I have been wanting to make this hack since the Blackwood Cardigan was released last spring, so I am so glad that I’ve finally had the chance to do it! This is a simple hack for the cardigan that can actually shave off some construction time and give you a very different result with little alterations.
Here are the basic principles of this pattern hack:
- Leave off the bottom band
- extend the fronts, back, and front band
- Leave slits at the sides
- Leave off the pockets (optional)
You shouldn’t need any more fabric than the required amounts already stipulated in the pattern instructions for this hack, provided you are going for approximately the length I have done here. Any longer and you may want to get some extra fabric, just to be safe.
Step 1: Lengthen the fronts and back the amount you wish to lengthen the cardigan. I added about 12″ to my version here. You can lengthen the pieces right from the bottom, you do not want to lengthen using the ‘lengthen/shorten here’ line because it will distort the shape of the cardigan.
Step 2: You also need to lengthen the front band. It already has extra length because it is designed to extend down along the bottom band, so you don’t need to lengthen it as much. Take the amount you lengthened the fronts and back (12″) and minus the length of the bottom band (4.6″) to get the amount you should lengthen your front band.
Step 3: Once you reach the stage where you are ready to sew the side seams closed, you can optionally finish each side edge of the cardigan separately using a serger before the next step.
Step 4: Start sewing the sides closed at the point where you want your slit to start. You can always sew the slit closed more or rip it a bit higher after if needed.
Step 5: Press the side seams open at the bottom where the slit is. You should have the slit pressed open with 3/8″ seam allowances. Topstitch along either side of the slit.
Step 6: Secure the top of the slit with a bartack or a few backstitches with your zig-zag stitch.
Step 7: Because there is no hem band, we simply press the bottom edge up 3/8″ and sew. You can optionally finish the bottom edges with a serger before you press up and topstitch.
Step 8: Construct the front band as normal and pin it in place. Check the length of the band before finishing the ends and sewing it on.
That is all there is to it! I have been wearing this hack non-stop since I made it. I think it really adds a nice touch of drama to a casual outfit and it keeps me nice and cozy on these cooler days. It’s super quick to sew up, especially if you leave off those pockets! I made mine in a drapey sweater knit from Blackbird Fabrics.
I hope you give the split hem Blackwood a try!