Sunday, 8 January 2017

Seamwork Magazine pattern reviews: Adelaide and Astoria

I'd been lusting over the Seamwork Adelaide and Astoria patterns since I discovered independent pattern labels on Instagram; the Adelaide has an effortless, casual look to it, and the Astoria meant venturing into a new world of knitwear.

So, when I decided to sign up for Seamwork magazine, these were the first two on my list of downloads.

If you don't already know, Seamwork magazine is released as a PDF every month to subscribers. The subscription only costs a few pounds (charged in dollars) and includes enough credits for 2 downloads a month. There's a mix of cool patterns which are modern and practical - most aren't my style but they're a great alternative to the patterns you get from mainstream labels.

The magazine itself is beautifully designed, with great photography, interesting articles and fresh takes on fashion.

So how did my first Seamwork makes go?

Adelaide

I downloaded the Adelaide after seeing some great versions across social media. One of my favourites was a white cotton version, without the belt, which looked like it came straight from the 90s. I wasn't sure on what I'd want my own version to look like - denim would be too stiff, poly cotton may not be casual and viscose would be great, but the pattern calls for a sturdy fabric.


Chambray seemed the choice for me and I found some good value fabric from eBay. I chose monochrome buttons instead of snaps (also from eBay) because I really couldn't imagine myself struggling with snaps and hammering myself into A&E. Plus, I needed to practice my buttonholes!

The dress itself is such an easy make, although the pattern complicates some of the steps such as finishing the ends of the bound neckline into the button placket. My impatient-self skimmed these instructions and instead, I made them up myself.

I love that the neckline and the armholes are finished with bias binding, giving a clean finish without faffing about with facing. The placket is interfaced, and I managed the 12 or so buttonholes (just!). I gave the dress a normal folded hem, although it does give some options for unfinished hemlines.

The fit of the dress was slightly large on me but I took the back fish-eye darts in slightly more for a closer fit. I decided against the belt as it's not my style, but the dress has enough movement to be comfortable, but the back fish-eye darts and the front bust darts give it enough shape all over.

At the end of the day, I decided the colour of the chambray I chose doesn't suit me, so it's off to a friend who is having a wardrobe crisis. Fingers crossed it fits her and she gets the wear out of it!

Astoria

The Astoria is a cropped jumper which looks amazing on everyone I've seen it on. I'd like to thank the people of Instagram for showing off your Astorias and inspiring my new found knitwear love.

The Astoria meant learning new ways with knits, in particularly neckbands. I've only ever tried knits with the Colette Moneta which uses a simple hemming technique for the neckband, so having a neckband piece was new to me.

My first Astoria was made from some woolly knit fabric I was given. I have no idea what it is and I've never seen anything like it, but it turned out to be so easy to work with. The knit has little to no stretch to it, which did worry me initially, but it all turned out A-OK in the end.

Whilst I was worried about the neckband, it worked perfectly first time - a fluke perhaps? The bodice is made up of two pieces and a waistband, and the construction is so easy, it may be possible to make the entire thing in less than an hour. The only down side to the Astoria is the width of the sleeves is slightly too small, making them a bit too tight for me.

It's comfortable, flattering, and I need a whole collection of Astorias!


Queue, the red ponte roma Astoria. The fabric was (also) from eBay and it's the softest thing I've ever felt. I'd love it if my entire wardrobe was made out of this fabric.

I made the sleeves a little wider so they weren't too tight for me and had a great time with the twin needle on the ponte roma fabric. The neckband wasn't as easy as my first go, but a little unpicking and re-sewing (about 5 times) meant it just about fits!


I live in this jumper and have made a few other versions including a pyjama top. Eventually, Rachel's cardigan hack would be great to try too.

These Seamwork patterns are both so wearable and versatile and I'm so thrilled to have them in my collection. 


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