Blackwood x2

28 Jan Blackwood x2

Discovering a pattern that is just your style is pure gold. I have a few and have just added a new one to the collection.
Blackwood cardigan

Winter just got a whole lot better 😉


After browsing through a stack of Christmas catalogs during the holidays, I was convinced I needed a pair of patterned leggings and ordered Mood Fabric’s ultra soft black wool knit with orchid pink medallions. Opening the box of fabric long after the catalogs were thrown away brought me back to reality and I reassessed.

The leggings would be cute if I was 10 or on a Scandinavian vacation….. but I couldn’t pull it off in South Carolina.

In the midst of my recent sewing room organization project, I rediscovered the piece of double faced knit purchased on a whim at JoAnn’s in the fall of 2016. The Blackwood Cardigan pattern by Helen’s Closet had been downloaded on the computer for months, and somehow, in the thick of it all, a sweater was born.

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As I studied the pattern illustration I noticed several opportunities to customize the pattern, and having no set plan allowed me to experiment with the whimsical fabric.


I used the stripes for the bodice and the dots for the cuffs & bands. It’s fun and perfect for a Saturday afternoon!IMG_0017 2Aside from omitting the pockets, shortening the lower band by 2″ was my only change to the pattern. Keeping the contrast front and lower bands the same size nicely framed the bodice and resulted in a better proportion for me.


But once wasn’t enough! 

As soon as I completed the cardigan I knew exactly what to do with the wonderful wool medallion knit 😊 (Mood Fabrics also sells this lovely knit in black with a green medallion.)

Again I made a few slight design alterations to let this fabric shine!


The front band and sleeve cuffs were sewn in a contrasting fabric – a black rib knit from Mood.  In order to avoid disrupting the medallion pattern, I omitted the lower band and extended the length of the bodice to match the length of the front band. IMG_0010

The sleeves are designed to be very long and my arms are on the short side. I wanted to keep the length on the sleeve so I shortened the cuff by two inches. I realized the longer sleeve and shorter cuff make my arms look longer so this may become a permanent alteration!

IMG_0057All of the seams (for both cardigans) were finished on the serger.
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Since I omitted the lower band, I stabilized the hem by placing a 1″ piece of interfacing directly below the hemline.

IMG_8034Next, I served along the lower edge of the interfacing. After the lower edge was finished by the serger, I folded, pressed and machine hemmed the sweater.

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There’s nothing better for the sewing mojo than an easy pattern with a good fit combined with a fabulous fabric, and with wools like this, bring on the Arctic Blast!

Many thanks to my friend, Julie Starr for insisting I try the award winning Blackwood Cardigan pattern ……… and speaking of which I’m delighted to announce that The Tunic Bible received a Best Pattern Award from the Pattern Review website!FullSizeRender 2

We are honored and grateful to the 400,000 members of Pattern for voting The Tunic Bible as the #1 Best Woven Top Pattern for 2017!! Many thanks to everyone who has supported us on our book journey. We LOVE seeing your tunics. Full blog post listing winners in each category is up on the PR website.

Happy Sewing to All!Untitled




  • Tina Spear
    Posted at 07:39h, 28 January Reply

    Hi Sarah, both cardigans are lovely. Did you use an iron on or sew in interfacing strip on the hemline?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:41h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you, Tina. I used the Pellon knit fusible.

  • Carmen Salome
    Posted at 07:39h, 28 January Reply

    Love it. I have been eyeing that pattern since Christmas.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:10h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you, Carmen! Obviously, I recommend it 😊

  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 07:46h, 28 January Reply

    Two stunning looks! The medallion fabric works so much better as a cardigan and your boots are the perfect compliment. I’ll be buying this pattern as I have a few pieces in my own stash that would work well for this. Congratulations on the success of The Tunic Bible. It’s always fun to see variations of the classic style.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:11h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Mary! I’m so glad I had a chance to get an upclose and personal look at one of your fabulous tunics 😊😊

  • laura towe
    Posted at 08:15h, 28 January Reply

    I still love the boots and the new fancy snowflake background.. thank you day 28 this going strong no rtw.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:13h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you, Laura! I too still love the boots and well…… had to make something else to go with them 😉 One month down and eleven more to go – good job!

  • Marianne Johansson
    Posted at 08:49h, 28 January Reply

    Lovely cardigan ! Really like that you have used 2 diffirent fabrics !!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:13h, 28 January Reply

      Many thanks, Marianne! They fit entirely differently due to the weight and stretch of the fabrics 😉

  • Diane G
    Posted at 08:51h, 28 January Reply

    It was seeing your two wonderful Blackwoods in the RTW Fast 2018 FB group that convinced me to finally download the pattern. Thank you for the fab inspiration!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:14h, 28 January Reply

      …… and many thanks for the nice comment, Diane! Look forward to seeing your Blackwoods!

  • Cynthia Gilbreth
    Posted at 08:56h, 28 January Reply

    Both are fantastic! You also look much thinner in the black/medallion outfit, not that you need to lose any weight. Shortening the cuffs was a brilliant idea!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:16h, 28 January Reply

      Amazing what wearing black will do! Since taking the photos, I’ve come across two grey knit dresses that work so well with the grey cardigan. Many thanks for the comment, Cynthia!

  • Sara McIntire
    Posted at 08:59h, 28 January Reply

    I’m scared of knits but you make look so easy! Where in the world did you get those fabulous boots?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:17h, 28 January Reply

      Sara – This is an easy pattern and would be a nice way to approach sewing knits. I bought the boots from Kate Spade in November – a major splurge for sure 😉

  • Irene Mischkinis
    Posted at 09:03h, 28 January Reply

    Lovely cardigans! Customizing a pattern is part and parcel of sewing one’s wardrobe.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:18h, 28 January Reply

      Indeed it is, Irene! Many thanks for your comment 😉

  • Gail Cunningham
    Posted at 09:10h, 28 January Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    The cardigans are spot-on perfect! Although it’s been years since I’ve sewn garments, I have followed you for at least 3 years now, and looking at your creations makes me want to sew more than quilts! I’m almost there………….!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:19h, 28 January Reply

      Many thanks, Gail! There was a period in my life when I made quilts which I thoroughly enjoyed. You can do both you know! 😊

  • Barbara Benson
    Posted at 09:19h, 28 January Reply

    Love the cardigans. I’m wondering if you did your normal bust alteration?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:23h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you, Barbara! I did not but my add a little for additional coverage next time. The sweater is meant to be open 😉

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 09:21h, 28 January Reply

    Oh Sarah….wish I had one of these for church this morning! Perfect for a cold day here in the Mts. I’ve pinned the pattern and will make one,. I love how you talk about the changes you made for your body proportions….I sometimes do that without thought, but love that you document the changes… it becomes the “best” look possible for your silhouette, reminding us to do the same.. Nice make……indeed.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:24h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you so much Laura! The beauty of sewing of course is customizing the fit to best suit and shapes and styles 😉

  • Linda LaMona
    Posted at 09:27h, 28 January Reply

    I like both versions of this cardigan. I purchased this pattern a month or two ago and yet to make it. I do like the contrasting fabrics for the band and sleeve cuffs.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:42h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you, Linda! If I was sewing the cardigan in a solid, I’d probably leave the pattern as is, but contrasting is fun and called for a few alterations 😉 Enjoy your pattern!

  • Madeline Rodriguez
    Posted at 10:13h, 28 January Reply

    I love your cardigan. I have never made one but I would like to. Do you usually make them to be opened? Can their pattern have some type of frond closure?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:28h, 28 January Reply

      Thank you, Madeline! This cardigan is designed to be open in the front. The front pieces do not meet and I think it would be very difficult to add a closure without changing the design, but there are several cardigan patterns available that provide front closures. Good luck!

  • Sherry caron
    Posted at 10:49h, 28 January Reply

    Beautiful I also found Blackwood Cardigan love love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:49h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks, Sherry! It’s a great pattern isn’t it?

  • Donna Robinson
    Posted at 11:33h, 28 January Reply

    I not only love the cardigans, but that you turned a “what was I thinking” fabric choice into a beautiful solution. Creativity and the power of sewing!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:50h, 29 January Reply

      ‘The Power of Sewing’…….. love it, Donna!

  • Patty Dorion
    Posted at 11:44h, 28 January Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!! I love the knits you chose for the cardigans. You are such an inspiration, Sarah!! Thank you so much!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:51h, 29 January Reply

      …..and thank you for your nice comment, Patty! The funny thing is neither were originally chosen the cardigan 😊

  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    Posted at 11:54h, 28 January Reply

    Gorgeous Blackwoods! Love both of them – I would have trouble choosing my favourite 🙂 I have your Tunic Bible but have yet to make one up. Congratulations on your win with patternreview – I’m definitely going to get on that. I have one in mind with some linen I bought at a sewing show last year. Many of those embellishment ideas I’ve seen online have been incredible with your tunic pattern (and of course yours!) making it even more fun to experiment with.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:53h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks, Kathleen and no need to choose a favorite – I certainly don’t have one! Thank you also for purchasing The Tunic Bible, and I hope you enjoy it 😊😊

  • Barbara Williams
    Posted at 12:09h, 28 January Reply

    Gorgeous sweaters! I am so happy you chose to eliminate the bottom band, that can be tough for some sewers to attach without it rippling. This one goes on my to-do list. 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:41h, 30 January Reply

      Thank you, Barbara! I used the band on one sweater which went on without a problem but I know what you mean. 😉

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 12:14h, 28 January Reply

    I really like both of your versions of this cardigan. The fabric mix really makes them sing. Congrats on the PR win!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:42h, 30 January Reply

      Thank you, Carolyn! We’re really flattered by the PR win 😊

  • Ann Warner
    Posted at 12:29h, 28 January Reply

    Your cardigans are both gorgeous and seeing them has made me finally decide to order the pattern,
    Please can you explain more about the interfacing, did you turn the hem on the lower edge of the interfacing or did you double over the hem, thanks

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:39h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Ann!
      I applied a fusible knit interfacing directly below the hemline. Then I finished the lower edge of the cardigan on the serger. Next I folded the hem, pinned and machine stitched. The underside of the hem is interfaced. The top of the hem is finished with a serger edge. All is clean, neat and stable😊

  • Jane Mary Green
    Posted at 12:30h, 28 January Reply

    Love your design….just outstanding! You continue to provide me with inspiration!!! Will get this pattern…perfect for New Jersey winters and the transition into Spring!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:34h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks, Jane! You won’t be disappointed, and I agree this pattern will make great transition pieces. 😊

  • Laurina Peters
    Posted at 12:50h, 28 January Reply

    I know exactly what you mean by the seduction of catalog images! Some ideas look so good on paper! I have fine tuned my style through the years so mistakes don’t happen quite so often. However, I still like to leave some room for experimentation for myself. I think that is one of the joys of sewing, being able to customize patterns for our best self. Well done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:33h, 29 January Reply

      I’m usually not so vulnerable, but I guess I got caught up in the magic of Christmas! Thankfully all worked out just fine. Many thanks for your comment, Laurina😊

  • Thelma #164
    Posted at 15:04h, 28 January Reply

    Beautiful and classy, Your boots are geogeous👍🏻👍🏻

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:31h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Thelma! The boots are definitely special 😉

  • Ann Brodsky
    Posted at 17:29h, 28 January Reply

    Ooh, I really love that medallion print one on you! Very unique and beautifully fitted. Congratulations on the PR honor!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:31h, 29 January Reply

      Thank. you, Ann! Maybe you can tell the medallion fabric is heavier and. doesn’t have as much stretch giving it a closer fit 😉

  • Vanessa Thomas
    Posted at 18:11h, 28 January Reply

    Both versions of your cardigan are beautifully done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:29h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Vanessa!

  • Karen Mulkey
    Posted at 20:19h, 28 January Reply

    Both garments are lovely cardigans. I especially like the designed space left open down the front. This gives a nice vertical line which is slimming. I’m definitely trying this pattern!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:29h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks,Karen! I agree – the open front and close fit are very flattering 😉

  • Catherine Smith
    Posted at 20:28h, 28 January Reply

    Great cardis! Love the contrast fabric choices. I never think to put spots with stripes. Very professional. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:27h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Catherine! I wish I could find more double faced fabrics such as this one – it makes fabric combos so easy 😉

  • Helen Wilkinson
    Posted at 09:36h, 29 January Reply

    Thank you very much for sewing the Blackwood! It was lovely to read your post about it and both of your versions are great. I especially like the way you have highlighted the bands with contrast fabrics! Take care and happy sewing!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:44h, 30 January Reply

      It was my pleasure to sew your great cardigan pattern! Thank you for designing such a good one. I love the fit and possibilities, and hope to sew it again soon 😉

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 09:40h, 29 January Reply

    Congrats on your PR award for the Tunic Bible ! It’s a great pattern/ book. These cardigans are both beautiful & stylish . I love the tip for interfacing the hem – knits are great but sometimes the hems get wonky this would help . Great post as usual !!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:45h, 30 January Reply

      Thank you, Mary Ellen! I almost always use interfacing on knit hems because it makes such a difference 😀

  • Claire
    Posted at 12:48h, 29 January Reply

    Looks like you are in a professional photography studio! And that Mood fabric is awesome, Sarah! Im going to see if there is any left in the store as I would love to copy yours. I have had the Blackwood printed out for some time… Such a great pattern for real life dressing and for a year of fasting. Congrats to you and Julie on the PR win – how exciting it must be after the tremendous effort of bringing your idea from brainstorm to published!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 30 January Reply

      Claire ~ Many thanks for your lovely comment! The photos were taken at home but I did order a backdrop and lights to set up when I’m in jam, however, there’s nothing like the great outdoors for photos!
      Writing a book was indeed a major effort but very rewarding now that it’s published.
      I’m so envious that you can walk into Mood anytime you want to!

  • Rosalind Clayton
    Posted at 14:09h, 29 January Reply

    Both your cardigans are fabulous & I really appreciate how you think changes out according to your fabric! I was also glad to see that The Tunic Bible got such a rating on patternreview! Both you & Julie deserve lots of credit for all of your hard work! Also my personal thanks for the RTW Fast & allowing me to participate! I am really enjoying seeing everyone’s creations & advice!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:52h, 30 January Reply

      Rosalind ~ Many thanks to you for joining the 2018 RTW Fast. We have a great group and I’m delighted so many are participating! As I just said to Claire writing a book was indeed a major effort but very rewarding now that it’s published, and we are so honored by award from PR.
      As far as thinking out changes according to fabric, I think it all goes back to The Tunic Bible: get the fit right and then have fun with the pattern 😉

  • Lisa Lacy
    Posted at 17:06h, 29 January Reply

    Beautiful sewing with impeccable style.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:52h, 30 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Lisa!

  • Maribeth
    Posted at 21:15h, 29 January Reply

    Both are lovely and look great on you. I’m trying to decide between the Blackwood Cardigsn and McCalls 6844. Since you have made both., can you compare the fit. I’m wondering if the Blackwood may be too slim fitting, particularly in the sleeves when worn over t- shirts or blouses.

  • goodbyevalentino
    Posted at 06:55h, 30 January Reply

    Thank you, Maribeth! The Blackwood is slim fitting and I would not wear it over long sleeves. The McCalls is boxier but I haven’t worn it over long sleeves either 😉

  • Connie FL
    Posted at 20:06h, 30 January Reply

    I just made the Blackwood cardigan in a linen knit and just love how it will be wearable through the hot Florida summers. Thanks for the inspiration to make one with stripes and congratulations on the award for the wonderful and versatile Tunic Bible!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:20h, 31 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Connie! I plan to make the Blackwood in a linen.knit too – glad to know it worked out so nicely 😊

  • Sheila Elder
    Posted at 08:43h, 31 January Reply

    These are both lovely. I have that double sided fabric as well. I bought it in Jo Anns last July in Brunswick when visiting St Simons on a family holiday from Scotland. I might just copy you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:19h, 31 January Reply

      Please copy away! St Simons is a great holiday spot, but how I’d love to visit Scotland😉 Many thanks for your comment, Sheila.

  • Mary
    Posted at 11:10h, 01 February Reply

    Love your coats! Great ideas for Georgia winters as well.
    Did you use a black wool or cotton rib knit on the Medalion one? I looked at Mood and their black wool rib knit is now sold out. Since I haven’t seen the medallion fabric, do you think a cotton would work? Thanks.

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