Winter Sewing 2018 – Layering Cardigans

Today I’m sharing my third and fourth Blackwood Cardigans. This pattern has become a real TNT (Tried N True) pattern for me. I wear cardigans almost every day (all about the layers for me) and my Blackwood Cardigans have been in frequent rotation. Because I wear my first two sweaters all the time, I knew that I'd wear these a lot too. And I already had fabric in the stash so it was a no-brainer to add them to my Winter 2018 sewing list

The pattern is designed by Helen’s Closet and has two views, long and cropped. I’ve only made the longer View A because that’s just what I like. It's really simple to sew but has such a great shape and the perfect details to make it not feel ordinary. Check out my first two versions of the pattern here and here.

First up is a Blackwood Cardigan in mottled navy rib knit. The fabric is from a bargain bin in the downtown LA fashion district and I barely had enough to make the sweater. I was missing just a couple inches for the hem band so to make it fit, I shortened the hem band by 2 inches and increased the length of the front/back body by 1 inch. It worked perfectly. I totally love the sweater. It’s just perfect for everyday. In my experience, rib knit can be a little tricky to use because it stretches so much. The fabric was stretched out in places and I definitely didn’t cut everything exactly straight but I’m not sweating it. The sweater is totally wearable and no one will notice if the rib is slightly off. 

To help keep the pockets in place for topstitching, I used wash away stabilizer tape. It worked really well. For the topstitching, I used a zig zag because it was just the easiest thing to do. Just like before, I made a size large with no other fit adjustments. For reference, my measurements are roughly 38.5” bust, 28” waist and 39” hips. The front of the cardigan is meant to be worn open so the sizing is pretty forgiving. I’m 5’11” and did not add anything to the length. I love that the sleeves are designed to be extra long and bunch up around the wrists.

Next up is a long, split hem variation made in fair isle print sweater knit. I’ve had this fabric in my stash for almost year and it’s really perfect for the upcoming Christmas season. I used this tutorial from the Helen’s Closet blog. I love the drama of the length and the split hem. I forgot to make notes but I think I added about 12" to the length. This fabric is really pretty and I love it but I'm pretty sure that I'll actually wear the plain navy sweater more often. This fabric really makes a statement so it's harder to wear everyday.

It takes a little bit longer to make this variation because you will need to finish the side seams separately and then stitch and press open. Plus, you’ll need to turn and stitch the hem instead of using the hem band. It was still really easy to make, it just took a tiny bit longer. For some reason, sweater knits like this one tend to get caught in my walking foot, which also slows down my stitching. It's pretty annoying but I've come to expect it. 

I'm really happy with my Blackwood Cardigans and look forward to wearing them a lot this winter. If you're looking for a cardigan pattern, I highly recommend this one. It's really easy and satisfying to sew and the instructions are exactly. Plus it's a perfect everyday style.

On a side note, my hair has gotten so long! I haven't cut it since the end of July. When it gets this long it gets really curly which is really fun but also requires more maintenance. One of the great things about taking pictures of myself for these posts is that I can go back and look at my haircuts and see which ones I liked best. I think I'll keep it a little longer for now because I'm having fun with the curls but I feel like it needs more shape. Curls are so tricky!