{Helen's Closet} Blackwood Cardigan

I first tried the Blackwood Cardigan at the end of last year. I made 2 back to back and I wear them ALL. THE TIME. I love them. They're smart but super comfortable and I need one in every colour. However, my sewing hiatus happened and plans to make more were postponed. 
Cut to the hottest summer I've ever had in this country and long sleeved, cosy cardigans were the furthest thing from my mind.
Until last week.
Blackwood Cardigan
I had promised my friend Emma I'd make her one for her birthday after she saw one of mine and loved it. We went to Fabworks and she chose this beautiful orange ponte. I couldn't resist it either, so I bought extra to make one for myself as well - if I hadn't she'd be without her present today because I'd have kept it for me.
Blackwood Cardigan
These are my two previous versions. I don't have any modelled photos of them unfortunately. They're both version B, which hits at the hips and has no pockets. These are both made from interlock jerseys and they're very comfortable.
Blackwood Cardigan
Emma wanted hers to be a version B as well but I fancied trying version A, which hits at the thighs and has patch pockets on the front.
I'm not gonna lie, I was dreading the pockets. I once tried to sew some on jersey and it was a bloody nightmare. The main fabric stretched, the pocket looked all wonky, I couldn't press the seam allowances in properly. Ugh! It was awful. 😭
However, this time I had absolutely no dramas of any kind. The fabric behaved itself, my machine didn't mind the bulk of the seam between the top and bottom sections of it and I just used a long-ish, straight stitch since I don't need the pocket to stretch. Thank you, walking foot, you have been an absolute blessing! 😍
Blackwood Cardigan
To me, the simplicity and ease of construction is half of the appeal of the Blackwood. It's basically 2 front pieces, a back cut on the fold and a series of rectangular bands to finish off the cuffs, neckline and hem. It doesn't get any easier than that. Plus, since it's all finished with bands, the majority of construction can be done on my overlocker, which speeds it up considerably. I only used my sewing machine for the pockets and shoulder seams - I prefer to stabilise and sew the seam this way then finish it on the overlocker.
Blackwood Cardigan
I cut both cardigans on Thursday evening and sewed them up on Saturday afternoon, while Ginner and my boy went off to play golf. They were gone for about 4 hours and all I had left to do when they got back was sew the 4 cuffs.
The fabric was great to work with. It responded very well to pressing, it's very soft and easy to sew. I have a feeling it might pill though. It has a bit of a fuzzy halo to it and I wonder how well it will wear and wash. It remains to be seen, I suppose.
Blackwood Cardigan

My original versions were a size S. I'm a 33½" on top and the S fits a 33"-34" bust. However, my upper arms and shoulders are a little disproportionate with my frame so I decided to go up a size. There's nothing wrong with the fit of my first 2 but I do wish there was a bit more room around my arms.
The M seems to have done the trick though. There's a little more room where I needed it but the rest of it has remained the same. As soon as I finished it, I tried it on and didn't want to take it off. It's very snuggly, I LOVE the colour - thanks, Em, for spotting it! - and I'm so glad I went for the longer version. I can see myself wearing this to death over the coming months.
Blackwood Cardigan

One thing to keep in mind is the easing of the neckband between the shoulder seams. There's a little excess on the band that needs to be eased in to keep it from gaping around the back of the neck. On my first versions I struggled with this, and each of them has one teeny, tiny little pucker around there. However, this time around I made sure the body of the cardigan was on top while I sewed, which I didn't before. This worked a treat, since I could stretch the neckline slightly to fit with the band as I was sewing.
Twinning is winning
Her birthday is today so we went round yesterday to give Emma her present. She seemed really happy with it and I hope she gets a lot of wear out of it. In the meantime, I might be cutting another Blackwood or 3 very soon.

Pattern: Blackwood cardigan by Helen's Closet
Version: B
Size: M
Changes: none
Fabric: polyester ponte roma

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