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the cascade skirt

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt MN2202 // www.megannielsen.com

Today we’re chatting a bit more about Cascade!

Ahhh Cascade. I have so many versions now it’s ridiculous. I just adore it! I sneakly wore it a few times on Design Diary before releasing, and all summer it’s been my go to skirt for times when i want to look put together, but really can’t be bothered.

I really adore this pattern! Lets look a bit more into it:

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt sewing pattern / Inspiration

[image source: 1 +2]

Water is important to me. Until we moved to the US i’d lived my entire life near water. It’s actually ridiculous how claustrophobic i get when i’m not near the ocean. I suppose it’s not surprising how much it inspires me.

Now that we live so close to the beach, i often find myself taking a drive up Sunset Coast just to look at the waves and dream. That’s really the feeling of this skirt, waves, waterfalls, cascades. Ripple and flow. When i designed it i was dreaming up wind catching it, and the flow of walking in it. I think you can really see what i was getting at with the fabrics i chose for the lookbook too – they really speak to the feeling i was going for.

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt / Development

Beyond Aesthetics, i really wanted to create a pattern that was beginner friendly but with buckets and BUCKETS of wow factor. Whenever i speak to anyone new to sewing, they always want to make gorgeous things, statement pieces, special items they crafted. I really wanted to address this need with the Cascade – and create a pattern that is ridiculously easy to sew, and yet is a total stunner. I have quite a few cascades in my wardrobe now, and they never cease to impress when i wear them out.

From a technical standpoint – this pattern also went through a number of iterations before i was happy. I started in the usual way, with the flat pattern – and made adjustments based on the test pieces. This process is what made me decide to add in different waistband options and suggestions for how to line or add a contrast fabric on the inside. There really is something so exciting about developing a pattern design!

Since the skirt is lower in the back, this results in the side seams being visible – so i added instructions for french seams to keep everything pretty and clean lines.

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt variation potentialAgain this pattern has a lot of potential. Here are a few of the ideas i included in the pattern booklet. I’m thinking contrast waistbands, shortening the pattern to create a detachable peplum, using a contrast lining on the inside to create interest, or even make the skirt reversible, and i love the idea of layering the skirt – say cutting one layer slighly shorter than the other and laying it over the top.

It’s also pretty easy to straighten up the hem on this one to create a more standard hemline. I’d love to try making the hemline scalloped, or adding a lace or trim along the length of the hem. Another thing i’m dying to try is making the entire skirt out of jersey, and no hemming – like a lazy cascade!

I also made sure to add instructions in the pattern for how to add a lining – this will be pretty helpful if you’d like to use a sheer fabric like a chiffon.

This skirt also looks quite different depending on fabric type. As you can see in the lookbook – the lightweight voile version hangs flat, and has more cascades along the edges than the version that is made from lined linen. The heavier fabric results in a puffier skirt and less Cascades, but though the looks are different depending on fabric, they’re all good.

I’m pretty excited about all the ways to change this one up and make it your own!

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt / fitThis skirt is intended to sit at your natural waistline. It hits just above knee length in the front and about half way down the calf at the back.

The front wraps enough to prevent it flying open when you walk (though we did purposefully open it up a bit more in the lookbook because it just looked way awesome hehehe). To stop the ties from loosening, there is a button hole on the right of the skirt to thread the left tie through before you knot or bow it up. It gives it enough security and also makes the waistband neater.

It’s also perfectly modest when you sit down. It hits around the knee again, and even when we pulled the skirt back for the above photo it still wasn’t too short. yay!

Cascade skirt sewing pattern alterationsAlternations are pretty easy on this one too. Should you wish to lengthen or shorten it, its easy to add or subtract from the hemline. I would suggest not altering the hemline too close to the centre front, as this can shorten the skirt very quickly (i’ve got test pieces to prove it! hehehe).

I also would not suggest slashing and spreading this pattern vertically, as you would to alter the length of say a pencil skirt or similar, as that would distort the drape of the skirt.

Another interesting point is grainline. When it comes to circular skirts, there really is no correct grainilne, you can place them pretty much however you’d like. The same is true for this skirt. Just keep in mind that different placements will result in the cascades falling slightly differently that my samples. The pattern as drafted with its current grainline will result in more cascades in the front of the skirt than other placements.

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt stylingOne of the things i truly adore about this skirt is the fact that it can look so different. Paired with a tshirt and flats, it’s the perfect weekend wear – but making it in a dramatic evening fabric, and pair it with a statement blouse and you’ve got an evening look that kills.

It works well with tucked in shirts and is also the perfect pairing for a cropped Briar. For cooler weather it also works really well with the cropped sweater version of the Briar

If you’d like it belted your best bet is to make the button up version. And office wear? I think this will work smashingly too. I’d recommend choosing a muted professional fabric, like a lightweight wool suiting, and make the button up version. How awesome does that sound? Someone please do that because i want to see it! hehe

Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt thoughtsAs with the Crescent, we’ve got some great tutorials specifically for the Cascade skirt coming up in the next few weeks – and i’ve got some styling ideas i’m dying to share with you!

Any thing else you’d like to know about Cascade?! let me know in the comments!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Katy
8 years ago

I absolutely love this pattern, I’ve already bought it and think I’ll be making LOTS of variations!

Farah
Farah
8 years ago

Oh how I wish you sold ready-made – I would snap this up! Beautiful collection :)

Bec
Bec
8 years ago

I love this so much, it is gorgeous.. can’t wait to see what people make but I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than the top fabric!! eeep

Kirsty
8 years ago

I’m really loving reading the inspiration behind your new designs.

Jo
Jo
8 years ago

aaahh megan you’re killing me!! love love love it, it’s only a matter of time till my credit card takes another serious bashing…

Trudy Callan
8 years ago

I really love the layered look.

Melissa
8 years ago

I LOVE my jersey cascade skirt! I’ll be posting it tomorrow on my blog.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago

I absolutely LOVE this skirt!! I found some great fabric for it and the cullotes this morning. Just waiting for my patterns to get here! Can hardly wait!! What’s the best way for us to show you our creations when we’re done?

Hanne
8 years ago

This skirt is incredible, but I need to see it on someone shorter, to see if I can carry it off. I really really hope so!!

kelly t
kelly t
8 years ago

I love this skirt, the entire collection is just beautiful. I was not really into the hi-lo hem thing until I saw your version, I think I need to make one of these for my summer wardrobe!
Kelly

Brie
Brie
8 years ago

I like the fabric in the kit, but I’m wondering if it’s see-through at all? It looks so cute in the pictures, but I noticed that in the first picture the fabric is a bit see-through above her knee. Because I’m not sure I’d want to add a slip or lining to a wrap skirt…

Clover
Clover
8 years ago

Hi, any chance you will create more kits from this fabric? It’s absolutely stunning!

Stephanie
Stephanie
8 years ago

I’m a plus size gal and I usually buy patterns and adjust them to my size since most plus size patterns are hideous. I’ve purchased the cascade and since you said not to slash and spread, would I just adjust the waist band? I only need to go up two or so sizes. Any advice? Should I just outline a bigger size?

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[…] guide), and then using a curve ruler redraw the hem curve to meet the hem at the side seam. I know i’ve said it before but i think its worth mentioning again – just be careful when shortening the front of the […]