We’re all caught up with the first two months of Project #SewMyStyle2019, so let’s talk about March!
We’re featuring two cardigans this month, and our blogger team is going gangbusters on them. I’m thrilled to be part of that team, and joined by these amazing bloggers: Jess Zimmerman, Sierra Burrell, and Mac Housley.
You probably know all you need to know about me (or you can read my bio on my About Me page), but let me introduce you to Jess, Sierra, and Mac.
Project #SewMyStyle2019 March Leaders
Jess is a modern wife and mom who has been sewing most of her life. She teaches sewing classes and creative workshops throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, blogs about sewing, things to do in Dallas/Fort Worth, and places and things she and her family love, and has a small Etsy shop. She loves bright colors, coffee, wine, cupcakes, and listening to murder mystery podcasts.
( Jess’s website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter)
Sierra is a 28 year old sewist originally from Richmond, VA. She recently moved to New England for a job opportunity and is excited to bring a little southern charm along with her. During the day Sierra works as a veterinarian and really loves helping people and animals. In her free time Sierra likes to buy fabric, plan sewing projects, binge watch tv shows, and cook delicious food. Sewing is a huge part of her life and has become the creative outlet she didn’t know she needed. Sew My Style was Sierra’s first foray into sharing her makes publicly and has led to some pretty awesome connections. To her, the best part about sewing is discovering new silhouettes and colors that weren’t an option in RTW clothing. It’s really helped her style evolve and given her more confidence. She is incredibly excited about joining the team and meeting so many amazing people!
( Sierra’s website / Instagram )
Mac Housley of Sew Altered Style
Katie (left, IG: @kglee01) and Mac (right, IG: @macsmakespace) launched Sew Altered Style in January 2018 after months of maybes and a 5-minute telephone call! Mac and Katie “met” online in the Capsule Wardrobe Sew Along Facebook group, and met in real life in Kansas City when Mac visited for work in August 2017. Over lunch, they started discussing how they could collaborate on a project that incorporated their mutual love of sewing and style. Fast forward 4 months to December 2017, when they finally put aside Facebook Messenger and picked up the phone. Five minutes into the call, the concept for Sew Altered Style was born! Ten minutes after that, it had a name and a blog address, and the concept was on its way to reality!
Over the course of the past year, they have built relationships with designers and sewists across the world, tested patterns, run pattern giveaways, hosted local meet-ups and hosted IG Challenges (including Maker March, Make a Muslin, and recently the Seasonal Sew 3). They are both self-taught seamstresses, and working moms, who love to mix and match their handmades and ready-to-wear into a functional wardrobe. Katie currently lives in Overland Park, KS with her husband and three kids, and Mac currently lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two kids.
( Sew Altered Style’s website / Instagram / Facebook )
Patterns for March Project #SewMyStyle2019
The theme for March is cardigans and we have two international patterns for that.
First up from Canada is Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan. The Blackwood is one of the sewing community’s most popular cardigan patterns, judging by the nearly 3,800 posts tagged on Instagram.
The cardigan was the first in Helen’s line to feature her new expanded size range! It’s built on a different block than her “straight” sizing, but the size ranges overlap.
If you have a D-cup (like me), you no longer need to do a full bust adjustment! The new block starts at a D-cup!! However, Helen has a full sew along for this pattern, released with the original Blackwood, which includes two ways to do an FBA.
Jess and Mac will be posting about the Blackwood throughout the month, so be sure to keep an eye out for that on Instagram and their blogs.
Our other pattern is the Style Arc Como Cardigan. Style Arc hails out of Australia, and though they have a smaller following, it’s one very adored company. They have a reputation for a perfect fit—but you have to be very precise with your size choice!
This is one of the few companies that doesn’t offer multiple nested sizes in their PDFs (something they recently changed with their newer releases). So when you pick your size for the Como, be very certain about your bust and hip measurements. You will also receive the next size up and down from your choice, but they will come in separate files.
(Note: they do offer multiple sizes on the printed patterns in their Amazon store, but our discount code only applies on their website. Sorry folks!)
Sierra and I will have posts dedicated to the Como this month, so don’t despair! I actually hope to post a sew along for my version, which I am making of very stretchy rib knit. Fingers crossed I can pull that together for you!
How are the two different? Here are their descriptions and size ranges.
Blackwood: The Blackwood Cardigan is a cozy and versatile addition to your wardrobe. Designed with layering in mind, it has minimal excess fabric in the front and a close fit around the neck and shoulders. It’s fitted shape and extra long sleeves make it perfect for wearing under jackets and vests, while also looking stylish over tank tops and dresses. View B ends at the hips, while View A extends down to the mid-thigh and includes patch pockets at hand level. The Blackwood is intended to be worn open and is not designed to close at the front.
Sewing Level: Advanced Beginner
Size Range: Full Bust/Waist/Hips from 31/24/33″ (78.5/61/84 cm) to 58/48/58″ (147.5/122/147.5 cm)
Como: This long-line fashionable cardi sewing pattern is a must have addition to your wardrobe. It has a cleverly designed all-in-one dropped shoulder line and a front band that hugs the neckline. This cardigan is finished off with two lovely large patch pockets.
Sewing Level: Easy/Medium
Size Range: Full Bust/Waist/Hips from 30.2/23.5/32.6″ (77/60/83 cm) to 58.25/50.5/61″ (148/130/154 cm)
Both cardigans offer a long option with patch pockets, though the Blackwood has a short version as well. The Como can be hacked into a short version since the side seams are pretty straight and can be cut at any desired length. Blackwood has side shaping so it will be more fitted than the boxier Como. The size range is very similiar as well.
The instructions, though, are very different from each other. I’ve reviewed Helen’s Closet patterns (Suki, York, and Elliot) before and always praise the beginner-friendly instructions with clear illustrations for each step.
Style Arc patterns are geared towards a more advanced audience and the instructions are very brief and concise. There is only one diagram for piecing the garment together. That doesn’t mean the pattern is difficult to make. Actually, a sewist with some experience making sleeved garments should be able to make this, too.
So which pattern will you choose? Let me know down in the comments if you’re going to take the plunge with me on Style Arc or are considering the Blackwood instead. Have you ever made either one? Comment below with your experience!
What a coincidence: I’ve just started sewing the Blackwood cardigan for a blogtour. It’s a great pattern.
Ooh, which blog tour? Are you doing the #BreakingGround one?
I’ve made the Blackwood once before, in a hacked almost ankle length version, but I plan to make one in a totally different fabric this time, in the standard longer version! I’m super excited about it. Can’t wait to see your Comp!
Blackwood is such a great basic to hack! Isn’t it great?
I decided to go with the Blackwood. I had already been considering it. Event though I leave on a trip this Saturday, I decided to try to squeeze it in using some knit I already had on hand. Fingers crossed that my time stay open enough to get it done and just maybe it will go to Italy with me!!
Best of luck, Sheryl! I hope it makes it to Italy with you.