Cascade Sew Along

Cascade Sew-Along: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

Today I’ll be guiding you through selecting your size, cutting, and prepping your pieces to begin sewing. Lets start by getting out our pattern booklets and looking at the size chart and finished measurements.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

I’ve highlighted my sizes in the photo above, 2 in the chest, 4 in the waist, and 4 at the hip (thanks yoga!). I could cut between the two sizes but since I wear a lot of oversized tops & bulky sweaters, I’m going to go straight 4.

You’ll notice that the finished measurements include quite a bit of ease from the body measurements. You may have the urge to size down quite a bit, but remember, this is a winter coat that you may want to layer over a sweater. If you’re going to make a muslin for this pattern, I recommend using a fabric with a similar weight to your final fabric if possible. An unlined muslin shell of the coat will feel much looser than the final thick, lined wool (or medium weight twill if you’re going that route).

One thing you’ll want to take into consideration is if you are interlining your coat with Thinsulate or something similar, you will want to go up a size because of the bulk involved. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

This coat has a lot of pattern pieces, 40 in total, but luckily you don’t need all of them if you’re only making 1 version of the Cascade.

  • No matter whether you’re making A or B you’ll need all the pieces found in the section labeled Pattern Inventory Views A & B, which is pieces 1-14 and piece 40 if you’re making your own toggles.
  • For View A you’ll additionally need the pieces in Pattern Inventory View A, pieces 15-25.
  • For View B you’ll additionally need the pieces in Pattern Inventory View B, pieces 26-39.

I find it helpful to cut all the pattern pieces out and then sort them into piles based on what fabric you’re cutting them from. I would have a pile for self, a pile for lining, a pile for contrast (because I’ll be using contrasting fabric on my zipper bands and hood lining), and a pile for interfacing. 4 total types of pieces. Some are cut from more than one fabric, in that case start them out with the pieces you’ll be cutting first, then move them over to the next pile when you’re finished.

I won’t be showing you step by step how to lay out your fabric – since this is an advanced pattern you should be familiar with using a cutting layout diagram and I really want to spend more time on actually sewing the coat. If you have questions you can see this post on cutting from the Alder Sew-Along.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

Cutting Your Self Fabric

Before you start cutting your fabric make sure that you’ve pre-treated it using the same method you plan on using to launder it with once it’s finished. For cotton, you can toss it in the washer / dryer and be done with it. With wool, most likely you’ll be dry cleaning the fabric. Some people like to put their wool in the dryer with damp towels but I’ve never done that so I can’t recommend or not recommend that method. Occasionally if I have a sort of questionable wool source I’ll take the yardage in to get dry cleaned before I get started. This usually happens when I’m purchasing from a jobber who may not always list, or know, the complete content. Any dry cleaner will do this and if you think your dry cleaner might find it strange (mine likes to tease me about weird things I bring in sometimes) don’t worry about it, just tell them it’s a blanket. If I’m working with good quality wool and I’m confident I know the complete fiber content (usually 100% wool), I just give it a good steam press before cutting and get to it. I’ve personally never had any trouble with shrinkage from dry cleaning after the fact.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

Matching Stipes, Plaids & Prints with a Two Piece Sleeve

If you’re using a fabric that has a print, stripe, or plaid you’ll most likely want to match your print across the pieces of the coat. I have a tutorial for plaid matching here (the same method applies for prints & stripes) but since this pattern has a two piece sleeve that slightly complicates things.

Everything is the same as the tutorial I linked to, except for the two piece sleeve. To mark that you’re going to want to take the two pieces of sleeve and align them with each other along the side seams. From there you can mark a line across the underarm of the lower sleeve piece and transfer that to the upper sleeve. Since the side seams are matched up your print will match across the two pieces.

Cutting Your Lining

As for the lining, if you’re using Bemberg you’ll want to do a full press of the fabric prior to cutting because it does occasionally shrink with heat. I usually do a press with light steam on both sides of the fabric prior to cutting. If you’re using cotton or flannel, again wash the fabric in the same way you intend on laundering the final garment.

While I love the Bemberg on the body and sleeves of my coats, I like to cut my zipper bands and hood lining out of a more decorative fabric. You can use flannel for the entire lining of the coat, I did this on the original grey version of this coat, but one thing I’ve found is that sometimes the friction between the flannel and the garment you’re wearing underneath can result in the coat creeping up your leg a bit.

Cutting Your Fusible Interfacing

Since we’re not using bonded fusible for this coat you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to the grain line on your pattern pieces. In addition to fusing the standard pieces such as the facings and front bands, we’re also going to fuse a few high stress places. The point of this is is to reinforce the fabric in the points that wear faster than other non-stress points of the coat. We’ll be reinforcing the yokes and around the armholes as these places take a lot of stress from the arms moving as well as the area behind the pockets.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 03: Cutting & Prepping Your Pieces | Grainline Studio

Prepping Your Pieces

The last thing we’ll cover today is prepping the coat to begin sewing by fusing all interfacing. Make sure you use a press cloth between the iron and the fusible to keep your iron clean. Follow the instructions included with your fusible interfacing to adhere the interfacing to the self fabric. If you need further instruction on this please reference this post.

Next up: Assembling the Fronts, Backs, and Pockets & Attaching the Pockets to your coat

6 Comments Posted in Cascade Sew Along
Cascade Sew Along

Cascade Sew-Along: Gathering Your Supplies

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

Today I’m going to walk you through everything you’ll need to make your Cascade Duffle Coat. I know a lot of you have already shopped for your fabrics & notions, in that case you can use this post as a check list to make sure you’ve got everything you need to dive right in.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

The most important thing you’ll need when making the Cascade is your main fabric. The suggested fabric for the shell of the coat is medium to heavy weight coating fabric. There are many ways that shops describe fabrics suitable for coating, such as Melton wool, Boiled wool, felted wool or occasionally just the term coating weight is used. Double face wool is nice because, being two layers of fabric woven together, it’s quite warm. The downside to double face wool is that you may have trouble with the front bands and the facings being too bulky. For the red plaid sample coat I removed the navy backing wool on those pieces to reduce bulk. In case you’re not feeling a solid color, wool coating comes in a variety of prints and textures as well including plaid and check, I even found this little cabled texture coating. If you’d like more in-depth information about choosing a wool, you can check out this post from last winter, Tips for Choosing Wool Coating.

A few places that I’ve ordered from before that offer high quality wool coating are Mood, Britex, Emma One Sock and Fancy Tiger Crafts which has amazing Pendleton wool coating (you’ll have to call or email to view what’s available and order). There are of course many shops that sell wool coating but these are the shops I’ve ordered yardage from and been extremely happy with. If you have a local shop that sells wool definitely check that out since you’ll be able to feel the fabric first hand, or I do highly recommend ordering a swatch if you can.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

If you’re living somewhere where a full on wool coat might be a bit much, you might consider trying the Cascade in a lighter fabric such as canvas, twill, denim, or waxed canvas. When looking for a twill, canvas or denim you’ll want to make sure they’re at least bottom weight or heavier, and I would recommend not using fabric with stretch as they can tend to stretch out and wind up a bit wavy at the edges when you’re working with them as much as we will be with this coat. Pretty much every fabric store offers up some form of one of these fabrics so you should have no problem finding them.

Waxed canvas is another great option for a lighter version of the Cascade. Since it’s treated with wax the canvas becomes a water resistant (though not waterproof) and ages over time similarly to leather. It’s really a beautiful fabric, though unfortunately it’s a bit hard to find in the retail fabric market. The swatches above came from Grey’s Fabric in Boston, though most have sold out at this point. As far as waxed canvas by the yard your best bet is probably Etsy. Bag Supply Company is just one of the companies that shows up when you search “waxed canvas” in the search bar. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, check out Thread Theory’s Otter Wax, you can use it to wax your own canvas!

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

For the lining of your Cascade Duffle, I recommend using Bemberg ‘Ambiance’ which is a 100% Rayon lining. It’s slightly more expensive than other lining fabrics but it’s hands down my favorite lining. Bemberg is so much easier to work with than its poly counterpart and being Rayon, it breathes and stands up to wear quite well. Did I mention they don’t collect static? So nice. You can find Bemberg ‘Ambiance’ at Vogue, Fabrics.com, Mood, or check your local shop of course!

You will also need fusible interfacing for your coat. I’ve covered interfacing quite a bit on this blog before but for my coats I used a medium weight tricot fusible to get the job done. I find that the tricot allows the fabric to move and give the way wool naturally does. This isn’t a tailored coat so you don’t need any fancy tailoring interfacings, and you are free to use a woven interfacing if you prefer. The only interfacing I would implore you to stay away from are any bonded interfacings as even the thinnest ones act as cardboard when glued to your fabric. You can view my previous posts on interfacing here:

Fusible Interfacing for Coating | Selecting Interfacing | My Favorite Fusibles
Archer Sew Along : Selecting and Applying Interfacing

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

If you choose to insert the zipper into your coat you’ll need either an 18″ or 22″ separating zipper. These zippers are readily available at most craft and sewing stores so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding one.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

Coats & Clark is available at JoAnn fabrics making it perhaps the most readily available zipper out there. YKK is stocked at a lot of smaller sewing stores and my all time favorite zippers of all time, RiRi are the least readily available zipper of this bunch. This is the zipper I used on my coats. You can find them if you live in NYC at Pacific Trimming and probably somewhere in LA, though I’m not familiar with shopping there but they are much more expensive than the other two zippers. I’ll be stocking up again at Pacific Trimming in Feb since this is my last one!

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

When you purchase your zipper, make sure that the end of the zipper looks like this. There are a lot of different kinds of zippers out there!

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

You’re going to need three toggle fasteners to make your coat. These Dritz ones are available in black & brown and are probably the most readily available pre-made toggle buttons. That said, the ‘leather’ tab is horrible to sew through, even with a leather needle. On the plaid coat I cut the button off the Dritz tabs and created my loops and tabs, and for the first coat, the original grey one, I created those closures myself using three purchased buttons identical to the ones above. I purchased my buttons at M&J Trimming in New York (the selection in store is much better than their website) and the toggle closures on the red plaid Cascade were obtained through Britex in SF. I don’t believe they’re on the website but I’m sure you could call to inquire.

If you’re making your own toggles and are going the traditional route in addition to the buttons you’ll need leather scraps (search ‘leather scraps’ or ‘leather remnant’ on Etsy and you will be rewarded), leather cord, krazy glue (or some other strong glue that holds on leather), and leather cord.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

You’ll need thread of course, I just used Gütermann all purpose polyester thread. You may want to spring for the big spool of your color, or grab a few small ones.

I forgot to take photos of the needles you’ll need but since we’ll be sewing through so much fabric I would recommend a thicker all purpose needle for the bulk of the coat. For the toggles pick yourself up a pack of leather needles, you won’t regret it.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

The typical cutting supplies will be needed, rotary cutter or dressmakers shears, depending on which you like, and a small embroidery scissor for all the grading of seams I’m about to have you do.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

A tape measure, ruler, and seam gauge will all come in handy.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

You’ll need some way to stick your toggles onto your fabric to hold them in place while you sew. You can use regular old scotch tape, or try a fabric glue stick. I purchased the Sewline glue stick at Drygoods in Seattle and the Collins glue stick at Blackbird Fabrics.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

I always like to have my bone folder handy, it makes turning points so easy and there’s never the risk of puncturing the corner with a sharp edge.

I used extra fine pins for assembling the lining and these long thin (very sharp) quilting pins from Clover for the coat. Since you’re going through many layers of fabric the long pins are nice as they can hold a bit more. These clover pins seem to be sharper and thinner than regular quilting pins which I really like.

As far as sewing machine feet, the two I used are my 1/4″ foot and my walking foot. The walking foot definitely comes in handy when going through all those layers, it keeps everything moving smoothly and evenly through the machine.

Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along: Day 01: Gathering Your Supplies | Grainline Studio

I really like to use chalk pens when marking wool and bemberg. The top chalk liners are available at pretty much every small sewing store and they’re great because they come in a wide variety of colors to stand out against your fabric. The bottom chalk pen is new to me, I just picked it up at Drygoods when I was out there over Thanksgiving and it’s been great so far. It has the finest chalk tip which of course I love.

There are a few other things that you might find useful when making your Cascade Duffle.

1. A tailors ham and sleeve roll. Not only do these help you get in and press the curves of your coat, when pressing wool you want the wooly side facing up towards the coat, this helps to keep the steam in and create a better press on your coat.

2. You may find a press cloth or clapper useful. Honestly I don’t use either (though I do know how and have used both) but they can help to achieve a better press on your wool by again, holding in the steam so that the wool will set. I just use my hand or forearm for this which I kind of don’t recommend unless you also have no heat sensitivity left in your pressing arm.

3. Obviously you will need an iron but I’m between the two so I didn’t have one set up to photograph.

So that’s it! On Monday we’ll be starting to assemble the coat so gather those supplies and lets do it!

12 Comments Posted in Cascade Sew Along
Cascade Sew Along

Cascade Sew-Along: Announcement & Schedule

Cascade Duffel Coat Sew Along | Grainline Studio

Alright, the patterns have shipped and it’s time to start the Cascade Duffle Coat Sew-Along! A lot of you have been asking me when this would start and I’m excited to dive right in. We’ll be going along with the instruction booklet, as usual, but this will give you the opportunity to sew with me and ask any questions you might have as we go. If you’re nervous about tackling a large project like a coat, don’t worry, it’s actually not as scary as it sounds and is such a rewarding project. Since I make clothes like it’s my job (errr well it is) people rarely give me the “wow you sewed that?!” response to anything anymore…except coats. It still blows people away!

Cascade Duffel Coat Sew Along | Grainline Studio

Here’s the schedule we’ll be sticking to, 11 days to sew your coat and 2 days for variations.

Day 01: Schedule & Badges
Day 02: Gathering Your Supplies
Day 03: Choosing a Size, Cutting, and Prepping Your Pieces
Day 04: Assemble Fronts, Backs, and Pockets & Attaching Pockets
Day 05: Attaching Front Bands & Toggles
Day 06: Creating Your Own Toggles (if you’re into customization)
Day 07: Complete Coat Body
Day 08: View A -Assemble & Attach Collar
Day 09: View B – Assemble & Attach Hood
Day 10: Assemble Linings & Facings
Day 11: Bag Your Jacket & Admire Your Beautiful Cascade Duffle Coat!
Day 12: Variation 1 – Cascade as a Vest
Day 13: Variation 2 – Cascade in Spring or Fall Fabric

Cascade Duffel Coat Sew Along | Grainline Studio

I’ve got some badges below if you’d like one for your blog just copy and paste the code inside the boxes onto your site, or if you’re sharing your progress on social media, tag your photos as #cascadedufflecoat or #cascadesewalong and we can create a little sew along community. If you still need the pattern you can grab a copy here. I can’t wait to see what we sew up together!

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Cascade Badge | Grainline Studio

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Cascade Badge | Grainline Studio

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Cascade Badge | Grainline Studio

19 Comments Posted in Cascade Sew Along
News

Tiny Pocket Tank & Portside Travel Set Printed Patterns

Tiny Pocket & Portside Now in Print  | Grainline Studio

In all my excitement over the new Cascade Duffle Coat pattern I completely neglected to mention that I now have the Tiny Pocket Tank and Portside Travel Set available as printed patterns!

I’ll be announcing the schedule for the Cascade Sew-Along on Monday and we’re going to dive right in. I don’t know how many people actually follow along day by day, it seems like more people catch up on the weekends or just wait till the whole things done so they know what they’re in for, so I figured lets just go for it! If you still need the pattern you can find it in both PDF and Print format here.

If you’ve ordered the Cascade already, I’ve been working nonstop on getting everything shipped all week and I think I should be caught up by Monday. Now back to the fulfillment center for me. Have a great weekend!

2 Comments Posted in News
Inspiration

Cascade Duffle Coat Inspiration

Cascade Duffle Coat Inspiration | Grainline Studio

Today I wanted to share a little inspiration for the Cascade Duffle Coat from my Cascade Inspiration board on Pinterest. I pulled a mix of more classic styles as well as some that showcase interesting toggle applications.

Cascade Duffle Coat Inspiration | Grainline Studio

Duffle coats are a traditional silhouette that has really made the transition to modern style quite well, I can’t imagine them ever really going out of style. They go so well with the timeless Breton top (as you can see in three of the photos above!) and I love the variation you can achieve with different fabrics, toggle applications, and even color-blocking. The color blocked one exists in my head but I couldn’t find an example to share. I can tell I’m going to end up with at least 2 more of these coats, is there a limit on how many coats are too many? I’m currently at 4 handmade coats… For more toggle & coat inspiration check out the Cascade Board here and if you’re looking for the Cascade Duffle pattern you can find that here in both print and PDF.

12 Comments Posted in Inspiration
Patterns

Cascade Duffle Coat

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

I’m so beyond excited to finally announce that the Cascade Duffle Coat pattern is now a reality! It’s a big pattern with lots to talk about so I’m going to launch right in. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below!

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

GARMENT DETAILS

First lets talk about the design elements of the pattern. From the pattern envelope…

“The Cascade Duffle Coat is a fresh take on a classic shape featuring a slight A-line cut, toggle front closure, and a hidden zipper band to keep the coat shut tight against cold weather. The hem of View A hits at the hip while View B’s falls to mid-thigh. Although View A is shown with a collar and View B with a hood, both are interchangeable allowing you to create your own perfect coat.”

Some people love hoods and hate collars, some people hate collars and love hoods. I wanted to make sure that if you’re making a pattern this involved that you have the choice between the two. The collar is generous enough that you can flip it up against the cold if you need to – I occasionally flip up the back collar and leave the front edges down.

As for the hood, we went through a few iterations together. It was important to me that the hood felt warm and roomy and could accommodate a scarf at the neck, but also wasn’t so roomy that it would blow off in the wind.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

Another detail I took into consideration was the hidden zipper which you can see in the above photo of the first version of this coat. While the zipper band is optional I really like having it in a winter coat, especially in a city as windy as Chicago. The toggles keep things closed but the zipper keeps them closed tight.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

SUGGESTED FABRICS

“Medium to heavy weight coating fabrics such as melton, boiled, or felted wool. View A can alternately be made up in canvas or twill for a lighter weight jacket. Recommended lining is rayon bemberg or a similar fabric. If you’d like a pop of color or pattern try cutting your hood lining and zipper bands from flannel.”

I’ll be doing a post about selecting the supplies for this coat soon but in the meantime you may want to refer to this post I did with Britex about selecting fabrics for a coat.

NOTIONS

Thread, 6 toggle buttons, View A: 18” separating zipper, View B: 22” separating zipper

I designed this coat so that the toggles and zippers can be purchased at any large craft store with no alterations to them. I’ve got a post planned out on making your own as well which I love doing. Good toggles can be hard to find but I’ve got a few sources I’ll be sharing, nothing groundbreaking but it’s always helpful to have a roundup.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

PATTERN DIFFICULTY

The Cascade Duffle Coat has an Advanced rating for a few reasons. Honestly all sewing is made up of sewing, pressing, and trimming (if needed) one seam after another so if you take things one step at a time it’s really no harder than any other pattern. The reasons the Cascade is rated advanced are…

  • There are 40 pattern pieces between View A & View B which is a lot to deal with and keep track of.
  • Between the two views there are about 60 steps which could be overwhelming and take more time than a more basic project. Take them one step at a time though and you’re good to go.
  • The suggested fabric is wool and you need between 2 3/4yds – 4 1/8yds depending on which view and size you’re making. This means you have the potential to spend more than your average amount on the supplies for this.

Due to these things and certain techniques like bagging a lining (which is super easy once you get the hang of it but seems completely bizarre and ill fated at first) I didn’t want to rate the coat Intermediate and have anyone put so much time and money into it just to have a failed project. I think it’s more than just a step up from a basic tank in sewing responsibility, though in all honesty the difficulty really comes from the compounding of steps and not one thing in particular.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

MEASUREMENTS & YARDAGE

Cause I know you guys are going to want these…

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

lFor a contrasting hood / yoke like I did in View B, you’ll need approximately 1 yd of the contrasting fabric for all sizes.

ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE PATTERN

I feel like I need to talk a little bit the sheer size of this pattern. If you’ve checked out the Cascade in the shop you’ll notice that it’s quite large. The reason for this is 1. it’s a coat with two views, but 2. it’s the way the linings are drafted. I could have easily saved about 30 pages (and a lot of money at the printer) by having the coat lined with the same pattern as the shell but that completely negates the point of the lining and I couldn’t do that. The lining needs to be larger than the shell in order to do it’s job of protecting the coat from stress and allowing you to get in and out of it easily. The lining is the cheap part, the part that you would replace when it wears out before the coat (because it’s doing its job of protecting the coat). If the lining isn’t protecting the shell as it should, there’s just really no point unless you’re after extra warmth. In that case I recommend interlining the coat and inserting the lining as drafted.

That said, each of the the downloadable pattern file options are broken into 3 files.

  • View A & B: This file contains the pattern pieces required whether you’re making View A or View B as well as the hood and collar pieces so you can switch those up without having to print additional pages. You will need to print this file no matter which view you’re making.
  • View A: This file contains the pieces specific to View A, you only need to print this to make View A.
  • View B: This file contains the pieces specific to View B, you only need to print this to make View B.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. I’ve been wearing my grey version since November, 2012 and my other two versions since winter of last year and they’re all still going strong, even through last year’s Polar Vortex. I’ll be starting a sew along soon (I think people are going to want one for this coat) so we can start rolling along shortly!

*I’ve also got vest & cotton twill variations planned.

 

65 Comments Posted in Patterns
Knitted Garments

The Bellows Cardigan

The Bellows Cardigan | Brooklyn Tweed

May I present to you my new favorite cardigan, the Bellows Cardigan. This was my last finished knit of 2014 (which apparently was the year of the sweater for me) and I’ve only just gotten around to getting my winter photo situation worked out and photographing it.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The pattern is Bellows designed by Michele Wang for the infamous BT Fall ’14 collection. There seriously isn’t a miss in that collection as far as I’m concerned, everything is just spot on. I had planned on knitting Ondawa but after finishing my Stonecutter my hands needed a bit of a break before launching into another intricately cabled design so Bellows it was.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I had a hard time deciding on a size for this one. The second smallest size had 5″ ease but since I wanted to wear it more as a jacket / blanket I wanted a bit more ease than that. The third size up had 10.5″ of ease which is a ton, but in the end I went with the third size.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

As you can see its a lot of cardigan! when I blocked this sweater I blocked the length about 2″ longer than suggested so that took a bit of the width out. I can comfortably wear a tank, Hemlock, and Archer all at once underneath this cardigan, or I can layer it over my Benton, not that I would ever do anything so crazy (I have and it’s so warm and wonderful). When you’re essentially cold blooded like me you go to extreme lengths to stay warm.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I had a bit of trouble working the buttonholes, but it turns out there was a small error in the pattern regarding which side should be facing while working them. A quick email to Brooklyn Tweed and a consult with Ysolda’s One Row Buttonhole tutorial cleared me up in no time though.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The buttons I purchased from Soutache here in Chicago. Just a quick sidenote, if you’re in or around Chicago and are looking for buttons for a special project this is the place for you. Every button of their large selection is gorgeous and of such high quality. I went with a large leather woven button on the front and attached them through smaller buttons at the back of the button band. This prevents the button from stressing the particular stitch you sewed it to if you were just attaching the button straight to the button band.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I used the recommended yarn, Shelter, in the recommended color. I debated long and hard about choosing a color, but I was just so in love with this dusty blue I had to go with it. I don’t have many other garments this color so it it goes nicely with my wardrobe palette but I’m also not head to toe one color, which is becoming a problem for me.

The Bellows Sweater | Grainline Studio

I am so in love with this sweater, it checks all the boxes in something I love in a cardigan – maritime inspired cables, warm collar that can be flipped up, can be layered over 3-4 other garments… essentially a walking blanket, and in my book that is the only kind of cardigan worth wearing, unless you are laying a thin cardigan underneath a large cardigan, I’ll rally for that too. For more details on this project you can check out my Ravelry page here.

32 Comments Posted in Knitted Garments
Journal Entry

The Putter: Handcrafted Scissors

I just came across this beautiful video last night of  a ‘Putter’ at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield – one of the last hand manufactures of scissors – when Fleur shared a link for it on Twitter. It reminds me of the videos showing couture gowns being handmade but for some reason I find it so much more interesting and compelling to watch. It could be because I grew up watching The New Yankee Workshop and This Old House on the weekends (we never had cable and weren’t really allowed much TV), but there’s just something so satisfying about watching someone make a tool you use every day with the high level of care that this man does. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

29 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Journal Entry

Winter ’15 Wardrobe Plans

Winter '15 Wardrobe Plans | Grainline Studio

A little bit back I posted on some of my Winter /15 Wardrobe inspiration and I’ve slowly been working on some garments inspired by the things I want to see in my wardrobe. I drew up a few pages of sketches to guide me through the process and thought I would share a few before my first Winter ’15 Wardrobe post!

The above photo features two sweaters, one I’ve finished, Bellows, and the other I’ve started on. I’m excited that I’ve had a little time to knit so I can add some hand knit sweaters into the rotation. In addition to sweaters, I’d like to add some knit shells for layering as well as pants / jeans (I have the Ginger jeans and a personal pattern ready to go if I get some time) and I really need another Moss skirt so bad!

Winter '15 Wardrobe Plans | Grainline Studio

I’ve basically stopped wearing dresses but I’m going to make a few up in loose shapes and try to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I want a nice shift, a crepe de chine Archer / Alder, and I’ve got some ponte all washed and ready for a Marianne dress! I’d like to add a few garments designed by my friends into my closet this year and I think Christine is the perfect place to start, seriously she had me in mind with that pattern!

Winter '15 Wardrobe Plans | Grainline Studio

The past few months I’ve been doing yoga in an attempt to get myself running again (a bit of sciatica from my old pal L5 put a stop to things for a while but I just started back on the treadmill!) and I’ve noticed that there’s something I don’t like or would change about almost everything I wear to class. I’d like to design some new basics as well as alter some existing patterns to make things I love. First on the list are some racer back tanks and cropped Hemlocks!

I don’t usually draw out what I’m planning on making, I’m much more of a list maker, but I thought it might help me get my thoughts more in order on this project. So far it’s working well! There are many more garments I plan on adding over the year, including coats, bras, blazers, etc. but these are first on my agenda. What kinds of garments do you want to add to your wardrobe this year? Do you sketch out your plans? I’m also going to try to pull a Tasia and do a little bit of personal sewing each week in an attempt to keep things fun and take a break from business sewing.

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Journal Entry

The Sunday Sweater KAL

Sunday Sweater KAL |Grainline Studio

I’ve gotten some questions about the Sunday Sweater KAL that Jess, Amy and I are doing on Instagram so I thought I’d do a quick little post to try to answer the questions. This is a totally unstructured knit along, no specific patterns, no dates, no prizes besides your awesome sweater at the end, it’s just a bunch of friends knitting sweaters together using a common hashtag to share, encourage, and motivate each other! If you’re wondering what qualifies, we’re all knitting sweaters that, in the words of Jess, “reminds you of a lazy Sunday afternoon,” so use that as your jumping off point. If you have a sweater you started last year and stalled out on, want to knit a sweater for someone else (adult or child), or are starting a brand new sweater, all are welcome!

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