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Transitional Waterfall Cardigan

Waterfall with Extension snap closed

During these shoulder seasons, it is nice to have some tops that can transition from warm days to cool nights. Lately I’ve found myself relying on pieces like this periwinkle print Waterfall Cardigan made in french terry with basic knit tank tops.  Construct these knit tops easily with the Twin Set Variations for Tabula Rasa Knits.

The Waterfall Cardigan version of Twin Set Variations requires some easy pattern work to create the wide front and to extend the hem lines of the basic Tabula Rasa Knit Tee.  This pattern work, using the templates in the pattern, is covered in detail in the blog post Waterfall Cardigan Sewing.  When planning to make a Waterfall Cardigan, make sure you purchase enough fabric; at least an extra yard is needed to accommodate its longer length and significantly wider front pattern piece.

Today’s sample includes one additional pattern adjustment to add the front extension for a cozy front closure.  Cut out the appropriate Front Extension template, carefully align the dotted lines with the upper right curve of the Waterfall Cardigan Front Template, and secure it in place with tape or pins.  Now the pattern is ready to be laid out on the fabric for cutting!

This French terry features a floral print in black and white on the front face.  Because of the way the waterfall front drapes when open, the terry loops on the back will also be seen.  If you don’t like this look, shop for a drapey knit fabric that looks the same front and back.  I chose to play up the contrast with the simplest of finishing techniques for the perimeter of the cardigan and the sleeves – simply turning the edges under and stitching them in place.

To make the job easier, I used ½” wide double-sided Extra Fine Fusing Tape from my stash.  One side of the tape was fused along the very edge of the perimeter and sleeve hem.  The paper is pulled away to expose the other fusible side and the edge turned under and pressed into place.  Finally, I topstitched the turned edges in place. The trickiest bit was getting the edges to overlap and lay flat at the corners of the extension, which I secured with some invisible  hand stitches.  In retrospect, it would also be fun to choose a more decorative stitch for the topstitching.

The final step was choosing snaps to close the overlapping front extensions.  Here you can see some basic options plus these fun white flower shaped snaps I had picked up at Joann Fabrics. I loved the flower snaps, but because they were quite heavy I decided to use one pair on the outer, more visible, corner and a basic snap on the inner corner.  A quick search for decorative snaps on the internet reveals an explosion of options available these days, so have fun with it!

I already had a black rayon Tank Top in my wardrobe, created to wear with the Flower Basket Tailored Cardigan, that worked nicely with this print french terry.  To expand my options, I sewed up an ivory rayon tank top one day when I had ivory thread on the machines for another project.  The Twin Set tank top goes together so quickly once you’ve done the pattern work, it is easy to whip up a top to match or accent all of your knit cardis.

Look for more knit cardigan inspiration in our photo gallery of Twin Set Variations and related blog posts!  You’ll also find some step-by-step photos for making the sleeveless tank top in the blog post Welcome the Twin Set for Knits.

Happy knit sewing!  Carrie

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