The Astoria sweatshirt
About a million years ago, Colette Patterns released the Astoria sweatshirt pattern via the Seamwork magazine. At the time, every sewing blogger and their cat seemed to jump on the bandwagon and sew at least one. My Instagram feed was full of them for ages. I’ve stayed away from Colette Patterns; I don’t think they could possibly live up to the fan girl hype. The recent Rue debacle just confirmed my thoughts.
So why I have sewn not one, but three Astoria sweatshirts? Basically I was gifted the Astoria pattern, possibly last year. I ended up sewing one in May as a birthday present for a friend. I wanted to sew her something simple and quick and having rifled through my patterns, it was either an Astoria or a t-shirt. After sharing the finished thing on Instagram, I forgot all about blogging about it.
Another two Astorias?
As you know, I’m trying to sew in a more ethical way, choosing slow sewing and better fabrics to build up a really great wardrobe that I’ll want to wear and wear. As part of that, I’m trying to use up the fabric I have already. I don’t think that ditching the fabric I have and buying more is particularly eco-friendly. When I went shopping for the fabric for my friend’s Astoria, I couldn’t remember how much fabric I needed. Usually I add new patterns to Evernote to avoid over or under-buying fabric. So I ended up with enough fabric to also make one for myself.
After rifling through my fabric, I realised I had a metre of navy jersey with gold metallic that would be enough for another Astoria. Quite frankly, there can’t be enough navy blue in my wardrobe. Obviously I don’t want to have exactly the same plain blue sweatshirt as my friend, so I decided on some embroidery which I’m going to get done this week.
Pros and cons of the Astoria pattern
I’ll be honest, I won’t be sewing another one of these. On the plus side, it’s a really quick pattern and the three quarter sleeve version can be squeezed out of a metre of fabric. On the negative side… well, where do I start?
Firstly, the PDF is so wasteful. It’s the worst laid out pattern I’ve ever worked with. I don’t see why the size range isn’t split into a smaller range and larger range, so you’d print far less out. Most of us are sewing for ourselves, so we don’t need all the sizes on one PDF.
After I’d cut out the pieces to make the three-quarter sleeve version, this is what I was left with:
I mean look at that. Hardly any patterns pieces needed and yet how much waste? Before considering more ethical sewing, I hadn’t even though about the waste created by PDF patterns. My girls jumped on all of these leftovers for colouring in but even so. How many more sewists are just throwing all of this in the bin?
Pattern annoyances aside, I just don’t like the fit of the thing. I feel like I have to apologise to my friend and get her another present, because the plain blue one I sewed for myself is such a poor fit. It’s much tighter than I expected, I think going up at least one size would have been a good idea. The gold and navy one is slightly better because the fabric is much stretchier. Both have lots of drag lines from the armscye and the neckline doesn’t lie particularly flat.
Will I wear them?
At the moment I can’t wear the plain one, it’s far too tight. I’m still going to finish the embroidery I planned for it though and then it’ll have to wait in the wardrobe for me to lose some weight. The sparkly one I can wear, and I think it’ll look pretty good with my circle skirt. I might even wear it for a birthday night out next weekend, along with my gadget case masquerading as a clutch bag!
I definitely won’t be sewing another one though. It’s easy to go up a size, but I don’t even want to work out how to get rid of the drag lines. Or how to make the neckline lie flatter. Life is too short frankly.
Next one the sewing table
I’m determined to finish the Marigold jumpsuit I cut out and pinned last year. I know, I know, I’m terrible for actually finishing things. I’m not convinced a jumpsuit would even suit me, but it is part-way finished. Speaking of jumpsuits, I’m so in love with this one that Elena made. To be fair, I love pretty much everything Elena makes. Anyway, yes, I will finish my jumpsuit and then I need really consider what my wardrobe is missing and go from there.
I’d love to know what you’re sewing – inspire me!