Blackbird Blackwood Cream Cardigan

Cream Blackwood Cardigan

Behold, my first-ever order from Blackbird Fabrics! I’ve lurked their website ever since they opened (“they” being Caroline, who is a fellow Canadian and has excellent taste in fabric!) but never purchased – I tend to go for bargain fabric, and sadly, the cost of Canada Post makes even fairly-priced Canadian fabric a bit pricey. That said, I’ve made two orders now, and the quality is great!

This sweater is made from two sweaterknit ends that Caroline posted just as I was testing the Blackwood Cardigan pattern. The cheap poly sweaterknit I’d used for the tester version was AWFUL to sew with (worst fabric I’ve used all year!) and I wanted to see what quality fabric would be like. Answer: gorgeous.

Cream Blackwood Cardigan

The main body of the cardi is a rayon, cotton and modal blend, and the bands are made in a rib knit that is rayon, poly and spandex. I deliberated for far too long about mixing the two fabrics – in the end, I really like the texture that the rib knit adds. As you can see, the main fabric isn’t totally opaque, but it is a nice spongey medium weight. I reinforced the neckline and shoulders with clear elastic because the fabric stretches easily.

Cream Blackwood Cardigan

The Blackwood cardigan is a quick and easy make, especially if you skip the pockets. The one tricky are is attaching the bottom band *just right* without stretching out the seam. (I think mine stretched out a tiny bit, but not so much it bothers me.) I cranked the differential feed up much higher than I normally do for knits, so that it was gathering on all construction seams. That counteracts the stretching out that naturally happens as spongey fabric passes under the presser foot. I skipped topstitching for the same reason.

Cream Blackwood Cardigan

Now what to wear my cardigan with? Usually I’d pair an unfitted top like this with fitted jeans, but as I got dressed for Easter at my in-laws, I decided to dig out my Sallie jumpsuit from last year. Could it be that spring is actually here? (Ok, it snowed twice this week, but some days it’s warm!) Guys, Sallie is a magical pattern – as soon as I put it on, I felt sassy, sexy, and ready to take on the world! I don’t know if that translates into photos, but it looks great in the mirror!

Anyway, as I got dressed, I tried on a few cardigans, and lo, I really liked how the Blackwood layered with Sallie! It’s sort of a resort-wear vibe, I think – timeless and confident, maybe a whiff mature, but I’m going for it!

Cream Blackwood Cardigan

So there you have it: a very Canadian outfit, thanks to Closet Case Files, Helen’s Closet, and Blackbird Fabric! (Not sponsored in any way, just proof that Canada is well represented in indie sewing.) I’m glad I chose a classic silhouette for this lovely fabric, which will get lots of wear this spring and summer!

Where do you shop when you are hunting for excellent quality? Any suggestions?


35 thoughts on “Blackbird Blackwood Cream Cardigan

  1. Wow Gillian, that’s a stunning outfit. I think you look fabulous! Using the two fabrics for the cardigan worked very well. I get all my mail order fabrics and patterns from Distinctive Sewing Supplies, an on-line supplier in Oakville Ontario. The quality of the fabrics is the very best I’ve ever sewn with.

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    1. Oooh, that’s a glowing review! i just signed up for their newsletter. The aare just an hour away from me – wish they had a real store to visit! 😉

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  2. Wow, that jumpsuit looks amazing. I’d kind of dismissed the pattern for various reasons, but I’m going to go back for another look.

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    1. It took me a while to warm up to the pattern too – but I really like it! The maxi skirt is a great bottom to match with any other dress bodice, and I I like both bodices a lot!

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  3. OMG – aren’t you gorgeous! This outfit is fantastic and you should wear it all the time. And as someone else who has ordered from BB fabrics (although not regularly a) cuz I’m not sewing these days and b) cuz it is pricey), the fabrics are of a really high quality. What I’ll say is that it is entirely consistent and reliable. You will pay more, but you’ll get something great. That’s why it’s my go-to online fabric shop. Also, I really like supporting our economy.

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    1. Yes to all those reasons! It’s nice to feel confident that if a fabric is going to be pricy, it’ll be worth it. So yes, this is a $55 sweater, but at least it’s a quality item! (And I still have some scraps that might be enough for something fitted, so the overall price would come down if I made something else with the fabric! 😉

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  4. Live both of the outfits. Would live to try thejumpsuit, but with as much coffee as i drink that woukd be a disaster in the making. and your not kidding about Canadian postage!

    I tried Denver fabrics, and they came through with fast delivery and quality fabrics.

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    1. Ahahaha! I hear ya! I can only drink one cup of coffee before my hour long commute, or else I”m sprinting inside when i arrive! 😛

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  5. Lovely outfit Gillian and I was so happy to read you are treating yourself to some luxury fabrics – you are such a hard working and skilled sewist you deserve it! I haven’t made a Sallie. I used to love wearing jumpsuits when I was a LOT younger (ie 30some years ago) but I’m just not sure if I would wear one today…I still have some pondering to do on that. I buy a lot of fabric from Simplifabric (Canadian also – Quebec), L’Orseau (Calgary), Thread Theory (Comox, Vancouver Island). I’ve been really happy with the quality of all three. Love Caroline’s Blackbird as well – I’ve always been really happy with the fabric and her great service as well.

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    1. It’s nice that we have a few Canadian options, isn’t it? Though the shipping is steep, and all the stores have a limited selection. Oh well. I dream that one day we’ll have a big indie store with fabulous deals!

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    1. Thanks! There shoes are a replacement for my last pair of denim slip-ons, which I pulled out of storage for spring and realised should never been worn in public again! 😛

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  6. I LOVE entire outfit! I can’t wear cards like that in Az heat, but might make one or two and plan a trip north!! Love your posts, you are so beautiful and remind me of my niece!

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  7. I love Blackbird Fabrics. Caroline’s tencel Is so nice for fluid wide leg pants. And some time ago I bought 4m of black bamboo Lycra fabric that is fabulous. I bought Jenny’s Concord when it came in a kit with black bamboo Lycra, then made up 2 Concords. I’ve been wearing both tees for a year. Caroline’ fabric has worn beautifully, getting softer, no fading,no pilling, no cling, beautiful drape. (Caroline, please get more!). Jenny’s not so much. It now has a pebbly texture, has a tendency to get clingy, and now I just wear it for yoga. IMO, cheap fabrics are good for practise, but for wearable, lasting garments, quality pays off! And thanks for mentioning those other stores, Kathleen! I’ll be checking them out.

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    1. That’s a great endorsement! I’ve had the same experience with really good bamboo vs rayon blends… it’s a fabric worth paying for! I just bought some tencel locally to try making pants with, and if I like the pattern, I’m definitely treating myself to some Blackbird tencel!

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  8. Finding good sweaterknits can be so tricky! This looks great!!!! 😁😁 and very Canadian—whip off the sweater when the sun comes out and put it back on when it snows. 😂

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    1. I have a lot of love for Fabricland (where would my wardrobe be without it?) but I can’t remember them ever stocking good sweaterknits! My stores do have nicer choices like tencel and bamboo this year though, so maybe things are changing?

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      1. I got some amazing sweaterknits (acrylic but gorgeously soft and thick) at Fabricland in Calgary the first year I was “seriously” sewing, but I haven’t seen anything so nice since. But mine is definitely not an “A” grade store. 😂 glad you’re seeing some better ones anyway. I love drooling over Blackbird’s fabrics.

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  9. You look fabulous! Love both garments and I might have to try that cardigan pattern. My “perfect” cardigan has proven elusive and this looks like it might be the one!

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    1. A perfect cardigan is a hard thing! I find a cardi can look amazing with one top or dress, and frumpy with another… so my only solution is to own lots and lots of cardigans!

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  10. Love you outfit. Blackbird Fabrics is wonderful and Caroline is amazing. I have ordered from her much too much… And there is free shipping over a certain dollar amount purchased anywhere in Canada so I take advantage of that option.

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  11. Love both these outfits and so happy to find out other suppliers for mail order. I’m in Ontario as well and now that a lot of the stores on Ottawa Street in Hamilton are closed I find it hard to find nice fabric. The Fabricland in Kitchener is ho hum and nasty staff. The Fabricland in Stratford is much better so I drive the hour there. I’ll be checking out these online Canadian stores that everyone has listed as soon as I finish up this reply. :0). Anyone know where to find Cone denim in Canada? I have the pattern and online class for Closet Case Files jeans and can’t find the denim anywhere. I missed out on the kits by a day! I’m actually in the US on holidays and can’t find it here either.

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    1. Hey Margo,
      Blackbird Fabrics has some on presale right now but it is over soon and I think she only has one colour available still. Caroline is amazing to work with. I have ordered lots of times from her and shipping is free over $100.
      Threadbare Fabrics in California has the fabric and she ships really quickly and is super nice to work with. If you’re going to be in the US for a few days it might be worth contacting Katie to see if she could quick ship the fabric to wherever you are so you can bring it home with you. She has several weights and colours. Shipping is not cheap to Canada and I have always had to pay duty on her orders while other things I haven’t. Can’t figure out why. But I’d try Katie and see if you could get it sent to where you are staying. I got my fabric into Canada within a week so US to US shipping may be faster and it may be free or much lower cost.
      Hope that helps.

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      1. Thanks Lori! I put in a pre-order with Caroline for the black Cone denim and she said she may have a bit extra of the other two colours when they come in. At least I will have the black to try out the Ginger jeans class and pattern with. We were camping in the US so I was not sure I could get it shipped to us. Anyway, so glad to find out about Caroline and ordered some knits to try as well. Free shipping over $100 is great!

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        1. That’s great Margo! I’m just making up a trial pair now. Baste fitting finished… Now I need to take them apart and sew them for real! Really exciting and empowering. Enjoy your denim when it comes. Cant wait to get mine.

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      1. Thanks again! I had talked to the Workroom about the denim a while ago and she said she would maybe have it back in stock early May. Good to know they do. I’ll wait to see if I can get the blue from Caroline before I order now from the Workroom though. I want the black and both colours of blue. Jean skirt and jeans are waiting for me. :0)

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        1. I hear you. I got some of each colour as well. I’m trying to get some red but very hard to find…. Not cone mills but italian… talking to a lady in the states about it… super nice… I have it in my head I want red jeans and red jean shorts LOL. Enjoy your camping!

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  12. You look fantastic in these photos. I wouldn’t say “a whiff of mature” just classic and you do indeed look sassy and sexy in that jumpsuit and cardi. It is a very polished look and a bit dressy. I love it. That is really nice that everything is Canadian. It is such a shame that buying fabric online is so expensive for you. I think that this cardigan pattern is great. Will you make it again? Xx

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