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A Modern Take on a Classic Duffle Coat

Updated: May 18, 2023

I am rounding out the month of March with my second version of the Lou Raincoat. The Lou Raincoat pattern was dedicated to me as a pattern ambassador for Seamwork, celebrating their 200th pattern. It has been so much fun to create two Lou Raincoats that offer very different styling.

For this version I chose this stylish water repellant faux suede from Minerva Fabrics. It is a gorgeous fabric! It has a beautiful finish and it looks incredible. The bonus is that it is incredibly easy fabric to work with. It is the perfect thickness for a coat that is incredibly easily to work with. There is a very slight knap to the fabric so I made sure to cut the pattern pieces in the same direction just to be sure. As it is a sueded fabric I wasn’t too sure how it would press but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it was hassle free. I used regular settings on my iron and the seams and details pressed out beautifully. I can’t say enough about this fabric. It is the kind of fabric that truly makes a garment even better!

If you would like to see the Lou Raincoat sewn up in another wonderful fabric from Minerva click here to see my previous post featuring a poly rain tech fabric Lou Raincoat.


The coat itself sewed up more quickly as it’s the second time I have made it. I kept the original length this time and lengthened the sleeves by 3.5”.


I didn’t include the pocket flaps for this make as I wanted a cleaner look for the duffle coat style. I really liked the frayed selvage of the suede so I used that as the top edge of the pocket. To finish the edge I created a 1” finishing strip by sewing the fabric wrong side out. I did this with the sleeve tabs as well. It adds a subtle contrast. Once again I narrowed the bodice of the coat, grading down several sizes. I feel more comfortable with a straighter cut.

For the closure, I used four duffle toggles. Hand stitching them onto the coat took quite some time but I am pleased with the effect. I kept one snap at the top of the coat to make sure I could close the coat right up to protect me from the weather. This snap coordinated with the snaps used on the cuff.

I lined the coat with a polyester stripe on stripe brown lining. This lining was a subtle, classic choice in keeping with the traditional style of the coat. It was the perfect finishing touch to a coat that is fast becoming one of my favourite more complex makes.

I am really pleased with the way the coat has turned out. It goes to show that the Lou raincoat pattern is a versatile design that can be made this a huge variety of fabrics. I have worn my duffle style Lou and my raincoat Lou on constant repeat since I have made them.


A VERY special thanks to the Minerva team for the fabric as part of my role as a Minerva Brand Ambassador. I appreciate so very much being able to use Minerva’s top quality fabric to celebrate this special pattern release.


I am already thinking about a denim Lou jacket…

After all… There is Sew Much To Design


Happy Sewing,


Lou Sheffer

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