Saturday, 27 May 2017

Moleskin Duffle for Winter 2017

Kia ora! This is kinda exciting ... well I'm excited anyway. I was flattered when I was contacted by Hawes and Freer to see if I was interested in participating in the launch of their new website. Now, little did they know that I often stalked their website drooling over the beautiful wool coating and while I wanted to say yes, I really had to think carefully about whether I could commit the time.

As you can see I said yes!

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I was planning to make another Albion Duffle coat this winter, so this was the perfect opportunity when I was shown the beautiful range of lightweight moleskin available from Hawes and Freer. What colour to choose???? After changing my mind over and over I settle on the olive green, with a army gingham for the lining. It all arrived beautifully packed and labeled.

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I had previous made the Albion Duffle for my son, who only wore it a handful of times before he grew out of it! I couldn't bare the thought of all that work just sitting on the hanger, so for the last couple of years I've been wearing it as my main winter coat and have loved it, despite the shoulders being too big.

This time I traced off a size small with a couple of slight alterations
  • I inserted a centre back seam and created a slit in the back to create a bit more freedom when I sat in the car. I also shaped it slightly so it curved in at the waist - ever so subtle.
  • Same with the side seams I created a slight curve in at the waist, nothing dramatic so you probably don't even notice it.
  • I added another pocket over top of the patch pocket which is more for putting my hands in than putting stuff in!
  • I played with the hood a little as well, but I tell you about that soon.
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Other than the hood I constructed the coat according to the instructions.

I knew I wanted to have a zipper in this version, but my brain couldn't work out how I insert the zip with the machine during the construction, ahhhhh! So I opted to just sew the zipper in by hand. Actually I sewed it in twice ... initially I bought and inserted a bottle green zipper but after I had put it in I decided it didn't look right so ripped it out and bought a black zipper instead.

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Now the hood ... I really like it when I have something that comes up and covers my neck, it makes me feel warmer and protected from the wind. This was all a bit of trial and error, but I drafted the hood to extend to the edge of each front piece and extended up, best just look at this photo rather than me explain any more.

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It's not perfect but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and gives me just the little bit more protection from the wind that I wanted. Talking about wind, this moleskin is amazing, it's perfect for keeping the wind out! Believe me that is a must when you live in Wellington.

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To finish the coat and give it a bit of decoration I created three button thingys across the chest. I bought some cord (the proper name escapes me right now) and created loops by hand sewing them to the right front.  The buttons on the right are just decoration but the buttons on the left are functional. I'm pretty happy with how they balance out the pockets.

Oh and one last thing - I created a slight high-low hem, again ever so subtle.

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I've worn this every week since I finished it at the end of April. Winter has set in here and going outside without a coat is no longer an option. I think its going to be a long cold winter this year.

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To conclude, the moleskin was an absolutely dream to sew and the gingham lining was the perfect match. Hawes and Freer provided me with the moleskin the gingham lining and the two cuff buttons in return for a blog post to coincide with the launch of their new website. I have the freedom to express my own thoughts and opinions, but honestly I can't talk highly enough about the quality of the fabric I received.

Initially I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more of a fabric selection on their new website but Hawes and Freer have assured me that there will be more fabric being loaded to the website, so people like me that can't get to their bricks and mortar shop will have more of a selection. I'm looking forward to that.

More photos on my Flickr -->


  1. I'm loving how warm and practical your new coat looks. Great colour choice too.

    1. Thanks Gail, I wear this one daily. It goes with everything and it's nice not wearing a black or grey coat.

  2. The colour you have chosen is very popular at the moment and is also quite practical. Your new coat looks great.

    1. Yes green is 'in' this winter isn't it. I kinda also wanna make a carmel colour coat but maybe that one is next winter. Thanks :-)



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