Blackwood Cardigan and Toaster Sweater


Hello there! I’ve got a couple of fun new sweaters (well, one is technically a sweatshirt) to show you today. My goal for the month of March was to work on some new pants, but as usual, I got sidetracked by a shiny new pattern. When I saw the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet I felt like I had to drop everything and sew one.

Happily, I was prepared because I had just ordered two lengths of cloud knits from Blackbird Fabrics (they appear to be sold out now.) I dove in with the black one and made the longer length view of the Blackwood. I decided to shorten it by about 3″ because it looked very long. I am really glad I did that because it is still very long even 3″ shorter (and I am 5’7.5″ tall.) I left off the pockets because I am TERRIBLE at sewing pockets on knits. I clearly need to practice because I keep reaching for pockets that aren’t there.


I felt a little nervous about the slim sleeves so I decided to do a full biceps adjustment. I increased the width by 1″ and I am so glad I did that. The sleeves are still rather slim on this and I’m not sure I would have been able to get my arm in without the adjustment. I also shortened the sleeves 1″. I love my sleeves to be long but I didn’t want fabric bunched up at my wrists. Again, I’m really glad I made the adjustment.

Initially, I was thinking that when I make my next one I might try to increase the coverage on the front pieces. This cardigan is designed to be worn open and not to come all the way together in the front. It felt a little strange at first but now that I’ve worn it a few times I like it the way that it is. It’s great layered over dresses (I’m wearing it here with my Charleston dress) and I’ve worn it layered over this outfit, which is probably my favorite so far. I definitely see more of these in my future and I’m really excited to try out the shorter length to wear with jeans!

This past weekend, when talk of snow started happening on the weather reports, I decided that it was time to make my first Toaster Sweater. I bought both Toaster patterns in December and was super excited to sew them. Somehow I got freaked out by the necklines on both of them and put them aside for other sweaters/sweatshirts. I decided to make Toaster 1 because the neckline seemed like it would work better for me (I’m worried about getting choked by the neckline on Toaster 2 since I have such forward head/neck/shoulders and I’m not super sure how to adjust that neck.)

I lengthened the body of the pattern by 1″ and shortened the sleeves by 1.25″. I cut a size M graded to between the L and XL at the hips. The fabric I used is fluffy french terry that I got from Indiesew and I didn’t think my serger would be up for dealing with the 5/8″ seam allowance. I decided to sew it with a 1/4″ SA, which resulted in a nice, loose, cozy sweatshirt.

The neck is a bit looser than I want, which is probably because I used smaller seam allowances on all of the raglan seams. I am curious to try this with the deeper seam allowances to see if I like it a little bit more fitted and with a neckline that isn’t quite so wide. I think on my next one I won’t add the inch to the length of the body, either. I am not sure that modification was necessary but I’m glad I took the length out of the sleeves.

I love the wide cuffs and hem on this sweatshirt. I wonder how it would look with a regular neckband or with a cowl neck instead of this mock turtleneck. I may try one of those changes next time. But for now, I need to get back to my pants sewing projects so I have something to show you before the end of March.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!





11 thoughts on “Blackwood Cardigan and Toaster Sweater

  1. Teri!! These both look so great on you. Great job making the adjustments so that the Blackwood would be a perfect fit for you, It looks awesome! I’ve got some tips for sewing knit patch pockets coming to the blog in a week or so, so keep your eyes open for that and maybe you can give it a go on the next one. I’m also glad to hear you like the open front, I know what you mean about initially wanting more coverage but then coming around to the display of the outfit underneath – I had the same experience when designing it! The toaster also looks so cozy, I love my version for any day I just want to be all wrapped up and toasty (I am just realizing now that the name really does fit the pattern!). Both these makes are lovely, thanks for trying the Blackwood!


    1. Great wardrobe workhorses! We’ve had an awful cold snap here and I feel like I could have worn that Toaster every day this week. I Need to do a full bicep adjustment on the Blackwood too – I can only wear mine over tanks and short sleeve tees and it’s not warm enough for that yet.


      1. Thanks, Masha! I have gotten a lot of wear out of the Toaster in the short time since I made it. Our weather can’t figure out what it wants to do and it’s mostly settled on being really cold. I love your striped Blackwood! Hopefully we will get some warm weather so we can wear them over tanks soon!


    2. Thanks, Helen! I will definitely read up when you post your tops for sewing knit patch pockets. I need all the help I can get. I think this is a great design and I know I’ll be making a few more Blackwood cardis soon!


  2. I love both of these pieces! Perfect for the recent cold snap (ugh!). I never got around to the toaster sweater, and now I’m kinda wishing I had. It’s such a cute sweatshirt!


    1. Thanks, Lisa! I am hoping to be done with sewing for the cold after these two pieces! You’ll have to plan for a toaster sweater in the fall. I think you’d like the pattern a lot and it would look great on you!


  3. These look great! I just made my third Toaster sweater last night (love a quick sew) in a lighter weight knit for spring. Now hopefully all talk of snow is over for the year in the Chicagoland area! I just jinxed it, didn’t I???


    1. Thanks, Chris! I’m crossing my fingers that we are done with snow, but Chicagoland weather is never predictable! I loved how quickly the Toaster sewed up, too. It’s a great project for when you get the itch for something new to wear in a hurry!


  4. I love both of these! Your second outfit is soooo me! A sweatshirt, cuffed jeans and a sweatshirt – perfect!!


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