coat feature, but they look so good, I am definitely adding those if I ever make a coat like this.
    The thought of sewing a coat always seems kind of daunting to me, but at the same time, once everything is cut out (and interfaced), it’s kind of satisfying to sew (since coat-weight wool does not shift or stretch and pretty much does what you want it to). Is the plaid flannel lining also wool or is it cotton? Also, where did you get the nice metal separating zipper?

    P.S. If you ever decide to sell the pattern, I’ll be the first in line.

    • Thanks! I think a lot of toggle coats have some sort of yoke detailing, but I’m sure it’s not an all or none type of situation. The flannel lining is cotton and the zipper is by RiRi, picked it up in NYC last time I was there. They’re expensive but worth the extra cost if your’e going to all this trouble, such a smooth gliding zipper!

  14. Rachel says:

    Love all the details and the hood! I’ll be second in line, then, for the pattern!

  15. Michelle says:

    It turned out beautifully. I LOVE the hood, the linking. All of it.

  16. Heather says:

    Oh, this coat is fantastic. I do so hope you will offer the pattern one day!

  17. indigorchid says:

    It looks great! And, of course, not having it in a pile on the floor feels so good! ;) Love the zipper/plaid/tab thing going on there too!

  18. Andrea says:

    It’s perfect. And this post is perfect timing — I’m making a toggle-button jacket and couldn’t seem to find toggle button sets (with the cord and patches ready to go) anywhere. M&J Trimmings to the rescue. Thanks for the link. Enjoy your awesome coat!!!

    • Thanks! I just bought the buttons and made the toggle tabs and strings with some remnant leather, hope they have what you’re looking for, if not, I know that JoAnn carries toggles with the cord and tabs attached now by the snaps. Can’t wait to see your coat!

  19. gingermakes says:

    I can’t even tell you how much I love this! It’s absolutely fabulous! A totally perfect coat!

  20. Gorgeous!!! And I applaud you for finishing something that previously hung you up! It’s so easy to get stuck and just move onto another project. Well done lady!

  21. Liza jane says:

    Ah, love it!!! I know what you mean about the hood. I like the closer fitting hood. Looks great with your cowl.

  22. mirza says:

    Very cute! and I love your scarf!

  23. sarah says:

    oh wow i would love to have such a practical and lovely coat. love the finished product!

  24. nettie says:

    This is unbelieveable!! I love it so much! I am always SO impressed by your finishing! The grey is the perfect color, too. I’m sorry your original idea didn’t work out, but this is a damn good plan B result.

  25. Looks great on you and I love the plaid lining. It goes great with that lovely Hilary Grant scarf.

  26. elena gold says:

    WOW. amazing job! the design is perfect. my favorite part is the zipper/plaid bit. So great. Do you still wear the other coat you made? I loved that one too!

  27. Lauren says:

    Hi! I am in awe, this looks fantastic! I hear you on clothes and not feeling comfortable in them…sometimes I wear stuff I hate the feel / fit off and have inner tantrums wishing I could just rip them off – but often this is at work or walking down the street, so I don’t :)

  28. dixiediy says:

    i’m loving toggle coats this year! there’s something about toggles that feels like a northern forest to me (or something like that) i love the plaid on the inside, too. the gray is really versatile but the lining makes it fun. i’ve never used thinsulate (not that i need it, i live in texas) but i’ve always kind of wondered what it would be like to work with.

  29. Oh my, this is perfect! I especially love the slouchy-yet-tailored shape of the hood – it’s just perfect for cold winds. I always have huge troubles finding a decent coat – especially since the quality of RTW coats has declined so rapidly over the past few years. I had to invest a good fortune for a high wool percentage… so the possibility of making my own, even though it’s intimidating, seems perfect! I really loved your last one, too! Well, I think you convinced me to give it a try next year (and if you ever sell this pattern, I’m 100% sure I would). This is so nice – I’m ever so impressed!

  30. What a beautiful coat! Congratulations. You are inspiring and I love watching you grow your hand made wardrobe. I final got started on your scout tee pattern (which I bought about a year ago) and ended up making 3 in one week – I’m hooked! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Amy says:

    This is beautiful! I love toggle coats. And hoods. Bravo for plugging away and pulling out the thinsulate. I have a similar project that seems to plead with me every time I get near it. (It has a hood.. and I like your idea of fixing the crown… I have a big head and they’re always too small!) Stay warm!

  32. Miriam says:

    This is really beautiful. Such a great design! And that amazing plaid lining peeking through is so lovely!

  33. sarah says:

    nice job lady! can i point out how random it is you’re wearing the same striped tee in both of your winter coat photoshoot pics!? crazy.

  34. byhandlondon says:

    Oh man PLEASE make this into a pattern we can buy! I’m already planning my version in my head as I read this… Absolutely amazing. Love the lining and the length especially!

    x Elisalex

  35. Nina says:

    I have been searching for several years for a duffel coat pattern! Please publish yours, it’s lovely!

  36. Zoe says:

    So lovely!!! Well done xx

  37. Tracy King says:

    Slightly paralyzed grey marshmallow had me laughing out loud. My kids were giving me that look which asks if I’m going crazy or something. The coat looks great and was obviously worth the time and thought you put into. Thanks for showing us :)

  38. Mel says:

    Oh man, this is amazing!! Any chance you’ll be selling this pattern and doing a sew along ;)

  39. Lia says:

    SUCH an impressive finish! It’s completely beautiful! Put me on the list of people who would happily and immediately buy this pattern. : )

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