Seamwork Sunday – Astoria and Margo

So, I’m still having a ‘Seamwork‘ moment here, after my recent discovery that I can avoid pasting A4 patterns together by ordering whopping A0 prints from a copyshop. This time I’ve road-tested the Astoria top and Margo skirt. Both of these are patterns which, at first glance, I decided were not my style. The Astoria, in it’s natural form, is a cropped sweater, and the Margo is a figure-hugging knit pencil skirt.

But looking at the Seamwork Margo photos, styled with a simple tee and converse, it suddenly seemed more accessible to me – someone who isn’t dressing up for an office job every day, but likes to dress on the right side of smart. I decided to give it a go with a simple (and cheap!) grey ponte and teamed it with my first Grainline Lark Tee.



I was pretty happy with the result, but not overwhelmed. Partly because I made the skirt a little too large, and partly because despite it’s versatility, I’m not a huge fan of ponte.

But it is so comfortable! And I started to day-dream about a navy version, slightly more fitted, and super cosy. I came across what I hoped was the perfect fabric at Guthrie & Ghani, namely a gorgeous loop-backed modal jersey. I fell for the navy and the mustard and snapped up a little of both. In fact, when it arrived I decided that it’s too lightweight for a fitted skirt, unless you’re happy to sport the VPL look. But the mustard looked just right for the Astoria sweater.

I love the look of the Astoria, but it is very short, stopping right at your natural waist. I didn’t feel like this would be a comfortable look for me so I set about making some adjustments to this pattern. I have to admit I didn’t even look at the measurements, recommendations, or instructions for this one. I measured the pattern and opted to start with the large, going for a not-too-fitted look. I added 11 cms to the body length, and then had to re-shape the side seams a little. I stuck with the large waistband as although this would have been too big to sit on my waist (as per the original style), it was the perfect measurement to sit around my tummy. The image below is a quick snap taken during tracing to give you an idea of how the shape was altered. At this point I had traced the shoulders and neckline as a medium, but later traced the large line and went with that.



I also stuck with the large sleeve, so the overall look is quite generous in size, but it ‘blouses’ nicely and fits snug at the hem. In truth, the short sleeves were due to the fact that I only bought one metre of this fabric, and the sleeve band was added because I didn’t have any mustard coloured thread for hemming! I used the neck-band pattern as a guide only, preferring to use my tried-and-true method of measuring the neckline and reducing by 10 percent to get the neckband length. I have heard it said that this isn’t reliable for all fabrics, but it’s never let me down yet, and it took a couple of centimetres off the pattern neckband.


This fabric has the most wonderful weight and drape to it and feels so luxurious. The final fit is exactly as I’d imagined so I’m really thrilled with the result and will use the pattern again. Essentially, it’s a t-shirt style, but I like to think it’s a cut above the average!

The Margo skirt was a more straight-forward project. Where the grey ponte had been a large, the navy is a medium, and the fit is more snug, which I like. In the end, this fabric is a straight-forward brushed back cotton sweatshirting from Backstitch. This whole outfit is so easy and comfortable – it’s like wearing joggers and t-shirt but I’d happily leave the house in these!

Courtesy of my fabulous daughter’s photographic skills, here are a few shots from this morning.

One thought on “Seamwork Sunday – Astoria and Margo

  1. They look fab, love the colours, they look great together! My ponte skirt is so comfy but picks up every loose thread, dog hair, fluff, not sure if all are the same.


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