Sunday, September 30, 2012

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 Extension First, 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.


Lisa H. said...

Your mini-wardrobe is a success. I love the cardigan.I've made it a couple of times myself. You look great in every piece. Good job!

Uta said...

Your mini wardrobe is gorgeous. It could truly take you anywhere! I think sewing neutrals and basics is the most underrated sewing activity there is!

Adelaide B said...

That sweater really does bring the mini-wardrobe together. Everything looks lovely!

T. Sedai said...

This looks great! Love your mini wardrobe, and the key piece sweater really does tie everything together nicely. It looks like a lot of good pieces to mix and match with other things you already own.

T. Sedai said...

This looks great! Love your mini wardrobe, and the key piece sweater really does tie everything together nicely. It looks like a lot of good pieces to mix and match with other things you already own.

Faye Lewis said...

Love your wardrobe Trina and the way you showcased almost a full two weeks work outfits. Neat - o!

Linda said...

I too have been late to the waterfall cardi/sweater. I like yours and it does pull a lot of the garments together. Cute mini wardrobe.

Carol said...

What a lovely collection. I'm having a bit of a love affair with grey this week and your collection has given me some great inspiration.

Karen said...

I just finished my entry and I think my eyes are about to fall out after staring at my computer all day trying to get it all entered. I love what you did, the neutrals are so unexpected from you but so beautiful. I especially love the dress!

HeathersSphere said...

Such practical and wonderful pieces resulting in a versatile and chic wardrobe! Very nice work. :-)

Karin said...

Your self drafted cardi is fantstic! It looks great, not at all home made. I have avoided cardigans for the same reasons, but now I feel intrigued. If you see a waterfall cardigan pop up on my blog, you will know that you were my inspiration.

Elise Lin said...

The cardigan is perfect for that fabric! That's a great mini-wardrobe you made.

liza jane said...

Awesome! The cardigan is my favorite piece.

Ripple Dandelion said...

The colors may be neutral but the shapes are far from it--what a nice play of forms and and shades. Bet you will get a lot of use from the cardigan, since it looks warm and could function as a jacket in a professional setting. Love those jeggings, too!

ana5059 said...

Love this cardigan with belt!!! And your mini wardrobe is a success, makes you look young, as just you are.

TracyKM said...

I love your wardrobe and the cardi, but I'm lost by the instructions :( "First, you sew the center back neckline seam of the fronts together" I'm stumped how the front can have a center back. Do you know, off hand, of any commercial patterns that would replicate this cardi?

TracyKM said...

Thanks! My eyes tend to glaze over when I read things, LOL, so it'd be easier for me to start with a commercial pattern and be able to work through each step (since I'm also quite a newbie sewer).

Clio said...

What a great versatile piece!

DanaJ said...

The combo of you, short skirt, black boots and this cardigan is a winner. Very flattering.

Dana J
Houston TX

McVal said...

Great sweater and wardrobe!
Have you ever heard of The Sewing Workshop? They have a downloadable pattern called the eShrug that this reminds me of.
They are an independent designer pattern company. A lot of gals from my sewing group have done this one, but your sweater just inspired me!

MushyWear said...

You put together a very chic and practical wardrobe! Great job! The Waterfall Cardigan looks fantastic and I really like the fabric you used for it. And at $2.97 a yard...What a winner!

Barbara at Cat Fur Studio said...

Wow! A beautiful combination of clothing, and the cardigan is the piece de resistance. Really lovely. Love your photos, too.

AllisonC said...

I love this cardigan, the fabric makes it look more jacket-like so it's really versatile as your mini wardrobe photos show. All the wardrobe photos look fantastic.

kbenco said...

What a lovely relaxed feel to your wardrobe. They are such wearable looking pieces, looking terrific together, but also as if they will work really well with other seperates.

gwensews said...

Super wardrobe. The cardi is the perfect piece to pull it all together. Nice sewing!

Adelaide B said...

Hey! you haven't posted in awhile. I hope everything is cool.

velosewer said...

This is a great collection. The jacket is a good choice.