Grey Ginger, Mustard Blackwood

A color conundrum

What is a grey Ginger and mustard Blackwood?

My new handmade outfit, of course!

blackwood cardigan and ginger skirt

Let’s break it down…that’s the Colette Ginger skirt in grey and black, the Blackwood cardigan in mustard yellow from Helen’s Closet, and the Lane Raglan tee in teal blue from Hey June.

Lately, I’ve found myself lamenting that most of my recent creations, especially the cool-weather appropriate ones, have been solids in neutral colors (black, grey, navy blue). Don’t get me wrong, I love solids, and I love neutrals that can easily fit into the rest of my wardrobe, but it was starting to feel a little bit drab. I need to try to strike a balance between neutrals and colors/prints in my sewing, and this colorful outfit is a good start.

The Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet

This cardigan pattern has been really popular since it was first released back in February. I was a bit skeptical at first (as I usually am!). I wondered why you would want a cardigan that didn’t close in the front…it seemed like it would defeat the purpose of a cardigan. But this pattern just kept popping up in my instagram feed and blog reader, and every time I saw a new one I thought, ‘ooh…that’s super cute!’. It’s just such a flattering shape, the way it hugs the neckline, skims the body, and maybe most importantly, let’s you show off your top underneath it. Perfect for layering. And extra long sleeves, I love long sleeves.

blackwood cardigan and ginger skirt_2

I’ve had this mustard colored stretch jersey sitting around in my stash for quite some time. I had used a tiny bit of it in some baby clothes for a friend, but I couldn’t bring myself to make anything for me with it. The color just seemed like a bit too much my taste. But at some point I draped it over my shoulders and I realized that in smaller doses and when combined with other colors it looked quite nice. It pairs especially well with blue, which is my all-time-favorite color and quite prevalent in my handmade wardrobe. Turns out, mustard jersey is a perfect match for the Blackwood cardigan!

blackwood cardigan and ginger skirt_3

blackwood cardigan back

In fact, I’m not the first to make a mustard Blackwood. Rae (Made by Rae) made one, and so did Lori (Frivolous at Last), Anya (Anna-Zoe), and _ym.sews_. All lovely versions, and great outfit inspiration!

This cardigan was easy to put together – I used my serger to sew it together and my regular sewing machine with a narrow zigzag stitch to topstitch the neckband and the pockets. I had to cut the waistband in two pieces in order to fit it all in the amount of fabric I had.

The Ginger skirt by Colette Patterns

I made the skirt from some stretch black denim – a remnant that I picked up for cheap a couple years ago. This was another fabric that had languished in my stash for a while – I just wasn’t crazy about the black color, but when I flipped it over, I loved the look of the grey reverse side of the denim. I used the right side of the fabric for the waistband and the pocket accent pieces.

denim ginger skirt

denim ginger skirt_4

This is a really basic A-line skirt pattern – popular with beginners – and I’ve had it for a while. I added the slash pockets with accent pieces to this pattern because a skirt without pockets seems pointless to me. The pocket is lined with a scrap of magenta cotton, which you can see a tiny peek of here.

ginger skirt pocket and back zipper

And look at that perfectly inserted invisible zipper!

This pattern is designed for non-stretch fabrics, which I really should have thought more about before making the skirt. I ended up taking about 1″ out of the center back and 1/2″ out of the sides. I also slimmed down the sides to make the A-line shape a bit less exaggerated. This fabric has so much body, that it really stands up on its own and looked a little strange with the original shape. I should have sized down one or even two sizes to account for the fabric stretch. Because I basically sewed the whole thing together (except the waistband) before trying it on, I couldn’t take too much out of the sides or front after the fact (the pockets made that especially challenging). Despite that, I like the end result – it’s still a little bit looser than I’d like, but totally wearable. And the contrast waistband and pocket accents really turned out well.

denim ginger skirt front

denim ginger skirt sideview



Pattern: Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet, view A
Size: XL
Adjustments: waistband cut in two pieces
Fabric: mustard cotton-spandex jersey from Girl Charlee


Note: This is only shown in some of the pictures – others show a tighter fitting ready-to-wear tee in a similar color.
Pattern: Lane Raglan from Hey June
Size: 1X
Fabric: teal blue rayon-spandex jersey from Stonemountain Fabrics


Pattern: Ginger skirt from Colette Patterns, with straight waistband
Size: 16
Adjustments: added slash pockets with accent piece; removed 1 inch from center back and 1/2 inch from side at waist; slimmed side seams to make less exaggerated A-line shape
Fabric: stretch black denim from Fabric Outlet, reverse side used for main skirt and right side used for waistband and pocket accents; magenta Kona cotton for pocket lining

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