Astoria at last

Hello! Hope the world’s being kind to you? Sorry about the slight pause in blogging there, we’ve been dragging ourselves to the end of the current school term and the Easter holidays finally kicked in last night.  I am still not sure why my daughter’s school terms reflect on us, but am starting to accept that they do! Obviously it’s freezing cold and chucking it down out there though: thank goodness the children will be off to their grandparents for a few days, they will be in charge of entertaining them in the wet!

I’m also blogging slightly out of order as I’ve made a birthday gift and the birthday hasn’t happened yet.  I don’t think the recipient even knows about the blog, but I’m not chancing it!

Today’s makes actually happened a couple of weeks ago but I’m playing catch up.  The pattern is the Seamwork Astoria, which is a cropped sweater.  I don’t know whether you’ve come across Seamwork or not, but I highly recommend it; you can get the virtual magazine for free and there are always lots of interesting articles in there on all different aspects of sewing.  If you pay the monthly subscription fee (which works out around the £4 mark) you get two free pattern credits a month to select from their library of patterns, which grows by 2 patterns every month. I’ve got lots of them but have only made 2; this number will be increasing though!

The Astoria has been popping up all over the blogosphere and Instagram since release, and for good reason; it’s a really flattering, classy looking sweatshirt pattern which is cropped to waist length so looks good over skirts and dresses.  I loved it as soon as it came out, but I wasn’t into sewing knits at that point so mentally put it on hold.

However, I’ve been wearing a lot more skirts recently and decided that I could probably now handle this pattern.  So when my mother in law gave me cash for Christmas, I went to the Village Haberdashery site and treated myself to a couple of meters of Dusty Lavender organic sweatshirt knit.  Some Flamingo border print may also have fallen in for summer dresses….

Not wanting to make my first version in the lovely (and not cheap) purple, I grabbed a length of bright red ponte roma I got from the same place as a bolt end quite some time ago.  I know redheads traditionally aren’t supposed to wear such strong colours, but I always chose to ignore that!

I merrily printed off the pdf and cut straight out rather than tracing (hurrah for the pdf!). (For info, I cut a straight size M and my measurements are currently bust 35″, waist 29.5″)  The next evening, I set off to cut out and maybe start sewing.


(There are two versions, a full length sleeve and a cropped sleeve.  I had originally intended to make the full length sleeve but then I printed off the wrong pdf file and couldn’t be bothered to start again!)

Less than 2 hours later, including the time taken to break off sewing and help my husband with some Excel formulas, I had a finished sweater!!


I know the premise of Seamwork is that the patterns should only take a couple of hours, but I’ve never really applied that to me as I’m not the speediest sewer.  But yes, 2 hours from flat fabric to finished garment!

The construction is very simple; sew shoulder seams, add neckband, put sleeves in flat, sew side seams and add waist band.  The only thing that wasn’t quite perfect was the neckband which stands slightly proud.


I posted about this on Instagram (of course I did, I’m addicted!) and the lovely @daisy_crumpet suggested cutting the pattern piece for the neckband down to 25cm.

Slightly off neckband or not, I still wore it to work next day with my bunny print dress.


I confidently set out to cut into my lovely purple fabric and sure enough, a 25cm pattern piece totally resolved the neckband problem.


I absolutely love both sweaters and there will be more in my future.  I’m slightly less happy with the sweatshirt fabric than I am the ponte roma as, despite having been prewashed and not going near the dryer, the purple version shrunk slightly on being washed so it’s now a little shorter than I wanted. It’s also slightly lost its shape and is standing a little proud below the bust, which I don’t like as much.

I think the solution is to make future versions in ponte roma rather than sweatshirting! I may also slightly lengthen the pattern, only by half an inch to an inch or so, just for variety.

Overall though, I love this and I’m really happy with the two, very wearable, garments I have so far.


Have you tried any other Seamwork patterns?  Any recommendations?

Becca x

17 thoughts on “Astoria at last

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  1. These are both lovely. It’s a great pattern. My first is in a warm jersey a bit like a sweater knit and that fits nice thanks to you and Daisy Crumpet. I have tried the Aurora in a drapy viscose jersey. Lovely for warmer weather K xXx


  2. Wow I def prefer the red it’s beautiful and the colour actually suits you 😀 I’m not a skirt person with me being shirt lol but is this pattern easy enough to lengthen? X


    1. Thank you! I’m amazingly pleased with that one to say it was only meant to be the test version. I think the extra inch would make it more wearable without destroying the shape. Although it may be delayed as this month’s patterns have now appeared and I rather like the top!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They both look great! I’ve not seen any Seamwork patterns yet but I was intrigued by the Astoria pattern, and also really like Aurora and Mesa. The top in this month’s issue is nice as well, I forgot the name. I shall bare this post in mind for sweatshirt fabric as I plan to give the Sewaholic Fraser sweatshirt a go at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These both look lovely and I’m sure will be very useful in your wardrobe. I have yet to try Seamwork’s patterns but I’m tempted by the Oslo. I did not realise that all their patterns are quick to sew either. That may just persuade me to subscribe!


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