Astoria cropped sweater by Colette Seamwork


I loved the Astoria cropped sweater from April’s issue. Simple style with so much potential.


I didn’t sign up to seamwork magazine straight away. I waited to see a few issues and get a feel for style of the patterns. The whole idea of the magazine is very interesting. Easy and quick projects to fill wardrobe gaps. The first two issues convinced me to sign up. So as long as I like at least one pattern every month I will keep my subscription. Of course I got to make them otherwise it’s better to buy the patterns as one offs. Do you subscribe?

astoriasweatercropcoletteseamworkmagazinepatterncrop13I used some inexpensive scuba to trial the Astoria cropped sweater. Is easy to get away with a lot of fitting issues on knits so many people don’t muslin before. Normally you fit knits as you sew, adjusting neckline before band etc.


Since my fabric was so inexpensive I sewn the pattern as-is and took my fitting notes (detailed below) to make the final alterations on another version.  When a pattern is really quick like this one (one hour), I find is best to sew a test version straight as is instead of start-stop and checking. Some jerseys get really chewed up when unpicking. It’s less frustrating.

I could unpick and re-sew the few things that are bothering me. I won’t!


Where is fun for you if all the fixing is left behind the scene, not giving a good blog post full of “spot the fitting problem” right?

I still have enough to make a new version with the same fabric. To be totally honest this sweater will get a good amount of use as is. Of course I want to make my clothes to fit as well as I can but I’m not ashamed to say I would wear a muslin ‘less-than-perfect’ version without a second thought.


Garment details:

colageastoriasweaterfrom seamworkmagazine

Fabric & notions: Embossed white Scuba £1 at Walthamstow market. Ballpoint needle size 90.

Pattern experience: My experience been positive. All notches matched perfectly and instructions were easy to follow and clear. I sewn size S/M without fitting alterations. My only issue with colette’s PDF is the amount of pages to print. Maybe i’m used to Named economy printing but I always feel Colette’s Pdf use a lot more pages than it should. I understand that this extra spacious layout make it easier for beginners. Different customer’s user-experience is a difficult thing for a pattern company to balance and they cannot cater for everyone. I know I just need to put more paper in the printer and tape on a day I have more patience.


Fitting Issues:

Sleeves rotating forward: Drag lines running diagonally from my upper arm point directing towards the underarm and inner seam.  It seems like the pitch of my arm is different from the pattern, a problem that loads of people with forward shoulders have. I got to add length on the back and reduce that amount on the front of the sleeve or rotate the sleeve forward till I find the right point.

Drag lines underarm: It looks like the arm hole is too small but it is not.  Because my shoulder is narrower than the pattern the position of the sleeves is complete off for me. If I reduce the shoulder width and redraft the armhole it will fix this problem.

Drag lines on the bust: I need a FBA.  Colette guide to sewing knits * has a super easy Knit FBA technique I will try and report back.

Neckline on the back: The neckband sits flat all around the neck but not quite right.


It’s raises on the top of the shoulder neck points. When I adjust the pattern for my sloping shoulders this issue will resolve.

Most of my fitting issues with this pattern are related to shoulders/sleeves. I love the fitting of the lower body of this sweater. The lengthen is perfect and waist clinching is so flattering. Beautiful.

Ps:I made the Ondee sweater (sneak peak on my instagram- sidebar on the blog). Loads of people talked about how they look similar on the cover. I can tell you they fit completely different on my body. I will talk more about their similarities and differences but looks like my favourite sweater pattern will be a mix of both of them .

More Ps: In case you ask the skirt is RTW (Zara). Similar pattern can be found here. 

If you guys have some fitting input, do share!

* Get 1/2 off your first month for Seamwork Subscription. (Referral link)

  • Mary

    Nice top. Btw, shoulders ‘sloping’ , not slopping. Feel free to delete my comment. Anyway this isn’t intended to be critical, I’m always impressed when someone can blog in their second language.

    • Thanks Mary, not at all… I’m not a person that gets annoyed when my english get corrected. I welcome sincerity. xx

  • Hélène

    When I began reading I was wondering what could be the fitting issues with this superb cropped sweater. It looks just awsome as it is, but I guess the more you sew, the more you track down the slightest construction details. Love the styling, as always. Another option for a similar skirt could be Deer & Doe’s Chardon skirt. Can’t wait to hear about the differences between Ondée and Astoria. As you mentioned, they seem very similar to me.

  • This turned out so adorable! I’ve been eyeing my PDF of Astoria and waiting to try it out, now I want to even more! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Oh I think it’s super pretty! I’m never as fussy about fit with knits as I am with wovens. I love the embossed look of this scuba. What a fabric find!

  • Georgeous fabric and a lovey style top! I wouldn’t have noticed half of those fitting problems if you hadn’t said!

    • Thanks Sarah, we can get away with fitting issues so easily with knits .. That’s why they are so great to sew.

  • I’ve been admiring this fabric/top since you posted it on your Instagram account: they make a perfect match! Every girl needs tops like this in their wardrobe!

    • Yes. I love it too. I need to slow down on fabrics buys now.. I got too much. I know you want some scuba. I will check what I go and maybe a swap? Oh, so sad wedding is taking so much of my income. I wanted to go to Lanvin in Paris. Still trying to make it work. When you are there again?

  • This top looks great and I love it with that skirt. Thanks for the information and I do subscribe but have not made a pattern yet! I do have one ready to go but now the seasons changed.

    • Oh don’t you hate when by the project reaches the front of the queue the weather is not appropriate lol I got at least 3 coats in that situation

  • Looks beautiful! ! Thanks for the inspiration! ! 🙂

  • Yeah great top with its quirks but that skirt! Oooo ooh did I miss the post on that love it ☺

    • maybe you should read her post again 😉

  • Cute top..looks really cute with that darling skirt..

  • I love your Gungho-ness with knits, I’m the same and I rarely use existing patterns for them… just trace around old tshirts and singlets… but I’d like to try. I’m interested in the subscription, I’ll see what’s in the next mag! x

    • Knits we can get away so much on fit. I do feel more and more the need to analyse it. Even if I’m not that bother to fix it at least I know what I got to change next time. I love sewing knits. So easy and quick.

  • This looks so cute on you and I love the fabric! I have narrow & forward shoulders, too, so run into similar problems with sleeves/underarms. Interested to hear about your knit FBA experience- I should usually do a small FBA, but I skip it and so I’m usually wearing a size too big for me to compensate. 🙁

    • You gonna love it, not of the time consuming slash and spread. It’s more like connect the dots. As Lind the waist and the arm point stays the same you just create a little curve on the side. Bizarre .. lets see how it works in practice when I try.

  • I just signed up for the magazine this month for the same reasons you mentioned! I have this top on my list, and your version is so pretty!! I love it, actually I love your whole outfit.

  • quietgirl

    Love to know how the FBA from the Colette guide works. I have tried several FBA’s on knits and I don’t get the results I am looking for!

  • Great outfit. Wow what a bargain price you paid for that scuba fabric.

  • Love your version and it’s convinced me to make one! I will take some of your advice too, narrow the shoulders, more room in the bust etc. I love the fabric you have used, haven’t anything in mind myself yet!

  • Oh! I missed this post for some reason! I love this top and it really looks fantastic with the skirt! White is not a colour I wear very often, but I think you may have changed my mind! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Hi Nishi, same for me.. White can look washed but adding a colourful necklace really brings light to the face.

  • raquel from JCl

    I sewed a dress with the same fabric (only in wine color) and the sleeves rotate too. I think it’s the fabric, not the design. Love your top

    • I will have a trial run on the modifications and compare. Fabric play a big part too

  • What a lovely fabric for the top! Also, love your skirt, I’m looking for a pattern to make une like this nut unfortunately the one you provide is out of stock. If you ever know another similar pattern, I’d love to know about it! Thanks!

    • I found one! I put the link to it in case some of your readers would be interested (though the site is in French and the sewing instructions probably are as well… the site has an English version however so maybe the patterns can be ordered in English?) :

      • Thank you Nina. That matches lovely

  • Hallo Rachel,
    I found your blog because I was looking for someone who had sewn the ondee sweater – did you write about it and I just didn’t found it?
    However I love your blog and this astoria looks great on you. I am very interested in these fitting issues you described, even though I am mostly overchallenged by fixing these by myself.
    Therefore I have a questin: What do you mean with “Sleeves rotating forward”?

    I really hope you can understand my terrible english, I can understand it well but I nearly never write something so this will maybe sound very stupid 😀

    Love, Freja.

    • Hi Freja, i havent blogged yet, I recently got married and i been very slow in updating my blog the last 2 months.