Tropical Cascade Skirt

I finished my first sewing project of the summer last week!

This is the Cascade Skirt pattern by Meagan Nielsen. Over the past few months I’d seen several beautiful versions of this skirt pop up around the blogosphere, but I hadn’t really thought seriously about buying the pattern–it just didn’t seem like the kind of thing I was likely to wear, you know? But then I found this amazing tropical floral rayon at Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics a few weeks ago, and I knew immediately that it had to be made up into a Cascade. Aren’t they just a perfect match?

Cascade fabric
Cascade pattern
This skirt came together really quickly and easily–it took me three or four evenings, from cutting to sewing on the buttons (and most of that time was spent doing the rolled hems on the outer fabric and the lining). Definitely an instant gratification project (which is great)! Here’s a close-up of the inside of the rolled hem, and a French seam:

I only made a few minor adjustments to the pattern. First, I added a back seam. The cutting layout included in the pattern has you cut the back piece on the fold, but to do that you have to fold the fabric perpendicular to the selvedge, which means that if the print on the fabric is directional at all, it will be sideways on your skirt. Most of the time this wouldn’t matter at all, but the flowers on my fabric all face one direction, and I really wanted them to be facing up instead of sideways. So I just added 5/8″ seam allowance, cut 2 back pieces, and sewed them together with a French seam. I don’t think it’s noticeable at all–and if it is, that’s okay, because those French seams are pretty gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Here’s a close-up of the inside of the skirt back seam:

I also added a lining, because I wasn’t sure whether this rayon would wind up being slightly see-through or not. In hindsight it probably wasn’t necessary, but it wasn’t too difficult to do and it sure feels nice and silky on my skin. Here’s the inside of the finished skirt (all wrinkly from being worn all day–forgive me):

The pattern includes instructions for a lining, but it instructs you to use the same pattern pieces for both the outer fabric and the lining, which means that the lining fabric will be very visible due to the high-low hem. I didn’t want my lining to show (I didn’t want to cover up that fantastic print!), so I just shortened the pattern pieces enough that I was confident the back lining would be shorter than the front of the skirt. I also made the lining a little shorter around the waist, so the lining fabric would be less likely to peak out from the front of the skirt. I think it worked pretty well. (The lining fabric is rayon bemberg lining ordered online from Mood Fabrics–specifically, I think it’s this one.)

Other than that, I pretty much followed the directions exactly. I’ve seen several versions of this skirt that were shortened in the back a little bit, but I like the extra long back–it’s dramatic, certainly, but in a good way!

The pattern includes three waistband options (tie-in-the-front, tie-in-the-back, and button-up), and I chose the option with buttons. I also added a snap for some extra security.

The buttons are purple plastic, inherited from my grandmother in her enormous stash of sewing supplies. They’re definitely vintage, although I’m not sure what decade they’re from. In real life they’re a beautiful rich purple, although for some reason they look more blue-ish in these photos. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Here are some terrible self-timer photos I took right after I finished it, just to give you an idea of what it looks like close up…

And here’s some more artsy photos of the skirt in action in the rose garden this afternoon.

The back is kind of wrinkly from sitting on a bench in the rose garden right before this…oh well.

It’s very twirly and billows beautifully when you walk!

This is a great, simple pattern, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I ended up making it again. My only complaint is that it really isn’t suitable for windy conditions, unless you wear bike shorts underneath or something. :P That being said, I love my new skirt, and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out it. Definitely a successful project!

And just for fun, here’s a pretty photo I took in the rose garden this afternoon:

pink and yellow roses


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