Pattern Testing: Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan

Blackwood Cardigan

Today I’m happy to get to share about the new Blackwood Cardigan pattern from Helen’s Closet! It’s a lovely simple pattern, but thoughtfully drafted with some nice details.

Here’s how Helen describes the pattern:

“The Blackwood Cardigan is a cozy and versatile addition to your wardrobe. Designed with layering in mind, it has minimal excess fabric in the front and a close fit around the neck and shoulders. Its fitted shape and extra long sleeves make it perfect for wearing under jackets and vests, while also looking stylish over tank tops and dresses. View B ends at the hips, while View A extends down to the mid-thigh and includes patch pockets at hand level.  The Blackwood is intended to be worn open and is not designed to close at the front.”

Blackwood Cardigan

We all know I’ve been obsessed with long cardigans for the last year and a half, so it’s no surprised that I chose the longer version. This is the length as drafted for a 5’6″ woman, and I’m only 5’2″. I like it as is! I shortened the sleeves 2″ – they are meant to be long and cosy, but this is plenty long for me.

Let’s talk details, shall we? There are lots of cardigan patterns on the market now (remember 3 or 4 years ago there were almost none?) so I think you have to decide if the details on this pattern make it right for you.

Blackwood Cardigan

1. Pockets! 

The longer version (A) has nice hand-sized patch pockets. (None of those ridiculous tiny pockets here!) The pockets are finished with a band along the top, which makes them quite stable and easy to sew.

Blackwood Cardigan

2. No Hemming Required

The hem, sleeves, pockets and neckline are all finished with folded bands. That makes it an easy project on a sewing machine or serger, and no double needle or coverstitch required! I found the bands all went on well, and there were just enough notches to make it all go together smoothly. (Normally I ignore notches, but for this they were worth it!)

Blackwood Cardigan

3. Clean, Open Lines

Waterfall cardigans have been popular for years, and I love them… but I also enjoy the simplicity of a pattern like this. I’ve yet to sew a button-up cardigan cardigan that hung nicely when open, so this is perfect for me.

For my sweater, I sewed a XL at the shoulders and XL at the hips. I added a 1/2″ wedge to the front under the arms for a cheater FBA. It fit true to size. This fabric was a monster to sew – it sticks to itself constantly in the way that only polyester sweater knit does. I’ve got much nicer sweater knit from Blackbird Fabrics for my next version though, so it should be a winner!

Blackwood Cardigan

Side note: I took these pictures then realised that the old black tank I’d pulled out of the donation pile had some marks on it. Keeping it classy!

 

I thoroughly enjoyed testing for Helen. She was organised, enthusiastic, responsive to feedback. We had a fun little Facebook group with the 20 testers, and I can say with certainty that every version turned out well. Plus, I’m always happy to support Canadian sewing!

The Blackwood cardigan is 20% off if you buy it this week!

 

 


23 thoughts on “Pattern Testing: Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan

  1. This looks great on you! I’m intrigued by this pattern but I tend to layer my cardigans over sleeved tees, not tank tops. Does this work for that, or are the sleeves too slim? Also, did you use the XL sleeve and then just stretch it to fit your enlarged armscye? Thanks for the review; I think I’m going to buy this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes and yes! Yes, I just eased the sleeve over the extra 1/2″ I put in for the bust, and yes, it would work well for layering over sleeves. 🙂

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  2. I love your sweater Gillian! The first thing that struck me was the fabric…why are all those great prints on fabric that is so horrid? 🙂 I’d love to know MORE about that “cheater FBA wedge under the arm”! Next time you do that maybe you could say more and include a photo of what exactly that is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know why so many sweater knits are horrible in general!
      For the cheater FBA,I basically graded up to the next size for the front bust only. I didn’t change anything on the back!

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  3. This Cardigan looks fabulous on you, I love the way you are very detailed in your description, it helps us to determine if this is a pattern we want for what we are looking for. Thank you, definitely considering purchasing this one.

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    1. Thank you! There really are so many cardigans out there right now that I wanted sewists to have information to choose if this is right for them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a brilliant looking cardi! The length is great on you and the fit is fab. Proper pockets are really important on a cardi. You really need them to keep all you does and ends. 🙂 I love your fabric choice the colours and the print are absolutely perfect. It looks smashing so very much worth all the hassle sewing it. Looking forward to seeing V2.0.

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  5. I’m way behind on the trends, and I’m only just barely starting to like the waterfall cardigans, but oh well.

    And I don’t know why, but I totally thought Meg from Cookin’ & Craftin’ was guest-posting on your blog or something when I saw your first photo, haha! Something about it makes you look like her to me, there.

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    1. Hahahaha – Meg and I are actually quite similar sizes (less so since I gained some inches on my hips though!), and she WAS a tester too… so your brain was at least partially in the right direction! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been really tempted by this pattern for the short version, but then I thought I should just use my Concord and hack it somewhat like you did last year. Having made both, do you think I’d end up with a similar result or would I be notably better off with the Blackwood? I’m always struggling to find things to wear over my dresses, but too cold without another layer. Thanks! I always enjoy seeing what you’ve made.

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    1. I’d say I’m equally happy with my Blackwood and Concord cardigans! It’s a question of how much you like hacking on the fly, or how much you appreciate instructions to help you through the process!

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  7. So good! I was just thinking that I’d really like to make the longer version at it’s original length to see if I can get on board with the max-cardi trend. Yours looks awesome!

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