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Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater, Tips for Busty Ladies

Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater | Vintage on Tap

The Astoria Sweater was a joy to sew.

I honestly loved how quickly the Astoria sweater came together and how it fit me so comfortably, but 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.

Astoria sweater by Seamwork Magazine introduction | @vintageontap

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.

Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater | Vintage on Tap

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!

Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater | Vintage on Tap

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.

Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater, full bust adjustment tips | Vintage on Tap

Luckily, I’ve made a video specifically about this topic and covering this very garment


Due to such a huge demand in fitting videos, I figured it was time to tackle the no dart full bust adjustment and just do the necessary changes! Full written out tips for this process are covered on the blog post dedicated to this particular full bust adjustment.

Read The No-Dart Full Bust Adjustment Tutorial!


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Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater | Vintage on Tap

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.

Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater, full bust adjustment tips | Vintage on Tap

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.

Astoria sweater by Seamwork Magazine introduction, back view | @vintageontap

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.

Astoria sweater by Seamwork Magazine introduction, working on the sweater | @vintageontap

Have you made the Astoria sweater? What did you think of the fit? What would you do differently in your next Seamwork Astoria?


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  1. Toni n Reed Toni n Reed

    Bianca, I’ve made the Astoria and had the same issue with the length. I’m 5’9″ and it was definitely too short for me lol. I do love this sweater though and I plan to make a few modifications also. Thank you so much for the tip about the side silhouette. Mine came out very boxy but I figured it was because i don’t have a very defined waistline. No hourglass over here. I’ll try the basting tip next time around. .

    • Super glad the tips helped! I really like a nice curvy silhouette and just couldn’t figure out if it was me or the pattern that was super boxy haha!

  2. tracy tracy

    Bianca, I’m so happy for me that you’re 5’2 and curvy with a lusty bust and a sway back (although I’m … ech … 50). That’s me, exactly, so you are officially my go-to lady from this day on. I have been toying with the idea of sewing my own clothing the last couple of years, and reading and learning like crazy, but am terrified to take the plunge with so many figure adjustments to make. I’m glad I found you! You’re such a beauty, inside and out.

    • Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, Tracy!! It really makes me happy that the videos and work I’ve been doing have been encouraging you to get up in there with your ruler and pencil to make your sewing fit!! Definitely don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions 💝

  3. Kathleen Kathleen

    I’m getting ready to make the Astoria, and I appreciate your feedback! I like the cropped look, but I’m a tiny bit taller than you, so I will be adding some length! I want it to actually reach the top of my hip bones.

    • I haven’t had a chance to pull out the pattern again, but if I recall it definitely has some lengthen and shorten lines in there. I’ll definitely be using them myself!! The top-of-hipbones point is a good one, though, fits just over the waist of a skirt or can get tucked in really easily!

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Vintage on Tap started in 2013

Since then, it has become not only a photo blog, but also a popular YouTube channel and Instagram Feed.

All content on this blog was created by Bianca Santori and Jose Vivanco, unless otherwise stated. We focus on producing high quality videos, tips, and tutorials to encourage our readers to be confident and happy wearing vintage-inspired garments.

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