{Made} Helen’s Closet Blackwood and WBM Trudy Turtleneck

I know – I have been on the hiatus of all hiatuses (is that even a word?)…  December was crazed with the holidays, and then so far this year I have started a new blogging collaborative with Katie at the Creative Counselor (Sew Altered Style), joined the 2018 RTW Fast by Goodbye Valentino (see details here), AND hosted a sewalong (more details here – I will upload the videos soon).  With a moment to catch my breath (and a welcome break from pants fitting) – I’ve decided to work on a couple capsule basics – tops and sweaters!

10×10 Challenge and New Motivation

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So if you haven’t heard of the 10×10 challenge, I have included a link here.  In short, the goal is to select 10 garments (including a jacket/sweater and shoes!) and combine them into 10 outfits to wear for 10 days.  Let me tell you – this was a SUPREME failure on my end.  I can’t stand repeating the same things day after day – it felt REALLY limiting and uninspiring, especially for someone like me who sees clothing as a creative outlet and expression of mood.  However, I learned that I needed to be a bit more intentional about what I make and less ‘fly by the seat of my pants.’  I SHOULD have been able to complete the challenge (albeit salty from the lack of options) – but I actually couldn’t bring myself to doing so — I love the idea of minimalism, but in practice it didn’t work.  However, it did remind me of all the fabric I had in the house that could be used to create basic staples that would allow me to feel like I have creative expression AND a greater set of options since I bore quickly more minimalistic approach to getting dressed in the mornings!

I’ve pulled in some visuals to help illustrate the point – you use 10 selected items:

I have no idea how she gives up a slot for a top or bottom with a layer/shoes!!!

to create 10 stylish outfits:

I have no idea how she does this – it’s sorcery I tell ya!  Pure magic at its best!

Ode to the Blackwood Cardigan

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After that fail – I did learn that I needed more basic, basics and this sweater is the perfect start (and one of my #2018makenine projects – win/win)!  I’ve included the list below:

Man, oh, man do I love this Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan!  I made several petite adjustments based on my standard pattern adjustments (shortened the armsyce, sleeve, and bodice), and now I can safely say that a long cardigan actually has a place in my wardrobe!  Something I wasn’t initially sold on since they never fit me right in the stores.  I scored this fabric while at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco (Cali Fabrics is the online shop) along with a group of fellow seamstresses who are all supposed to be sewing it up as well (we joked about the sisterhood of the traveling fabric!).  As they write their posts and add their versions on instagram, I will update this link – just for fun!

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I seriously love the way the pockets are formed and how close-fitting the sweater is in this delicious ribbed sweater knit (it is even brushed on the inside)!  When I wear it, its like I’m snuggling teacup yorkie puppies under a sunshine and rainbow filled day!  Which is a complete stark contrast to the actual temperature on this rainy cloud-filled Sunday when I took these photos.

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The Perfect Compliment to a Slim Sweater

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Recognizing that the arms would be slim, and that I HATE to have my sleeves bunch up under my sweater (do you have that problem too?) – I decided to go sleeveless mock neck!  I did a test run of the Trudy Turtleneck pattern by Wardrobe by Me first in long sleeves (same standard adjustments), and discovered it would be the PERFECT pairing for this sweater!


Wardrobe By Me Trudy Turtleneck

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As I approach middle-age (am I already there?!?!) mature, I find myself revisiting things my mother would have worn.  This Wardrobe By Me Trudy Turtleneck*(aff link) DEFINITELY falls into that category.  There is something so practical about a mock turtleneck.  It provides the PERFECT backdrop for a lovely piece of jewelry, eliminates sleeve bunching under cozy sweaters, and transitions through 3 seasons of the year (I can wear this anytime, so long as it isn’t summer).  The fabric is a double-brushed poly from Knitpop, and is again – more hugs/ snuggles/ puppies/ rainbows/ sunshine!  It is also wickedly easy to sew since the turtleneck is a band, using a serger makes it even easier!

Adjusting the shoulders

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Whenever I take length out of the armscye, I tend to stress about what to do with the band.  I removed a half inch from the front and back bodices (so 1″ total), and in this case, just took the one inch out of the bands.  That seemed to work perfectly for me!  This pattern is designed for a C-cup too – so no need to do a full bust adjustment either!

Final Thoughts

All in all – I am SUPER happy with these two pieces – the whole monochrome thing seems to be my peanut butter and jam happy place.  It will allow me to really play up more punchy colors and to get more mileage out of the pieces I am making.  How’s everyone else’s 2018 sewing adventures coming along?

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*Note – this post contains one affiliate link – if you click that link and make a purchase – I get just a little closer to more fabric and pattern hoarding; I thank you in advance!

15 thoughts

  1. I love your cardigan You did an amazing job. The fabric hangs so nice.
    Do you remember the name or exact kind of Knit you used?
    I finding the online fabric buying is much better the running to Joanns. And especially their knits. Ewww.
    I saw your post on 2018 RTW fast. I will definitely be following you blog. Debby


  2. I think both pieces look wonderful on you! The Blackwood cardigan is certainly developing a following for good reason. I will have to sew this for Spring! And I am working on a 10 piece capsule too! Yours looks beautiful!


  3. I’m so glad to hear someone else didn’t finish the 10×10 challenge! 🙂 I tried so hard and lost it at about day 8. It didn’t help that one of the two pairs of pants I had wore out in the thighs on day 7 and the other pair wasn’t working with any of my tops. I do think I might try again next month with a navy colorway… I’d love to get my closet down to navy or black but not both… we’ll see. I really love the cardi and tank you sewed up. I have a boyfriend cardi on my list to sew next too 🙂


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