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Waterfall Cardigan Sewing

Light and Airy Mesh Waterfall Cardigan

Welcome to waterfall cardigan sewing.  This fun swingy knit style is part of the new Twin Set Variations for the Tabula Rasa Knit Tee and Tunic.  I love putting on these easy fitting cardigans for a casual afternoon curled up with a book, or a trip out of the house for backyard social distancing.

In my mesh waterfall with my mom on her 96 birthday yesterday.

Start with Pattern Work

To get started making the waterfall cardigan, find the front of your well-fitting Tabula Rasa Knit tee.  Then cut out the waterfall template in either the A/B or C/D front as is appropriate for your size.  Line up the shoulders and armhole of your tee pattern with the template making sure the grainlines of the pattern and the template are parallel.  Complete the template pattern by connecting the template’s opening with the traced lines of your tee pattern.  If you wish to keep the template intact, trace it off and then follow the above directions to create your personal pattern.

You will also need to add the curved hem templates to the side and back of your personalized Tee pattern.

Hem line with templates attached.

Your Tabula Rasa Knit sleeve pattern does not need to be adjusted unless you want a looser fit in your cardigan sleeve.  If so, expand your sleeve from the underarm curve to the hemline. Start by adding ¼ inch to each side of the sleeve which adds ½” of extra ease. A sidebar in the direction book offers a visual of this adjustment.

Finally, add the waterfall extension template to your waterfall cardigan front if you want to close the sweater with snaps for a really cozy look.  The large decorative snaps add a fanciful finish plus weight to the drape when the sweater is open too.

Find the Right Fabric

Choose fabrics that look great on both sides so you will be happy with how it looks whichever way it chooses to fall down the front.  A soft and drapey hand will also contribute to a graceful waterfall look.  Buy plenty of fabric.  Check the basic tee fabric requirements and add more; this cardigan takes one additional yard of fabric. Some fun knit fabric choices are jersey, mesh, French terry, double sided knits and dressy metallic knits.

Choose a Great Edge Finish

The construction for this cardigan is so easy, it is the long edge finishes that can take time and energy.  Here are a few finish options.  Remember to repeat the finish on the edge of the sleeves.  Make samples with your scraps to confirm that you are happy with the finish you have chosen.

  • If you have a serger, the rolled edge finish or a tightly made overlock provides a nice finish. On light weight fabrics, roll the edges with standard thread or mix in a novelty thread to give a special look.  On heavier weight fabrics, stretch threads give a hearty finish.

    French Terry Waterfall Cardigan
    French Terry Waterfall Cardigan
  • Add trim or lace to finish the edges as in the gold lurex cardigan with black lace edges. The actual edge was overlocked and turned once to the back and stitched down. Then  both sides of the cardigan were covered with the lace trim.  I stitched it on by hand, but you could apply it with a small zig zag stitch for a faster machine finish.

    Lace finishes with large snap trim.
  • The orange linen is finished with purchased bias tape made with cotton lawn print. It really adds a fanciful finish.  I unfolded and stitched the bias tape to the front, right sides together, then wrapped the tape around to the back.   I hand stitched the wrong side of the bias tape for a very smooth finish but it too could have been stitched down on the machine.

    Sunshine Linen Cardigan detail
    Sunshine Linen Cardigan detail of finished edges
  • Carrie’s two sided ponté fabric was stable enough that she folded the black toward the print side and stitched it down with the straight stitch. The stitches  just vanish into the fabric and both sides look great.Brushstroke Waterfall detail

Send Us Photos of Your Creations

Use your imagination or our photo gallery of inspiration to come up with clever finishes and closures for these soft and easy sweaters.  Be sure to send us photos or post them with our hashtags #twinsetvariation and #tabularasaknits.

Some fun fabrics that would work!

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram as I decide how to finish the fun combination of fabrics pictured in the fabric section.  The silver will be a tank top and perhaps the edge finish on the waterfall.  I think it will be perfect for my current at home mode of living.  Read more about the tank top and other twin set options in last week’s post introducing this fun Twin Set Variation.

Stay Well and Sew Happy, RAE

4 thoughts on “Waterfall Cardigan Sewing

  1. I can’t wait to get started! Testing out the template overlays tonight.

    One question – I have a beautiful piece of floral french terry I’d like to use just like in your sample. What kind of stitch did you use? And did you use a special thread like wooly nylon or anything?

    This is gonna be fun!

    1. I used a stretch serger thread in the 3 thread rolled edge for the french terry. But regular serger thread would work too. RAE

  2. Wonderful that your Mom celebrated her 96th! Glad you were able to be with her for her celebration, COVID style, eh!

  3. Love the waterfall jacket. Amazing the ideas that I thought of just looking at the picture.

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