One Day My Prints Will Come

Today, another pattern from the way-back-when. This particular moment in time is the MN Cascade skirt and it feels like a mermaid slammed into a princess going full speed with no airbags. Once a year around now, I find it in the back of my closet. On super-hot days the double gauze is irresistible. Well, it hot, so here we go.

Basically, the Cascade is a more-than-a-circle skirt. It fastens with a simple overlap and it’s made of two fronts, a back, and a waistband. A go-getter with a drawing compass could whip one up without too much trouble but I made this early in my sewing career (‘career’) before I figured out 1) most skirt patterns are just a litttttle reheated-feeling and 2) what I like to wear.

However, this skirt keeps escaping my culls. Ordinarily it would be way too swishy-pretty for me, but it’s so sort of unabashed that it shot the moon and I like it again. It makes me laugh to dress up like I’m going to comb my hair with a dinglehopper and drown sailors and then actually just get a sandwich instead.

We’re going back, way back – pre-spreadsheet, so pre-2017 – but I can almost guarantee that I bought less fabric than this pattern called for and ignored the grainlines when cutting. 3 7/8 yards of 45”-wide fabric, and that fabric is Nani Iro? Yeah, did not happen. At a guess, I bodged this any-which-way out of 3 yards, if that. The nondirectional print doesn’t give any clues but I know myself pretty well (and I continue to love this print! Dare I call it…TIMELESS?!).

It’s also safe to say I cut a size M. Right now my waist falls between and M and an L and this still fits comfortably, but I think an L would have been a better investment. In a word: overlap. A longer waistband means more overlap, which means more coverage. My highs are a little too high. Though that doesn’t explain why my lows are so low!

That high-low angle is X-TREME. It’s X-Box 306. It’s arguably Xanadu. The fabric is light, too. Usually beautifully so, but it can get dicey. On the morning we took these pictures, the air was dead, but I popped a safety pin at the bottom of the overlap just in case. Later that afternoon it was a little breezier and despite the pin, unless I held the skirt edges like I was processing royally, any wind could boost my rating to PG-13. But that’s why it’s also so suitable for our recent stretch of 95°+ days (35° to you Celsius fans)! You gotta do what you gotta do.

This skirt features my first (and at time of filming, only) hand-rolled hem! It’s actually a huge amount of fun to sew but I did not do a great job despite the double-layered fabric (it’s a bit tuftier than intended). I’d probably go with a bias binding for a fun pop if I were sewing this today, but this hem treatment doesn’t inhibit drape or flow at all, which is nice! I used two sets of dress bars for an invisible closure.

There was a time in my life where I squeezed a Tate top out of any semi-realistic scraps, which is what I’m wearing here. This free Workroom Social pattern appears to have vanished from the internet! I’ve fallen out of love with it but I still have a PDF copy if anybody wants one.

My version has such features as “a baby-hemmed hem that likes to flip up”, “extra seamlines born of necessity rather than style”, and “pretend buttons”. The pretend button placket is just the selvedges overlapped without additional finishing; the neck and armholes are bias-bound. It’s fun to be swaddled in Nani Iro from neck to ankle (hey, if you’re looking from the back, it’s ankle! It counts!) but I’m not wowed by this shirt. The cut-in shoulders are no longer my go-to silhouette, and I’m usually too lazy to convert my convertible bras, so it doesn’t get much wear.

On the other hand, in this summer of many parties, including 18 months worth of make-up parties (is anyone else feeling like Slurms McKenzie? If Slurms and all his buddies were fully vaccinated, TBC), this skirt  has been a friend indeed. I don’t care if high-low hems are so 2011-2012. Lots of cool stuff is from around then. Call Me Maybe. Cotton candy grapes. Rivers of London.

Anyway, wear whatever you want! I have declared it meet, and I get to do declarations now, because in this skirt I am clearly a princess. Long live me?

Pattern: MN Cascade skirt

Pattern cost: ?

Size: M?

Supplies: ? Definitely Nani Iro double-gauze

Total time: Lost forever

Total cost: Never to be known

16 thoughts on “One Day My Prints Will Come

  1. “It makes me laugh to dress up like I’m going to comb my hair with a dinglehopper and drown sailors and then actually just get a sandwich instead.”

    Honestly, I think this might be the best sentence I’ve ever read: it doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks for the laugh and yes, long love Princess Poundcake and all her makes!


  2. You can’t go wrong with Nani Iro double gauze!
    You’re lucky to have something cute you can wear to summer get-togethers.

    My “wear only on a really hot day” garment is a geometric black & white print mu mu that ages me by about 50 years. Great for swishing around at home, but not for answering the front door.

    🙂 Chris
    (had to google ‘dinglehopper’)


    1. Not a Little Mermaid fan I suppose? Though it might be more accurate to describe myself now as an Ursula fan (she’s driven and confident and has magic eel friends! Ariel is a bit of a whiner!).

      Your mu mu sounds delightful! I think people knocking on your door should be honored to see it! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, it’s Nani Iro. What more can be said. A gorgeous print. In addition, it has hand rolled hems! It can never leave your closet. Well, except to be worn, which you apparently are doing very well — bravo!!

    Also, I’d totally missed The Rivers of London thing. Going back can be such an eye-opener.


    1. I really loved (continue to love, it’s not over yet) that series! It’s fantasy though which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But very practical fantasy, which might be my favorite combination. ^^


  4. “Baby hem that likes to flip out” – man have I been there! You look like a Nani Iro springtime vision in this one. You’ve made me want to pull my Cascade skirt out of the wardrobe. I have similar feelings to you – not usually that into hi-lo but this one just kind of works!


    1. Yeah, it’s just extreme enough somehow! I’m thinking about making a second one for winter, velvet maybe? Or good god, pinwale corduroy?! We’re so close to corduroy season again…


      1. Wow. That would be a very long list indeed. I will settle with only thre recommendations: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore (Robin Sloan); I am the messenger (Markus Zusak) and the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke (I don’t know how good the English translation is, but the German original is awesome, especially the audiobook). Anything you can recommend?


      2. Off to Goodreads to add to the list! : ) In the fantasy/sci fi world, I really like Jade City (and the sequel, book 3 is out this year!) by Fonda Lee, and I’m a big Naomi Novik fan (the first book of her new series, A Deadly Education, was really good fun). I grew up on Tamora Pierce and Diana Wynne Jones and I still enjoy rereading them today!


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