Wow, the sun was disappearing on the horizon and it was still 105° as I was taking these pictures. Gulp. I feel like a wilting flower. Last week Austin went into an intense early heatwave and I tried hard to stay indoors especially during the afternoons. I think future summer outfit posts may have to be inside, too, but then of course I wouldn’t get to twirl about and let a skirt like this catch a hint of breeze.
This is the Cascade skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen, and exactly the kind of skirt I like to wear in summer. It has lots of elegance with no effort and is cool as a cucumber. This is something I just adore about my Lonsdale dress, and I’m thinking of making another one of those this summer, too. As soon as I saw Megan’s new collection, there was no pausing: I immediately went on the hunt for a light and drapey rayon print. The pattern is a simple design, a circle skirt with a graduated hem that wraps over in front, and when I walk about the hem has a lovely petal-like floating.
My man loved that part so much, we did a little “short” so you can see the cascading in action! Check it out on Vimeo. It’s my first attempt at editing video so I’m a little shy…
I was thinking of cascades when I braved the heat to the area where I took these pictures. There is a lovely little rocky stream along the part of Shoal Creek that runs through my neighborhood. It has a gentle sound, not waterfalls of the sort that Megan Nielsen was surely inspired by, but the trickle of a creek over limestone. Something I mightily needed on this day. I was willing to brave chiggers and heat to get to it but alas it was dry to the bone.
Outside of the pictures, I was barefoot all day and the shoes were a bit of an afterthought. I normally wear them out with shift dresses, and I think I like this skirt better barefoot. And bare-shouldered: I tried on a bunch of tops with this and decided that it just begged to go with a tube top. (Do we still call them that?) Of course I didn’t have any tube tops, so I made a pattern for one and sewed it all in an afternoon. I think it might look better, less bunchy, as a bodysuit and would need a little shelf bra to be truly, ahem, effective, but I really wanted it quick.
This skirt is total instant gratification sewing. It makes you look like you know what you’re doing, and quickly! Gotta love that. But since it borders on circle skirt territory and a baby hem is really the only option here, hemming is a patient exercise. Cutting and sewing main part of the skirt: 1 hour. Hemming: another hour. Anyone who’s hemmed a circle skirt groans with me!
And p.s.: The original pattern is quite is long in the back. An easy way to figure out the right length is to measure the center back piece from waist to hem, which was almost ankle length on me. I’m 5’4″. I removed about 6 inches from the back hem length so it would hit mid-calf, slowly curving and tapering to nothing just past the side seams.
Skirt pattern: Cascade from Megan Nielsen
Skirt fabric: lightweight viscose woven, Emma One Sock
Strapless top pattern: self-drafted
Top fabric: cotton-modal jersey, hand-dyed (dye is Dharma Trading Procion, “Antique Lace”)
Gold strap rings: stash