So my first finished garment of 2019 hits it right out of the park!
Not only am I thrilled with the garment itself, but its made from stash fabric and a stash pattern, albeit the updated version.
I’m sure you’ve not missed all the recent conversation on the interwebs about exclusion in pattern sizing, and the low number of pattern companies who embrace the plus size community. Helen’s Closet has gone back to the drawing board and redrafted the Blackwood Cardigan to have a wider range of sizes (0 – 30) which is more inclusive at both ends of the size spectrum.
She’s also included 2 cup sizes, and gives high bust and full bust measurements on her size chart so its easier to work out what size pattern you need to cut.
I’d already bought the original pattern when it came out, and had it printed and ready to do a FBA. When the new pattern serendipitously dropped whilst I was working on Maud, with a free update for all who had the first iteration, I printed the new version and worked with that.
As an experiment, because the fabric I used was deep stash that I’d bought from Bambers in Manchester many moons ago for not many pennies, and because I thought it might be too lightweight to be a cardigan, I decided to go with a straight 22 D cup.
The pattern is a joy. Clearly printed, tapes together like a dream, well drafted.
I sewed Blackwood together using a narrow zigzag stitch with a stretch needle for accuracy, and finished the seams with the overlocker.
A seam here and there throughout the week and it came together in no time. I think it’s worth repeating that whilst Blackwood is constructed from simple shapes, the drafting is immaculate, which is why it’s so lovely to sew.
The outcome astonished me. My sewing was a wee bit slapdash as this was just a toile, but this is still such a wearable garment….I’m wearing it as I type.
The fabric has worked out just fine and is the perfect lightweight layer. And the fit is sublime. I can’t believe that I haven’t made a single alteration! This is the pattern as it was drafted and it looks amazing. The length hits me at exactly the right point (I’m 5ft 7″- this never happens!). The sleeves cover my wrists. It’s super comfortable and is officially my favourite pattern ever!
There’s a faint chance I may need to do a teeny tiny FBS when using a more stable fabric, and I may decide to tweak the shoulder seam, by bringing it a wee bit forwards, and a wee bit in. But that’s being super picky, especially as the fit is far superior to any RTW cardigan I’ve ever had.
You can see some draglines in the photos but thats caused by movement, the way I’m standing and the fabric of my shirt being a lightly brushed cotton, which is a bit grabby!
So, this won’t be the last time you see Blackwood on the blog. I don’t think I’ve anything else in the stash that’s suitable at the moment, so it’s a shopping trip. I’m also eyeing up those lovely merinos at The Fabric Store in time for next autumn.
One last note…I had reason to contact Helen because I managed to lock myself out of her site. Not only did she promptly resolve the issue, I also got an almost immediate email response with a copy of the pattern attached for my convenience. Amazing customer service which I really appreciated.