A Sequin Knit Cardigan using The Sewing Workshop Cascade Dress Pattern

If you follow the Fabric Mart Fabricista blog, you've already seen my sequin cardigan in my April post.   However, I want to document my makes here also as it provides reminders to myself regarding any changes I made. 

For my sequin cardigan, I used an out-of-print (OOP) Sewing Workshop pattern, the Cascade Dress.  I don't recall the year the pattern was released. However, I do recall buying it at a sewing expo when it was a new release. One of the samples was sewn in a burnout velvet and it was gorgeous!

Remember when Linda Lee used to be a vendor/teacher at the sewing expos?  You could browse through and try on the Sewing Workshop sample garments.  The patterns were $19.95 (I think) which was expensive for a pattern at that time.  TSW typically had a show special where you could buy three patterns and get one free, or something like that. It was a long time ago and the show memories are a bit fuzzy.  If you know leave me a comment!

Anyway, I bought the Cascade Dress pattern, purchased a black burnout velvet knit for the top and a black woven for the skirt (from SR Harris of course!) and sewed the outfit within weeks of that expo. I didn't like the skirt much, and never added the buttons and buttonholes to the top (I didn't trust the machine I had at that time to not mess up the buttonholes) but that top is still in my closet. I have always worn it as an open front jacket.

This sequin version is the third time I've sewn the top. I know that cascading hems aren't as popular as they were five or so years ago, but I don't care.  I really like the design of this top.

The Sewing Workshop Cascade Top Sequin Knit Sharon Sews

Most of The Sewing Workshop patterns tend to run oversized.  I've never figured out why they don't just size their patterns to more accurately reflect the body measurements they provide. Instead they always advise to size down.  

Anyway, this one is also quite oversized, with a raglan sleeve and low armhole. I sewed a size medium, even though my measurements put me on the lower end of the size large. I think I could have even gone down to a size small, it's that oversized.  No need for a full bust adjustment, that's for sure. 

The top consists of three pattern pieces, a body, sleeve, and neck binding.  I had to cut the body piece out on the floor (my poor old knees!)  because it is so large. I cut it single layer and used the first piece as a guide to cut my second piece. 

I use large washers from the hardware store as my pattern weights. I've always told myself I'd add fabric to make them cuter, but after decades of using these as is, I doubt I'll actually do that :-)

I didn't have to remove any sequins from seam allowances as these sequins were very tiny and flexible.  I sewed each seam on my sewing machine, using the 5/8" seam allowance (BERNINA 770QE PLUS) and finished the seams with a 3-thread overlock stitch (Babylock Evolution serger).

I pressed seams using low-heat and a press cloth.

The fabric, from Fabric Mart Fabrics, was an FTY knit with a sequin pattern. Because the fabric was  lightweight (even with the sequins) the cardigan has great movement.

I made a few small changes to the pattern. I lengthened the front by four inches, shortened the sleeves by 1", removed the front plackets, and added a button and fabric loop at the front neckline.  

I did not shorten the length. I'm 5' 5-1/2" and you can see that the lowest corner reaches to my ankle.

I used the non-sequined selvage edge to create the fabric loop. The button is from my button stash, or should I say collection? It sounds better don't you think? 

It's so difficult to find good buttons, especially wear I live, and I much prefer to pick buttons out in person with a swatch of my fabric so I get the right color. 

As designed, the hem is turned twice to the wrong side and stitched in place for a 3/8" finished hem with mitered corners.  I didn't want the sequin turned to the wrong side. Not only for looks, but I didn't want the sequin potentially catching on whatever I happened to be wearing. 

I finished the hem and front edges with this knit binding I had purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics about five years ago. I wish would have had more, but I'm happy I had almost enough for this cardigan. I had to finish the neckline using some of the selvage edge of the fabric.

 It worked perfectly for the hem, and I was able to miter the corners. 

Even though I added a button and loop to the neckline, I'll likely wear this open.  I like the look better that way.

 Here is the back with the sides held up.

I will most likely be wear this just as shown in this blog post, with a t-shirt and jeans.  Here you can see the sheerness of the fabric.

Until next time, I hope you have a blessed day, and happy sewing!


  1. Nice miters!!! What a cool funky topper!

    1. Anonymous1:46 PM

      Thanks Lisa! The Sewing
      Workshop always has great instructions for mitered corners. - Sharon

  2. Anonymous10:41 PM

    Such a pretty and fun garment!

    1. Anonymous1:46 PM

      Thank you! - Sharon

  3. The old SW patterns are very oversized because they were developed by the original founders, Marcy Tilton and Sandra Betzina, in the 80s. In fact many of them were inspired by or direct copies of Miyake rtw, since they were all friends and he was very enthusiastic about home sewers. Linda Lee got the rights to the patterns when she bought the business and never updated them, as seems right since people are still making them ­čśĆ


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