A Pair of Blackwood Cardigans

Since I live in the UK I’m always looking for stylish ways to keep warm (though thankfully it is finally warming up after what feels like an  infinite Winter!) and so I’d had my eye on the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet for a while.  I think I might have bought it when she expanded her size range on it (and congrats to her for now having all her patterns in a more inclusive range of sizes!).

Anyway, all that is to say that towards the end of last year I made 2 Blackwood Cardigans and they have got quite a bit of wear each since they were finished.

I made both cardigans in the size small of the longer view and I didn’t make any fitting changes – it’s a relatively loose fitting pattern and doesn’t have fastenings across the front so didn’t require any fiddling around for me.

I had both of these fabrics in my stash for years so I’m glad to have finally got around to sewing them up! The burgundy fabric was from the Birmingham rag market at Sew Brum I think 2 or 3 years ago! I was thinking back then to add burgundy to my colour palette as I thought it would be a good compliment to the other colours I like – mustard yellow, navy blue, grey, black etc. Though looking at these photos and how I feel in it, I’m not sure the colour really suits me so I may not add more burgundy pieces to my wardrobe! The fabric itself was pretty cheap and it really synthetic, so it’s not the best but it was good enough for an experiment.

The mustard yellow fabric was from Tilly and the Buttons’ mini fabric shop they did a year or two ago when her previous book, Stretch, came out. She’s had another book out since, so this has definitely been patiently waiting in my stash for quite a while! This fabric is sooooo much softer then the burgundy knit, so you can feel the difference in quality. But this one has pilled quite badly already, with not a huge amount of wear as it was too cold to wear it for a couple of months. It also seems to have stretched out a bit – you can see it’s longer in the sleeves – and I think in the length – than the other one.

Even though we’re having some nice weather in the UK at the moment, since we’re not allowed outside for more than an hour, I’m still needing my cardigans and knitwear as our flat is much colder than outside, sadly.

If you’re looking for an easy project to make from some knit fabric, then this should definitely be on your list. I think it would be nice in more of a sweatshirt knit, too, actually. 

After listening to a recent episode of Love To Sew, I realised I always take my photos all standing up and there is a growing discussion that it would be helpful for wheelchair users or other people who spend a lot of time sitting, to see how garments look when we are sitting down. So from now on I will include sitting photos of all my makes. I am also listening to the discussions about taking multiple views of garments so others can see the fit across, say, the back, or from the side. I already did this quite consistently on here but I think I didn’t tend to share all the views when I share my makes on Instagram, so I’m going to try to do that more too.

Since I’ve been taking my photos myself with a remote for my phone, outtakes haven’t been as common as they once were, sadly. But please enjoy this gem. I legit look like I’m getting up to smash the camera/phone! Lol!

Are you sewing all the things or have you lost your sewjo given what’s going on in the world? I’m flitting between the 2. The first couple of weeks I sewed loads, then last week I did very little of anything productive. But this week I’m feeling enthused again!

 

 

Breton Style Plantain Tee

This has to be one of my thriftiest makes ever. It’s the Deer and Doe Plantain Tee, which is a free to download. I downloaded and assembled the PDF quite a while ago but only just got around to making something from it. I had this little bit of stripey fabric in my stash for a few months – it was only £1.50 and was from Rolls and Rems (where else!). There was juuuust enough fabric to make this tee and I love it!

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The stripes are actually navy blue, though they look black in the photos.

With my new haircut (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), and in this tee shirt, I definitely feel like I’m channeling Jean Seberg!

circa 1965: Promotional portrait of American actor Jean Seberg (1938 - 1979) sitting barefoot and cross-legged on a stool, wearing rolled blue jeans and a French-striped sailor jersey pulled off one shoulder. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)(image source)

I made this tee in the size 36 and changed the neckline. The classic Breton Tee has quite a high neckline (probably a boat neckline would be best), but the Plantain has quite a low scoop-neck. I raised it to just below the back neckline. I also didn’t bother with the neck band, partly because I would have had to work out a new length for it, and partly because I wasn’t entirely sure from the instructions how I should attach it! So I just turned the neckline under by 1.5cm and stitched it with my twin needle.

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The sleeves are 3.3cm longer than the short sleeve length. I would have made longer, 3/4 length sleeves, but I didn’t have enough fabric – there was literally just enough to cut the front and back, then squeeze the sleeves from single layers left over after the other bits were cut out. I hemmed the sleeves with the twin needle too, turning under a tiny amount so as to preserve what length I had managed to eek out.

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I think the original hem is a little curved, but I straightened the bottom, using the stripes as a guide. Then I turned up one white stripe and stitched the hem with the twin needle.

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I think I’m starting to get the hang of sewing with knits. I matched the stripes on the side seams (but then, of course, forgot to take any photos) and I quite enjoy the professional look a twin needle gives to the hems. This is the thickest and most stable knit I’ve sewn with so far, and I like the fact that this is quite thick. I think I need a bit of a tweak in the armpit area to get it to sit better – I’ve had this before with other patterns, so I wonder if I have something that makes me atypical in the armpit/ sleeve area – I’ll try to make some changes if I make this pattern again, which I suspect I will. Any ideas what the issue is and how I can fix it? I think an armscye that extends lower than the pattern originally does.

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I’m trying to make more basics for my wardrobe, so I think there’ll be more and more t-shirts and basic things like that coming up on the blog! Also skinny jeans hopefully!