Blackwood Cardigan | Helen's Closet

I started my search for a cardigan sewing pattern last year when I knew that the winter was quick approaching and I would for sure need a cardigan. I have a cardigan I purchased 10+ years ago from Urban Outfitters that I really love, but that thing has seen better days. It not only has holes but also paint all over it because I wore it one time to Habitat for Humanity and my duty was to paint the walls…in pink. I hate pink, I can’t stand pink, reminds me of pepto-bismol. But I’ve been wearing it tho, I love it so much.

But I knew the time has come for me to replace it. So, I started searching for my next sewing adventure - the cardigan. Perhaps my searching skills are lacking, but I didn’t have much luck finding a sewing patterns, or maybe it was ore like I didn’t find one that I liked - because I had a specific look in my head (that UA cardigan). I searched and searched and searched, and then my eyes widened when they landed on a picture of the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet. It seriously looks exactly like the UA cardigan, except Blackwood doesn’t come with buttons. But other than that - I swear they are relatives! It has the longer sleeves, the collar band, the hem band, and most importantly - version A has pockets!

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So I immediately purchased the electronic sewing pattern and sent it over to PDF Plotting to get printed out (I also ended up printing out about 10 more patterns I have been saving for awhile, this place is really good deal!). I got the pattern printed at beginning of December, thinking I’ll have enough time to make it before the holidays. Oh boy was I wrong! It turns out I spent all December sewing gifts for all my friends, including a Wiksten Haori for my bestie. I also picked up crocheting and made a bunch of beanies as gifts as well!

Good thing about the holiday break is that when I was in Dallas visiting the mother-in-law, she took me to the fabric district and I found the perfect fabric for the cardigan. It’s this flowy lightweight knit that has a little fuzz on it. I really don’t know what it is called - and the place we got it at didn’t have much description. But I felt it and loved it so I got it! If you know what fabric this is, please share with me in the comments!

Fast foward holidays over, I’m sitting in my living room thinking “ok, new year - what was it that I was supposed to be doing?”. Sewing the cardigan of course! (I want to say this was my first sew of the year but it wasn’t… I still have the Wiksten bug and made myself yet another Haori in gray flannel and this gorgeous crane cotton for the lining - plus added ties!).

I made version A, which is the longer version with the pockets. Why? Because I like everything with pockets! Cutting the fabric was a challenge, because this knit fabric shifts a lot! Next time if I encounter such fabric, I’ll cut in single layers, should be much easier. But the pattern pieces were very easy, no weird curves or anything. And in total there were 6 pieces of pattern to cut - that’s it! The instructions said that a serger wasn’t needed for this pattern, but I chose to use it anyway. I just used the same seam allowance on my serger and had it cut the extra out while being sewn. I did use the regular sewing machine to do the pockets and the detail around the collar though.

i thought the way the pockets were made was kind of special - I had never done it this way - essentially the top part is double layered and bottom half single layer. And now I understand why, it provides an extra layer of thickness that makes putting in the hands a bit more sturdy and feels more secure. Love it! Ohhhh and that trick that Helen suggested in the directions for sewing two knits together (putting sheer paper at the bottom) totally made the difference!!!

All other sewing was pretty basic, I serged all the inner seams and then for the collar seam allowance, I used the zigzag stitch to “adhere” the seam allowance to the fabric so it doesn’t poke outwards. I can’t even see the zigzag though.

So, here’s my finished garment… my first cardigan sewing experience! I’ll be making others with perhaps a little thicker fabric and I am very tempted to add buttons on the collar band. It’s long so it covers my bum bum, it’s long sleeve so during cold weather I can cover my hands, and it’s so soft and cozy! Thank you Helen’s Closet!

Update (May 2019)

I’ve made a second Blackwood Cardigan and it’s gorgeous!!! I mixed two fabrics this time, not because I intended, but because I ran out of the main fabric and used what I had in my stash instead of buying more. But it turned out great! I used a sweater knit for the main fabric and a bamboo cotton knit for the sleeves, pockets and neckline accents.

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Mei ChenComment