Blackwood Cardigan in Navy Fleece


Time for some Blackwood Cardigan love (pattern here, thank you Helen!).

I’ve made this wonderful pattern in jersey, hacci knit, and, now, polar fleece. Oh boy, it’s so pretty. The pattern:

part 1-side

Mine is the longer version in navy polar fleece from


Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size Large, as with all my versions. Previous adjustments are detailed in first first version (here).
  • Something different: I modified the pockets to be a little wider, with a cut-on facing, and placed them about 2″ above the hem,and, yes, across the bottom band. This is much lower than the pattern has them. But I love how this looks (as in the pic above).
  • Fleece is usually pretty stable, not stretchy, and this one worked for me. No interfacing needed.

I love to sew fleece, here are some views of finishing details:

finishing 1

finishing 3

finishing 4

And more happiness.




Parting shot: I think I need a new pair of readers for the loft. Wonder Woman has broken her sewing glasses in TWO places…



Ciao! Coco

McCalls 7476 Cardigan – Maybe not


OK, these two M7476 cardigans are from sewing some time ago, but I want to share. This is a McCalls ‘Learn to sew for Fun’ pattern, and it does have a lot going for it. The instructions are very much oriented to an advanced beginner sewer:

line art

Aside from really great and detailed instructions, it is interesting because it has an attached shawl collar, rather than one that is cut-on (with all the seam challenges).

I’ve fallen rather in love with hacci knits, as a substitute for cotton knits, so I used 2 pieces from the stash as victims.

First go, View B, no collar.


Great stripe, and I agonized over the stripe matching. However. That turn in the front, where the curve meets the straight part of the front – it absolutely demands a button. I want it to fly open with panache and grace!

A few sewing notes here:

  • On both, I raised the front bodice by 1.5″, so that curve point would not be so low. Even for me, at 5’7″, that is a very low focal point.
  • In the following version, I likewise shortened the collar to match.

Well, not deterred and having the fabric, I made View D, which has the attached collar. I like this much more, mostly because the front button/curve are better, and here are pics.




Well, no. Not for me. I’m sitting on some beautiful sweater knits, so I’m glad I tried this. Next? I’ll remove the snaps and buttons, gently, and donate these two cardigans.

Ciao! Coco


Goes with jeans…


What to do with white french terry?

My intention was to make a robe – a fresh white robe just feels wonderful after a shower. However, I discovered that I only had 3 yards of fabric (huh, I really did mean to order 5 yards). Time to re-think this project.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a long button-front cardigan, a mix of the Ready to Sew Jamie Cardigan and the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet. I don’t have the Jamie pattern, and the Blackwood is very slim, so I trolled the stash. Voila! Burda Style 09/2016 #119.

line art

Yes, I made changes!

  • I left off the collar and drafted 2″ wide facings for the front and back neckline.
  • The original sleeve is very wide at the armscye and connects at the natural waist. I narrowed mine by 7″ on the front and back seam, which gave a nice kimono sleeve.


  • I was short on fabric so I made a two-piece pocket with fun topstitching.


  • And I cut 10″ off the bottom, which I refashioned into a 4″ wide hem band.
  • For closure, I used 5/8″ buttons with silver #4 sew-on snaps. Easy peasy 🙂


I admit I sewed this with some trepidation, not totally convinced I was making something I would enjoy. But I love it with jeans!


I used my Frixion pens all over this as I was sewing and fitting, so I laundered it again when it was finished. The cotton terry is so soft and rumply.


Yes, I still want that white robe. I just ordered more fabric, because Cali Fabrics only had 7 yards left when I went looking!

Bye for now, Coco

Blackwood Cardigan in Ponte Knit


More love for the Blackwood Cardigan pattern from Helen’s Closet.

part 1-side

Feeling adventurous, I used a very stretchy (60%/40%) rayon/nylon/lycra ponte from Fabric Mart (my first version was in hacci knit, here).


I actually began construction with the neckline band, because I knew it would be the biggest challenge. I did not want to end up with a wavy, stretched out band! So – my approach:

  • I keep my ironing board at table height, so it can double as a work surface. The foam pad makes a great pin cushion as well!


  • I measured the band and did all my work with a measuring tape above it to ensure I wasn’t stretching the fabric. Or possibly shrinking it when I applied the fusible interfacing.


  • After I folded the band and gave it a press, I did some fancy basting to prevent shifting when it was sewn. It took a while, but was worth the effort.


  • I also made a 12″ long replica for testing my stitches, tension, and so on.



A couple more sewing notes:

  • I staystitched the neckline edges of the garment to stabilize them while I was handling the fabric. On the back neckline, I stitched from the center back to the shoulder. On the front pieces, I stitched from the bottom edge to the shoulder.


  • To avoid stretching my seams, I sewed them first on the sewing machine, and simply finished the edges on the serger.


Whew! but it all worked 🙂






Next up, of course I’m going to sew this in a cotton/lycra jersey!

Bye for now, Coco

Blackwood Cardigan fan club…


It’s official – I’m a fan. From Helen’s Closet, the lovely Blackwood Cardigan!

part 1-side

Yes, another cardigan. But they’re such fun to sew and so easy to wear. I think I’m slow on my game, because this cardigan has been around for some time.

back 2

I actually purchased it and 2 pieces of hacci knit a couple months ago. Then I chickened out on using the hacci, mostly because I read so many comments about ‘sweater knits that cling to themselves’. Absolutely, hacci knit, in all its polyester glory, will do that. But this pattern is not voluminous, so this weekend I went with my first inclination, and I love the result.


Sewing notes:

  • Fabric: this is a blue/black/brown/cream abstract hacci knit from Fabric Mart. It’s very stretchy – 80%/40%.
  • Size: After viewing about a hundred versions online, and reading the sizing information and tutorials provided by Helen’s Closet, I settled on size Large. Measurement of the taped pattern confirmed my choice: the Large is 33″ at the bustline. With a 4″ gap between the front edges (it’s not meant to be closed), it’s perfect for me. The Large is about 40″ at the hip, just enough to prevent a skimpy silhouette. It also fits me through the shoulders and arms. BTW, my measurements put me in the Medium, but it would have been too small for me.
  • I also added 1″ to the length – I’m 5’7″ and the size model is 5’6″. I always appreciate that little piece of information.
  • The band: I planned to interface the front band, so I added 2″ to the length on each side. Fusible interfacing will always ‘freeze’ a knit and pull it up a bit. Better safe than sorry, and I used every bit of the length. Interfaced, folded, basted and topstitched:

band 1-down

band 3

  • The sleeve: my only change was to the cuff. The sleeve pattern is intentionally long and slouchy, with a very wide cuff. I simply finished my cuff at about 1 5/8″ wide.


  • No pockets! the fabric is way too stretchy for them.

side 1

And the inside view…

emile 1

emile 2

While browsing, I found an intriguing adaptation by SheSewsALot – she made it a bit oversized, with a button front and maxi length. I’ve already printed the layered XL and XXL for a similar version in the fall, perhaps in sweatshirt or French terry knit.

Other projects – My Luna Lapin wool felt arrived from The Felt Pod. It’s beautiful fabric, but my wool allergy bounded to the front almost immediately. Sigh. However, I have a backup plan, and I’ll be working on my Lapin today.

Bye for now – Coco