It’s a bit rainy in Yorkshire today so it feels slightly less bonkers to be sharing my new Cambria Duster (last week it was too hot to even talk about outerwear). I made this a couple of months ago (still had pink hair) but I’ve finally got round to writing it up. The pattern is by Friday Pattern Company and I think I’ve made almost all their patterns now – they are definitely one of my go-to pattern companies! I had planned to make what I thought would look like a sort-of elevated cardigan but what I’ve ended up with is an elegant coat that I am completely in love with.
The wool is a heavyweight knit fabric made from 65% virgin wool with 35% nylon. Because it is a knit, it does have some stretch (thus my plan to make a long cardigan), but I am so glad I decided to take a risk and make a Friday Pattern Company Cambria Duster instead.
The heavy knit is quite thick so early on I decided to sew it with raw edges much like you might with boiled wool (this doesn’t fray either – I did extensive testing). I had seen another Cambria made in this way on Instagram and loved the finished look. To achieve this seam finish I followed a tutorial from Muna and Broad for the overlapping seam technique and it was really helpful – you can watch yourself here.
I had 3m of fabric and managed to cut my whole Cambria out of it with very little to spare – I made the M graded to the XL at the hips. In hindsight I could have sized down and may go back in and alter it slightly to be a bit less roomy. Despite it being thick and spongey, my sewing machine had zero problems at all sewing this fabric. Top tip – I used a topstitching needle and denim thread so that the stitches are more obvious and don’t get so lost in the fabric!
The pattern was easy to follow – it is surprisingly simple for such an elegant finished-look. I definitely think I might have to make another in lighter weight fabric as it was such an enjoyable sew. I love that collar and the pockets!
The wool is lovely, it responded well to an iron and smells delightfully ‘sheepy’ when wet (I hope my fellow knitters will identify with my love of this smell). I can already tell this coat is going to be incredibly warm! The nature of virgin wool does make this a bit itchy though so if you are sensitive to itchy wool I would recommend steering towards something with cashmere instead (although that admittedly would be much more expensive.. As it is, I am delighted with my new coat and am very disappointed I’ve made it at entirely the wrong time of year to wear it!!!
Because my original plan was to make a long-cardigan, this duster isn’t lined, but because I think I will be likely to wear it more like a coat, I am going to go back and add a lining. Would anyone be interested in seeing how I do this? Let me know!
Until next time, happy sewing!
Disclaimer: ⭐️Wool fabric was provided free of charge in exchange for a post on Minerva’s website. I chose the product and what to make with it. All opinions are totally my own, and I wouldn’t add it to my blog if I wasn’t a fan!