The Seamworks Astoria

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Despite having subscribed to Colette’sΒ ‘Seamworks‘ online magazine since its launch, I’ve only attempted one of its patterns to date (the Oslo, see here). So I’m determined to fix this and therefore justify my subscription over the Summer break by working my way through them. Not quite all of them, the shorts in the last issue are seriously never going to make it into my wardrobe! But generally, I’ve really liked the majority of them so far; I’ve just been lacking the time to make them up.

The pattern I’ve most admired so far is the Astoria. It’s a cropped ‘jumper’ that both really suits my style and looks incredibly practical. I’ve seen a few lovely ones on various blogs, so I was really keen to try this one first. With time to fabric shop being in short supply lately, I searched through my fabric drawers and found this leftover, red knit from my Moneta dress. I was hoping it would make a wearable muslin, but alas, it was not to be…

With hindsight this material probably didn’t have quite enough stretch to it. But even so, the size S that I cut has come up a little too small all round, and I’ll definitely have to consider this next time I make it up. It’s also very short, which I appreciate is part of the design, and while I do like it with a high-waisted skirt such as my T & TB Delphine skirt worn in these photos, I think being this short would seriously limit how much I got to wear it, so definitely just a little longer next time.

I had some issues with my overlocker making this up. You might just be able to make out from the photos that my stitches are really ‘showing through’, probably because I’ve used too visible a colour in terms of the thread, but maybe also it needed tightening up? I did do a practice square and it seemed fine… Any overlocker experts out there? If so, am I right in thinking with this particular material I needed to ‘tighten’ up? Is it just the wrong colour? Or even just too small generally? By the time I got to hemming the sleeves I already knew this just wasn’t going to be, hence I just overlocked them quickly, rather that switching to my regular machine.

So, while this is never going to see the light of day again, it was still a useful process. The fabric was ‘free’ anyway and I’ve worked out a few tweaks ahead of purchasing some nicer fabric. It was also a good test of the time guidance Seamworks give you. I cut out the pieces ahead, but the sewing from start to finish took less than an hour, so their promise held good!

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23 thoughts on “The Seamworks Astoria

  1. I think it’s a nice look on you, although yes, it probably should be a little longer.
    I have had that serger problem you describe repeatedly over time. On mine, somehow the tension of the needle threads (not the loopers) didn’t hold tight enough and increasing it on the dial hardly made any difference. I’ve always had to take the serger in for a service and then it was fine again – until it all started again some months later… So no, no real solution from me, I’m afraid. But I commiserate – it is so annyoing when that happens!

      • It just might be. I keep being a little annoyed with my overlockers (this is the second machine that does this) that they seem to want a service every 6 months or so, while my normal machine goes for years without one. I do sew a fair amount, but I still think 6 monthly service is asking a bit much…

      • I seem to remember that on that overlocker course I went on they needed more regular servicing than regular machines! Never had either of mine serviced, but suspect it doesn’t come cheap…

  2. I must admit that the top looks great on the photos but I am looking at them on my phone so can’t see the issues you’ve pointed out. It does look nice with the high waisted skirt though. I must admit that I like my belly to be well and truely covered by a long top!

  3. I really like this top on you – especially the neckline, very flattering. It might be a little short, but I think it was designed that way for high-waisted skirts and pants.

    The stitches are probably showing through just because the top is tight and the fabric it stretched to the limit. One tip that I like to use I got from a Handmade Jane blogpost: use a regular spool of thread that matches the fabric on the serger cone on the far left. This will make the threads that end up being visible from the outside blend in with the fabric without having to buy 4 new serger spools of thread. If this doesn’t make sense, I’m sure you can google her post – it was really helpful!

  4. The style suits you a treat so this was a useful exercise, especially as the fabric was recycled in the first place. Should be easy enough to size up and lengthen….when you’ve sorted the overlocker out:)

  5. I’m so glad to see this post before I attempt this top! You are petite so I know I will definitely need to add some length to it. I was also going to be tempted to size down since my Oslo cardigan turned out to be too big through the bust but it seems like that’s not a good idea, either. I will be sure to make my first one out of fabric I won’t be sad to ruin in case it ends up unwearable!

    • Glad to be of help πŸ™‚ I think maybe my fabric didn’t have quite enough stretch to it, but even the arms came up pretty narrow- I felt like the Incredible Hulk, about to burst out! It’s a lovely design though, will look forward to seeing your version.

  6. It seems I have missed a couple of your posts! Well this colour suits you (I think I’ve said that before!) and even though it’s a bit small you should make another in the nigger size because the style is lovely on you. I have this pattern in my huge pile of things to make!

  7. Pingback: Astoria No 5 | navybluethreads

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