Variations on a Tee #4: Waterfall Cardigan and Mini Wardrobe

Waterfall Caridgan Thunbnail

As usual, I am a little late to the party--the waterfall cardigan has been a thing for several years now.  In fact, the first time I saw one was on a fellow traveler when I took a bike trip in Italy in 2004!  But hey, better late than never.
Etoile Isabel Marant
Lexy Leather Trimmed Boucle Jacket, $430

The fabric is a stable knit from the $2.97/yd table at G Street Fabrics.  At first I wasn't crazy about the fact that it is essentially striped, but then I saw this Isabel Marant jacket/cardigan and felt a little better.  Heh.

This is a pretty simple variation to draft.  It looks like McCall 6084 is the same style, though I've only looked at the line drawing so I don't know what the pattern pieces look like.  All you do is extend the front neckline at the inner point of the shoulder the same length as the back neckline (I did not bother redrafting my back neckline to be straight--the curve on my TNT sloper is gentle enough that it didn't make a difference) and then extend center front your desire width.  I made it as wide as half the front--doubling the width so that each front half is as wide as a whole front.

The only tricky part in sewing is keeping track of what is being sewn together where.  It might be helpful to add notches at the shoulder for this.   This photo might help you visualize how it looks to put together:

Clip Into SA at Front Neck ExtensionFirst, you sew the center back neckline seam of the fronts together (the upper edge of that extension you added to the front neckline).  Next, sew the shoulder and neckline all at once.  Pin the front and back together starting at the outer/armscye edge of the shoulder, continue the line by pinning the front neck extension to the back neck, and keep going onto the other shoulder.  You will need to clip into the seam allowance of the front at the shoulder/back neck extension to get a straight line to sew.

Then proceed as normal.  I like to set the sleeve in the flat and then do the sleeve/side seam all at once.  The last thing is the long hem that goes all the way around the cardigan and the sleeve hems.  This is a really simple project and only takes a couple of hours to make.

Pin Interfacing on Wrong Side

The sweater can be worn a variety of ways.  I liked the idea of being able to tie the fronts together, so I pinned and marked the spot at the waistline where the regular tee ended and the extension began so I could make a hole to thread the ribbon through.  I pinned a large interfacing patch to the wrong side.

Trim Interfacing, Then Fuse

Next, I stitched the buttonholes from the right side.

After the buttonhole was done I trimmed the interfacing patch to only slightly larger than the buttonhole before fusing.

Because of the texture and pattern of the fabric, the buttonhole is nearly invisible, and certainly not noticeable while wearing.

To keep the ribbon with me but out of the way while I'm wearing the cardigan a different way, I stitched a loop of elastic into the side seam just below the armscye.  The ribbon hangs through the loop and doesn't dangle down to the outside.

Dress + Cardi
Silver Top + Skirt + Cardi
This is a fun little sweater that I ended up liking more than I expected.  I don't have many cardigans in my closet because I buy so little clothing and I find it hard to make a cardigan that doesn't look homemade, as so much of the commercially-manufactured versions are done on specialized machines using techniques the home sewist simply cannot duplicate.  The waterfall idea obviates the need for the special ribbed collar and placket finishes.  I foresee more of these in my future.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.


Mini Wardrobe Contest 2012

The cardigan is the "key" piece in my 2012 Mini Wardrobe Contest entry.  The wardrobe had to be 5 pieces, at least 4 made during the contest period.  I had one more piece planned, but just didn't have time to get to it so I pulled a dress out of the closet.

The idea was to make neutral separates that will go with a lot of other things in the closet.    It is not like me to wear neutrals or dark colors or solids, but sometimes I do feel the lack of them in my wardrobe.  These pieces do take me a little closer to a versatile closet!

Self-drafted jeggings
Self-drafted waterfall cardigan
Manequim 02-2012-216 cowl sleeve tank
Burda 02-2011-103 godet pencil skirt
Burda 05-2010-105 Grecian draped dress (from the closet; I made this in 2010)

The items actually make 10 combinations (6 is the minimum) but I forgot to photograph one of them.*

Silver top + jeggings
Silver top + jeggings + cardi
Silver top + skirt
Silver top + skirt + cardi
Cardi (as a top) + jeggings
Cardi (as a top) + skirt
Dress + cardi
Dress + jeggings
Dress + jeggings + cardi

My mini wardrobe review is here and the photos of all the combinations are here.

*Dress + Jeggings + Cardigan, if you're counting at home.


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