I made another Blackwood cardigan and have been wearing it multiple times a week since I finished it. This sweater Blackwood cardigan is like a secret robe, and I love it. We keep our house fairly cold in the winter to save money on utilities so I like wearing really warm clothes even inside. I also get cold easily so I just need lots of layers. I started wearing my robe inside sometimes to stay warm, but I didn’t like answering the door wearing my robe. I needed a really warm layer like a robe that looked like a cardigan, and that’s how the idea for this sweater Blackwood cardigan was born.
About a month ago Evelyn – @Sew.Petite was doing a fabric stash sale, and I decided to buy some fabric from her. I bought this white boucle sweater knit and this gray sweater knit and couldn’t wait to receive it! I loved buying something from a fellow sewist, and I loved that it had already been washed and that the raw edges were serged. This white sweater from was originally from Style Maker Fabrics and isn’t available anymore (I think), but here is some very similar cream sweater fabric from Style Maker Fabrics. It’s a really thick and cushy fabric. It has a gorgeous thick texture and white, cream, and black woven throughout. It hardly has any stretch though.
While I was getting it ready to cut out, I realized that there was no stretch across the fabric, but there was a little bit of stretch along the grainline. I decided to cut the sweater fabric so that the stretch of the pattern went with the grainline. There was only 1.25 yards of the fabric so I had to be crazy careful and smart when cutting it out to make it work. I tried at least four different layouts and folds to get the pattern pieces to fit. But it was totally worth the extra work and I ended up with only a handful of scraps left. It’s so satisfying when you can use a small piece of fabric for what you want and have almost no remnant fabric leftover.
One of the things I struggle with when sewing cardigans is that I know the inside will show. It’s not like a regular garment where you don’t see inside. Cardigans flap open and the insides are revealed constantly. Well, if I’m going to make a sweater cardigan I want the inside to look like a RTW sweater cardigan with knitted seams and no serging. This is not possible and has always bothered me. Even if the serging is matching it still looks “homemade” to me. I still make cardigans even though this is an issue I have because I wear long cardigans all winter long. Luckily, this is not an issue with this sweater Blackwood cardigan. There is serging and it matches the fabric, but the inside doesn’t look like a sweater knit so it doesn’t bother me that it looks handmade. I like that it almost looks like a jacket cardigan more than a sweater cardigan. These tips helped a lot with how to sew knit fabric.
This is the fourth time I’ve made the Blackwood cardigan sewing pattern. The first time I made the Blackwood cardigan I made three at once and compared the fabrics. I wear the gray merino wool sweatshirt cardigan weekly along with this new white sweater Blackwood cardigan. The pale pink cardigan got stained and worn out quickly and I had to throw it out. The fabric wasn’t high quality enough to withstand my constant wearing. I also made a bamboo French terry cardigan which I love, but it’s almost too lightweight for my needs. I think it’ll become my lightweight Spring and Summer cardigan that I wear on cold evenings or after I go swimming and can’t warm up.
I used the pattern as is with no added length. The Blackwood cardigan is a looooong cardigan with looooong sleeves meant to cover your hands. For me it’s perfect and I wouldn’t want it any longer. I’m taller than what the pattern is drafted for so on anyone shorter the length and sleeves would be really long. I made a size small and it fits me well. The pattern is not meant to close at the front; it’s meant to be open and show whatever you’re wearing underneath. I actually think this makes the neckband/front band much, much easier to sew. I really appreciate a sewing pattern that for me has been successful in four very different knit fabrics. Some had lots of stretch and some had almost no stretch, but my neckband and hem band still look good.
This Boucle sweater knit was really thick while sewing through the layers. It wasn’t hard to sew, but I did break a needle while sewing because it was just so thick. It was worth the effort because I completely love this sweater Blackwood cardigan. It is warm, I love the texture and color, and it literally matches everything in my closet. I haven’t not had an outfit to wear it with. I will be really sad when this cardigan wears out!