Simple make for when everything else is chaos | Seamwork Astoria

Seamwork Astoria in green ribbed jersey 8

My living room floor is currently covered with the ENTIRE content of my sewing room! It’s complete CHAOS! (Psst, don’t tell my husband, he’s away for a few days and I hope to have it all back to perfection before he gets back). And it all started with getting my eyes checked and having pupil dilation drops put it.

Wait, what?

Lately, I have been thinking about overhauling my sewing room more than I do about new sewing projects. I am really grateful to have a sewing room – our spare bedroom – but that leaves us with the issue of where do our guests sleep. Currently, it’s an airbed on the sewing room floor. I have been working my brain for ages to figure out how to put in a better sleeping solution. Well, try as I might that’s not happening, but I am getting a built-in wardrobe to tidy things up a bit. And I am shuffling things around to make a bit more room on the floor for a bigger air bed. Not ideal, but I will have a really nice sewing room.

But I still haven’t told you how the pupil dilation drops come in…

You might have noticed that I’m wearing glasses on and off in my blog pics and for a while now, I have been contemplating getting laser surgery to fix my nearsightedness. So I went for a consultation and this involves getting your pupils dilated for them to perform a series of tests. As my appointment was really early in the morning, I was planning on a long day of sewing afterwards, as my husband is away. What I did not anticipate was the fact that I will be almost blind for the rest of the day. I could see perfectly in the distance, but any detailed work was impossible. I could not even see to unlock my phone! So sewing was out of the question.

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Still, a whole day ahead of me, what to do with my time? I know, let’s move my sewing room around!!

This is what it looks like (but imagine tons more things stuffed in, of course). And so I took everything out and moved it into my living room, which looks like a tip now (I can’t bear to post pics, but if you hurry, you might get a glimpse in my IG stories). And proceeded to spend about 3 hours moving furniture around until the right layout clicked into place! And it did, I’m super happy with it. But I managed to chip some paint off my teal statement wall, so I’m waiting for B&Q to open so I can get it fixed before my husband gets home – he would have a heart attack if he saw the state of it. Though not sure what’s worse, the sewing stuff explosion in the living room or a few chips on a wall… hmmm…

Hopefully, you will get an exciting new sewing room reveal soon, all going well…

Anyhow, after all this drama, I could only muster the energy to take a few quick snaps of a very simple make to share with you, but it’s a garment I really love and have worn loads already.

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-2

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-2-2.jpg

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-1-5


You might have recognised the Seamwork Astoria, one of their early patterns that has been making the rounds in the sewosphere a few years ago. As usual, I am late to all the parties. It was one of the few patterns that made me want the Seamwork subscription and I had it printed on A0, so none of that annoying PDF paper collaging.

I like that it’s a very quick make, especially using the overlocker. I like the cropped shape and the fact that it’s fitted, but boy, is it short!



I love using leftover fabric from bigger projects, waste not, want not, right? These are the last remains of the fabulous green ribbing fabric from this Burda sheath dress. Nowhere near as spectacular as that, it still works great with this simple pattern. It’s polyester, of course, so hello sweating, but not overwhelmingly so. And I had some pilling issues after a period of intense wear, but nothing an old razor can’t solve (seriously, this is an amazing solution to bobbles, just gently shave the pill away – magic). Strangely, the dress did not pill at all, not sure what caused the top to do so.

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-3


As I mentioned, the top is SHORT! I mean, almost belly button uncovering short. I had made a wearable muslin a while ago and I knew I had to increase the length, I added 2” (5 cm). I also took in the sides a bit more, as I wanted it quite fitted. I think it’s still not long enough and I like to wear a cami underneath and also pair with trousers that are more high-waisted.

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-1-4


There really isn’t much to say, it’s a super simple make, probably could be done in an hour if you are versed with the neckband insertion. I overlocked all the seams and used an extra bit of clear elastic at the shoulder seam. The sleeve edges were also overlocked and then stitched down with the chain stitch on my coverstich machine.

You might notice that the neckband is actually on the grain as opposed to bias or cross grain. This is because I ran out of fabric and had to make do with any old piece I could scrounge. It’s obviously not stretchy enough, but the neck opening is wide enough to get my head in. Let’s just call it a style choice *wink*.

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-2-3

On the subject of neckbands, don’t use the pattern piece, just measure your own, as it really depends on the stretchiness of the fabric. I usually just measure the neckline circumference then cut a bias piece of fabric that stretched will be as long as that number + seam allowance.

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Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-1

Wear & Styling

This is not a new make, so I wore it loads already. I like it because it’s a good transitional piece, spring/autumn as it’s sort of between a top and a jumper. The fabric is medium weight, but it’s quite warm, so I can definitely wear it in colder weather. I also like the elbow length sleeves, they work for layering under jackets but on their own as well. Though still feel it’s a bit too short, so if I will make it again, I’ll add at least one more inch.

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing - header

Seanwork Astoria Green Ribbing-1-2

The colour is the main attraction of this make, so I like to let it shine by pairing it with neutrals, especially navy. As I mentioned, it does need a bit of a more high-waisted trousers, I hate flashing midriff and I find myself pulling it down all the time, which is both unattractive and annoying.

Details recap:

Pattern: Seamwork Astoria size M (tweaked – see alterations below)

Fabric: Poly ribbed jersey from Abakhan

Notions: None

Alterations: Added 2” (5 cm) in length, reduced side seams by 1 cm (/3/8 in), reduced neckline band to 1 1/2 in.

Next time:  Add 1 in in lenght



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  1. 3 October 2017 / 1:22 PM

    Ooh I quite enjoyed reading about the drama with your sewing room and pupil dilation drops! ha. Love the green on you! I do really like the Astoria; I’ve made two and definitely want to make more but agree, it’s definitely short! Looking forward to hearing about the new sewing room layout x

    • Alex
      3 October 2017 / 3:18 PM

      Thank you! In a masochistic kinda way, it was actually good fun. It all came together fine, I painted the wall, went to Ikea on a mad dash on Sunday afternoon and ‘worked’ from home yesterday to put it all back. Looking pretty awesome if I may say so myself. Can’t wait to share pics!

  2. PsychicSewerKathleen
    3 October 2017 / 1:55 PM

    Love your Seamwork Astoria! The colour is lovely but I can relate totally to what you’re saying and I agree 100% – there is nothing I HATE MORE than garments I have to find secret spots/moments to either pull them up or pull them down. They always end up in the donation bin no matter how much I love them otherwise 🙂

    • Alex
      3 October 2017 / 3:16 PM

      Thank you! I do love this top, even if it’s a tad short. Wore it loads, because I just love that colour and the fabric. But will make it a bit longer for sure!

  3. 3 October 2017 / 2:56 PM

    First things first – it was so good to meet you IRL at the Sewing Bee Live! I’ve never made the Astoria which is ridiculous because I love the shape and, being short, it will probably be just the right length on me! The green looks great on you. Hope you get the sewing room straight before your husband returns! x

    • Alex
      3 October 2017 / 3:08 PM

      You too!! So sorry it was so short. They are doing it again in June, so hopefully longer then.
      I think it’s a really cute pattern and I just checked the hashtag on IG today and saw some really cute hacks. Plus it takes so little fabric, great stash buster.
      I worked from home yesterday, so all good, wall painted, IKEA ransacked and stuff assembled and all back to normal. Loving the new layout. Will post the pics soon!

  4. 3 October 2017 / 4:20 PM

    The green is gorgeous on you. Love the earrings, too.

    • Alex
      3 October 2017 / 4:25 PM

      Thank you! I’m totally crazy about this fabric, tempted to get more, but not sure how many green garments I can have in my wardrobe… 😬

      • 3 October 2017 / 7:53 PM

        You can never have too much of a favourite colour! 🙂

  5. 3 October 2017 / 7:58 PM

    This was such a fun and inreresting blog post! Firstly….having met you in real life (such fun!) I think it’s safe to say that you look gorgeous with or without glasses. Either way, good luck with your eyes. And secondly….what a fabulous colour the Astoria is. Love the cropped shape, though I hear you on not wanting anything too short. Finally…sooo excited for the sewing room reveal!

  6. 3 October 2017 / 9:13 PM

    Oh my, what a story!! For what it’s worth, I think you look beautiful in glasses 😊 Love your version of Astoria (my only try with this pattern I found the neckband stood proud and the length hit me at my least favourite body part [looking at you, cursed high hip] but I know I’m in a minority in my not-so-crazy-about-it opinion!) I love how you’ve altered it though, and the colour is just divine on you!! Good luck getting your sewing room sorted 😉

  7. 5 October 2017 / 7:54 AM

    Looking good Misses, this colour really suits you! 😍

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