While the Astoria Sweater was a joy to sew…
While I honestly loved how quickly the Astoria sweater came together and how it fit me so comfortably, there are definitely things busty ladies need to know if they’re taking on this project.
This is especially true if you’re into pinup style and vintage sewing: you’re going to want a specific fit and silhouette from this sweater.
It has been about a year since I made this Seamwork Magazine pattern.
In the past year, I admit it: I rode this sweater hard. It’s been thrown around, washed to heck and back, but would I make it again? Absolutely. Its on my to-do list in a black double knit, a thinner white knit, and maybe a coral textured knit, just for fun.
Would I do things differently in the next iteration of this Astoria sweater? Damn right I would.
So let’s get down to my tips for this gorgeous piece (including my tips for the pinup girls out there who tend to be a little bit more busty)– all in the name of having you avoid the mistakes I made!
Tip #1: Don’t skip out on the Full Bust Adjustment (FBA)
Yes, you read that correctly. This Seamwork pattern is billed as a quick-sew, with 5 pieces (front, back, collar, sleeve, and waistband)– but if you’re like me and have anything larger than a C-cup, there will be pulling from the sleeve to your full bust point.
You can see in the above images, that while the sweater fits, it was awkward. I thought I wouldn’t care. One year later, and it was still awkward and I cared.
I’m considering doing a video tutorial on how I’m pattern drafting this Astoria sweater to fit my 41inch/104cm bust. Essentially, I’ll be filming a full walkthrough on how to do a full bust adjustment with no darts, similar to my other tutorial videos.
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Tip #2: The Astoria Seamwork sweater is cropped. And I mean VERY cropped.
If you’ve had the opportunity to see any of my pattern drafting videos, you know that I’m short (5’2”) and have a short torso.
This sweater barely went to my waist, being this awkward “in between” length that didn’t sit right over jeans, but was also too short to tuck into skirts. For a vintage girl like myself, tucking a sweater in is vital to “the look” and I would gladly lengthen this sweater by at least 1.5in/3.8cm.
Tip #3: Baste the side seams before sewing them together, to double check the silhouette.
The photos of people’s projects for the Seamwork Astoria can be pretty hit-or-miss with the silhouette. For some people, it fit snug and a beautiful hourglass shape was created. For others (including myself)- I ended up looking like a sack.
Shortly after the photoshoot, I did a hack-job on the waistband and tapered in the waist of my Astoria sweater by 3/4in/2cm on each side, which made it wearable, but not the standard I strive for in my sewing.
Please take the time to baste the side seams before you commit to the silhouette, especially if you’re into pinup sewing.
As I wrote at the beginning of the post, I’m definitely looking forward to giving this sweater some redemption, by looking at it with new eyes and new fabric. Especially here in San Francisco where the weather is consistently chilly/windy/cloudy, these sorts of sweaters are used year round.
Have you made the Astoria sweater? What did you think of the fit? What would you do differently in your next Seamwork Astoria?