Blackwood Cardigan and Ogden Cami

I LOVE being warm. I live in Wisconsin so layers are key. I love feeling cozy which generally means wearing sweatshirts. I love this new cardigan because it gives you the cozy feeling without adding a ton of bulk and still showing off your outfit and looking cute. This is the Blackwood cardigan from Helen’s closet with the Ogden cami from True Bias. I met both Helen and Kelli at Camp Workroom Social last fall and they are both so sweet and talented. Helen wore an early version of the Blackwood Cardigan at camp and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since!

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I ended up grading from a size small at the bust to a size medium in the waist/hips. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to grade up for the waist/hips since the pattern is open in the front and thus would be fairly forgiving. However, since the cardigan is a slim fit I decided to get go ahead and grade out. In the end I’m glad I did because the fit is really great! I also shortened the sleeves by two inches. The sleeves are meant to be long and cover your hands for an extra coziness.

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I used a crimson sweater knit from Fashion Fabrics club for this. It was my first time ordering fabric from there – they have a huge selection of fabric on their website and this fabric was exactly what I had been wanting to use. This is 97% cotton and 3% lycra. When I bought this fabric they were having a sale so it was only $3.95/yard. I ended only spending  $7.90 on fabric for this cardigan. Also- so far the fabric seems like it is pretty good quality and it is super soft. Most of the time the things I make would be way cheaper if I just bought them in the store but not this time! I’m definitely willing to spend more on fabric especially if I know it was sourced ethically, etc but when you find the exact fabric you wanted and its super cheap I’m not going to say no!

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This cardigan went together fairly quickly. I actually really loved sewing this up with my serger since the majority of the seams end up intersecting with other seams, which left very few loose serger thread tails to deal with at the end. I love the hem band, the sleeve cuffs, the length, the pockets. I can’t think of anything I’d change on this cardigan. The one thing I’d do differently next time is take more time in the zig zag stitch around the front band. I rushed through that bit and it ended up slightly wavy in some places.

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The Ogden cami was also a super quick sew. My least favorite part of most sewing projects is cutting out the fabric. Since there aren’t a ton of pieces and none of the pieces are super fiddly this may be my very favorite pattern to cut out. For this one I just stuck with the size that matched my bust measurement since it didn’t seem like I would need extra room at the hips.

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I used a rayon poplin that I got from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. I love the drape on this fabric and also the that it is completely opaque. I also love this print – it makes such a great basic cami that is interesting but also easily paired with other  things.

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The deep v in the back adds more interest to this cami. This is such a good pattern – I want to make a ton more for summer!It is super flattering and easy to pull off. I already have some more versions planned. This pattern is also very versatile – tons of people have been adding gathered peplums and Kelli has a some hacks for making this in to a dress.

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Kelly Anorak Jacket

I loved the Kelly Anorak Jacket as soon as I saw it and I knew I wanted to make it. I’ve been needing an alternative to my usual fleece that I wear almost daily during the fall. I love that Heather incorporated snaps and grommets to really add a professional finish to this jacket.

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I love this jacket! I’ve been wearing it basically every day I could get away with it during this Wisconsin winter. I wore it for two weeks before winter really set in but those weeks were super cloudy and a bit rainy and not good for taking blog photos. Now that its warming up I can wear it again! I love the large deep pockets that are big enough for my keys and phone. I really love how the drawstring gives the jacket some shape. I love that the sleeves are slim but you can still wear a long sleeved tee and have enough room to move your arms. I also just love all the little details that make this jacket look professional.

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The only adjustments I made to the pattern were to grade from a size 4 at the bust to a size 8 at the waist and size 10 at the hips. I also shortened the pattern by 2 inches (including shortening the sleeves by 2 inches). This was one of the few projects that I made a muslin for since I wanted to make sure I had the fit right and I also wanted to do a test run of the hood and pocket since I wanted to practice the construction. The muslin fit perfectly except the front was about 3/4 inch too long compared to the length of the back. I think something with how I graded between sizes made the front a bit longer than the back so I shortened the front piece and cut out from my real fabric.

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I got the hardware kit from Closet Case Files mostly as a matter of convenience. I ended up picking out a Robert Kaufman salmon pink twill fabric for the jacket which I love. However, the color doesn’t really match the black zipper and drawstring that came with the hardware kit so I ordered a pink zipper.

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I ran out of interfacing while I was cutting out this jacket and I had to make a quick JoAnns run to get some more. While I was there I picked up a drawstring in a nice beige color. Hooray! I now had everything I needed.

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I used flat felled seams on most of the seams which takes a bit longer but I really like the way everything is finished in the end. Since this is also a bigger project I want to really take my time on the details.

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Everything was going relatively smoothly until I got to the drawstring insertion step. Since you want to use a safety pin to insert the drawstring and most safety pins don’t fit through this size of grommet you want to be able to put the safety pin in before the drawstring casing is sealed off. I pulled my drawstring all the way through, removed the safety pin and then pulled the drawstring back a bit to be at the same level as the grommet… only I pulled about 5 inches to far… I struggled to wriggle the end back up to the grommet – which I successfully did eventually. I saw a bit of drawstring peaking through and I pulled but somehow only the center part of the drawstring came with and the whole outer casing of the drawstring was caught in the jacket. I ended up taking the drawstring out, sewing the ends of the drawstring to keep the drawstring from coming apart, and then using the safety pin to re-insert the drawstring. This time I was super careful not to pull past the grommet and it went in without a hitch.

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After adding the drawstring I added the right placket without issue. Then it is time to add the zipper. I lined up the zipper 1/8 of an inch past the seam allowance and then pinned all the way down to the end of the zipper facing – but I still had about an inch of zipper. Since I shortened the pattern by 2 inches my zipper was also 2 inches too long. It is ok to have a zipper 1-2 inches shorter than your coat front since it doesn’t need to zip all the way to the bottom. I could have potentially used pliers to remove some teeth from the top of the zipper but that has been a huge pain in the past so I decided to order a new zipper that was actually the correct size.

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Since I was going to need to wait for the new zipper to come anyway I took this as an opportunity to also order so pretty Liberty of London bias tape to finish my seams on the inside. I used bias tape to finish the hood seam,the armholes and the hem.

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I was pretty anxious when it came time to install the snaps. Installing  the snaps just seems so permanent – it is really hard to go back once you’ve installed a snap. The part that actually takes the longest is making little holes for the snaps. Heather recommends using a larger awl on the closet case files post about inserting the snaps but I didn’t have a large awl. Instead I used the point of my little embroidery scissors to help widen the hole to be large enough to get the snap through. Once you get the post through you just hammer the snap together and  you are all set. Since I live in an apartment building and I don’t want to piss off my neighbors I had to call it quits and couldn’t get all the snaps installed in one sitting. Despite being pretty anxious about the snaps they ended up being pretty easy.

In these pictures I’m also wearing my Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans and a yet to be blogged lark tee.