The Versatile Blackwood Cardigan

A little public service announcement for all book-loving sewists before I tell you about the Blackwood Cardigan: come join Melanie’s Literary Sewing Circle! We’re reading Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, discussing the book online, and sewing something inspired by the book. Hope to see you there!

Are you in on the #cosycardichallenge on Instagram? Even if you don’t have an Instagram account you can still check out the #cosycardichallenge tag for hundreds of inspiring handmade cardigans. You’ll also notice that there are a LOT of Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigans being sewn. And no wonder, what a great pattern it is! I have made two so far. (I say ‘so far’ because I’m sure there will be more in my future.) For now, let me show you some pics of the one that has become a bit of a surprise staple in my wardrobe.


This is View B (the shorter length with no patch pockets), sewn in a solid mustard knit I picked up on the cheap at the Turkish Market in Berlin in the Spring. I’m wearing it with the white V1389 top and stone necklace I made.



This is the first time in a very long time I’ve had mustard yellow in my wardrobe, and I’m finding it works with a lot of what I already have. Blue is one of my go-to colours and since blue is opposite gold on the colour wheel — complementary colours — it makes sense that this works so well in my wardrobe.


Here it is with my Kielo Wrap Dress:


Extra Special Snowflake Points to me for overcoming my tendency to buy ALL THE BUSY PATTERNED FABRIC and finally settling down to sew something in a solid! Another reason this is easy to pair with ALL THE BUSY PATTERNED FABRIC I keep buying and sewing.

Case in point: here it is with my Cali Faye Fenix romper:


And with my Wanted Tee:


If you’re thinking about sewing a Blackwood cardigan, it, along with the rest of Helen’s Closet patterns, is on sale right now for 15% off. I highly recommend it! Helen’s instructions are very detailed so this would be a great pattern for newbie sewist. For more experienced sewists, this sews up quite quickly. If you are at all unsure of your size, go up one size — especially if you want to wear it over heavier/bulkier layers, as it seems to be drafted with little or no ease.

Helen has also provided tutorials on how to create a split-hem version, and how to add thumb holes to the sleeve cuffs.


Here is a rare glimpse at the inside of something I’ve made. Secret’s out! — I don’t match my serger thread to the fabric. I have a strict off-white or black thread only policy when it comes to serging. Life’s too short for changing serger thread all the time! I actually plan my sewing around which colour is currently in the serger and will only change it when I know I will be sewing a bunch of things that need the other colour. Talk about lazy efficient.


Thanks so much for stopping by!

— Lori



16 thoughts on “The Versatile Blackwood Cardigan

  1. Nice cardie missus! I change my serger thread by increments- usually just changing one or two threads by pulling through. This means I get gradations of colour , so it also works well with lots of colours, without the all or nothing approach of black and white. I like black with two blues, or black white pink and blue together etc. It’s fun! I do try to do things by colour blocks though, also efficient [or lazy, I can admit it]


  2. Sadly, mustard (or yellow of any hue) makes me look like a reanimated corpse, or I would totally rip this off. I am however, firmly on team 3 serger colors–not only is life too short to rethread (and I’m even spoiled with jet air threading!), but that isht is expensive if you buy all the colors!! Plus, I don’t even know how people store all those cones–I need that room for all my fabric! 😉


  3. Beautiful versatile cardigan! Gotta sew one now!

    I’m a grey and cream serger thread girl… I usually will change the needle thread to match if I’m actually sewing the seams with the serger and not just finishing the edges.


  4. Love your cardigan! I keep meaning to make more cardigans but get distracted by some new shiny thing before I can get there 🙂 It’s funny about mustard…I used to recoil from it when I was young but as I’ve aged I’ve come to love it more and more and I didn’t know why until you mentioned how it’s opposite on the colour wheel to blue (complementary) and navy is the most common colour in my wardrobe! Thank you for that info 🙂


  5. This is a fabulous cardi and a great color! You so inspire my own sewing. And we share the same policy in regards to serger thread. 😉


  6. Thanks for mentioning the Literary Sewing Circle again – it’s been fun to read and imagine projects — I hope other reading sewers will come over and check it out too.

    I love this cardigan — since I love cardis and mustard, it’s a big hit in my eyes. I think I might have to pick up this pattern as it looks so lovely on everyone. Don’t have a serger (yet) so don’t have an opinion on the threading, although sticking to one or two does sound much easier!


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