A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Green Blackwood

Three years ago, I made a bright green Lisbon cardigan. It was, hands down, my favorite item of clothing. I wore that cardigan constantly for two years, until a giant purple splotch, about the size of a half-dollar, appeared on the back.  I have no idea what caused the stain or where it came from, but no amount of stain-treating would get it out. It was a sad day when I realized this, so I'm just going to take a moment to reminisce about my favorite me-made ever ...

Luckily, I had prepared for this eventuality by saving the second half of the cut of green bamboo/lycra jersey for another cardigan down the road.  (I have also done this with the striped knit that I used to make my first Blackwood Cardigan - it's just sitting in my fabric stash waiting for the first one to wear out).

I decided to use the rest of the cut to make a new Blackwood. I've made this pattern seven times before, but I hadn't sewn it since the updated pattern with the D-cup option was released. So I reprinted and redrafted it. I sewed the shorter view B without pockets. I cut the size 12D graded to a 14 waist and hip according to my measurements (high bust 36, 40-31.5-41.5).

My high and full bust measurements were the exact 12D size chart measurements, but I didn't like the fit around the bust and upper arm. Here is what it looked like when I first made it.

The above pic isn't terrible, but that slouchier fit wasn't what I was looking for in this  cardigan. You can see the issue a little better in the next photo.

And here is what it looked like from the back.

I took it on our trip to the U.S. like that, and kept putting it on only to take it off.  So I knew that I had to do something to improve the fit when I got home.  Yesterday I pulled it out again and got to pinning.  I ended up taking 3/4" out of the side seams at the armscye, tapering to nothing about four inches above and below the armscye. You can see below my adjustment, indicated by the basting stitches I put in when I was testing the fit:

Here is what it looks like post-surgery.  Much better.  Except I'm finding the sleeves much too long. I need to take out an inch or so.  I was a little concerned that the bicep would be too tight, but the sleeve width is fine. I need to compare the sleeve to the non-D-cup pattern sleeve to see how I want to proceed the next time I make a Blackwood - with my adjusted 12D pattern, or with the regular size 12.

It was a small change, but I'm much happier with the fit now. 

I haven't topstitched my front band and hem band seam allowances, because I find they sometimes get wavy when I do that, even when I use my overstitch machine. I need to wear it for awhile to decide whether or not I want to topstitch.

Do you hoard beloved fabric to remake a garment after it wears out? Or am I the only weirdo who does this?

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!


  1. Um, in short, no! I do not do this! I tend to use those leftover bits to make something else for me, or something for my kids, or I never make anything with it and it sits for years! But maybe I should do this ... I have sorely missed some of my worn out handmades.

    I really love this bright green on you, and I love the shape of the Blackwood. The change you made is quite small but really makes a difference to fit.

  2. Such a great colour and the fit looks terrific. Enjoy your new cardi :)

  3. Love this green color! I like the small adjustment you made. I do hoard left over fabric if is a substantial amount. I am currently working on a project that I am using leftover fabric from a garment made last year. I am probably one of the last people to sew this cardigan. It is in my line up of sewing projects.

  4. sad story to start then it turned happy! I get so upset when my favorite makes bite the dust. Your cardi looks great

  5. This looks great, I've never made a cardigan before but the blackwood looks like a good pattern.


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