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.
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.
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.
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!
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?