Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Dec 9, 2010

Men's toggle coat - cutting fabric, purchasing notions, etc.

And off we go!

Friends, the toggle coat project is moving along.  Yesterday I made my pattern adjustments (basically just taking 4" width out of the whole thing -- 1" from each front pattern piece and 2" out of the back, and shortening 2".)  I kept the armhole, neck, and hood as-is, rather than cutting it down to the Extra-small.

I folded the pattern piece over 1/2" (for a total width adjustment of 1")...

And then I redrew the shoulder line.

I went to Sil thread to buy a Clover bias tape maker, but I wasn't sure which width to buy - 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" or 1".  The pattern says to use 1/4" double fold bias tape but won't that be too narrow to finish seams from underlined wool?  I'll have to go back tomorrow because I still haven't purchased my toggles from C&C.

I bought regular black thread as well as thicker black topstitching thread for the yokes, hood and patch pockets.  I did some test samples of topstitching on the wool and they look good.  (The thread appears gray in the photograph but it's black.)  I'll most likely use my Singer Spartan to topstitch, everything else on my 15-91.

First I cut my gray wool and then I cut my plaid.  It took a few hours but went smoothly.  There aren't that many pattern pieces when you consider this is a coat.

I still have to baste the plaid underlining to the gray wool and then I can start putting this baby together.

This is going to be different from a traditional toggle (also know as a duffle) coat in a few ways.  For one thing, the wool I'm using is less coarse and pillowy than what you usually find in a traditional toggle coat.  My wool, as you may have noticed, is smooth.  I'm also making the yokes out of separate front and back pieces, as per the pattern, rather than drafting a one piece yoke -- unless I change my mind.

(The pattern doesn't call for lining the yoke and I can only see doing that for additional thickness.  I'll experiment with those yokes today.  I don't want them to look too flat; then again the topstitching will be going through four layers: the folded edge of the yoke, the coat fabric and the underlining fabric.)

This Hugo Boss coat looks more like the wool I'm using -- flat with a dull sheen.

This is the coarser, more blanket-type wool. 

Mine is going to be less of a Survive-the-harsh-Maine-winter coat and more of a Barbie-dons-the-duffle fashion garment, if that makes sense. 

There are so many toggle coat variations!

We'll just have to see which of these my finished coat resembles most.

Friends, that's it!    Please keep your fingers crossed, and if you have any tips, especially regarding width of bias tape, that would be great.

Happy Thursday everybody!


  1. You are going fast - and it looks so nice up to now - I think your coat will look fab! I am envy of your Spartan - it is so beautiful - I wish I had one! Xoxo fm Brazil - Carina

  2. Beautiful! Your progress and inspiration pics are making me want a duffle coat of my own. I can't remember seeing any current patterns, but I'm sure I could find an out of print one.

  3. Good luck with this, Peter. I'm wearing my LL Bean classic duffle coat today. I love that it's 15 years old and still looks great. And it is so warm.

  4. This is looking exciting---that fabric is so yummy!

    If I were you I'd buy the 1/4" and 1/2" bias-tape maker, and experiment---after all, I'm pretty sure you will use both in the future once you actually have them. Alternatively, you could buy neither and follow Gigi's tutorial which doesn't require folded binding at all, just the flat bias strips.

  5. Great tutorial -- thanks!

    What I like is that it's not double folded: you fold over the first side and then just trim the excess (after you stitch in the ditch) on the other side and then I guess, since it's bias, it won't fray.

  6. Off to a great-looking start, Peter. I have no advice, but am enjoying watching this emerge. - Sam

  7. You work amazingly fast! I have a copy of the Japanese trench/duffle bok just so that I can make one of these someday. Yours should look great on you; the alterations look just right. I think you were smart not to alter the hood, etc.

  8. That is going to be a gorgeous coat!

  9. Oh it's so nifty! I like the play by play as this coat gets made.

  10. Really great progress. Your sewing is meticulous. Beautiful.

  11. I'm very excited for your toggle coat! Can you make one for me next, please?

  12. Natasha you are next -- start picking out your fabric!

  13. This is going to be one beautiful coat. Love the plaid lining.

  14. I love it already! one reason I can think of to line the yoke would be so that it slides on and off more easily. a satin lining would accomplish this to the nth degree, but anything smoother than your wool and/or without seam allowances would matter. You know that feeling of trying to shrug on a coat over your biggest sweater? mais oui-

  15. I am making 2 or 3 pairs of pajamas a day. You make most of a coat. I am so envious!! How do you make the time?? OTOH it will be beautiful on you, I hope you wear it proudly for years.

  16. Looking good Peter.
    If you go with the bias maker, keep in mind the width quoted is not a "folded in half ready to stitch" width, so if you wanted a 1/4" finished width, you would buy a 1/2" bias maker.
    I personally would probably buy the 1/2" and 3/4" & just see how the finished bias looks.
    Being a wool fabric, it might just be too awkward to work with the narrower width.
    HOWEVER! Gigi's tutorial for a hong kong finish would be better if using the wool, assuming its a bit thicker than a satin or similar. gives a nice finish too & is less bulky.
    I still think I'd like to see a red satin binding though, but that's just my (bold) preference!

  17. The bias-tape makers usually tell you right on the package, and on the thing itself, the width of the finished bias. Don't forget to halve it if you're going to fold it over an edge, and to allow for fabric thickness.

    But I'm getting terribly confused - I see a lining, yet you're talking about putting bias tape on to finish the seams? A belt -and- suspenders kind of guy, eh?

  18. I will admit to being lazy when it comes to bias tape. The only time I make it is when it comes to quilt binding. Other than that, I buy the stuff. Saves me lots of hassle, and truthfully, I think it's much more cost effective to buy the commercial stuff, anyway. I think the 1/4 might just be sufficient, Peter. I regularly use 1/4 double fold bias tape to finish the joining seam between a bodice and a gathered skirt. That can get to be really thick. But if you're in doubt, go with 1/2. Test it out first. See which works better with the seams allowance you're planning on using.

  19. Look at you go! I wish I had more time to sew but you know what they say, be careful for what you wish for!

    Please document with pictures and words, your adventures with the Clover bias maker and application techniques!

  20. Ok! You may find a Mackinaw Coat Pattern at Northwest Traders Inc. 1-937-308-1591. $9.50 plus UPS Shipping Charges. Where can I find a Traditional Toggle Coat Pattern? I want to do one in Scottish Tartan with Moose Horn Toggles. As far as a know, no one has ever crafted a Toggle Coat in Tartan. I may be the first one to round up this project. Love your work and your Toggle Coats are beautiful! Great and exacting work. With Kind Regards, Robb Walker.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails