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February #SewYourSeamwork2019: Colette Aster

February #SewYourSeamwork2019: Colette Aster

I am continuing my year of Seamwork pattern sewing!

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Quick reminder: I am sewing one Seamwork pattern per month in 2019. Follow the hashtag #sewyourseamwork2019 on Instagram to see how it is going for me or use the hashtag yourself so I can cheer you on.

My January project was the Seamwork Callahan Pants (still love them). But after sewing up my Phoenix Blouse and a bunch of baby items, I ran out of (sewing) steam in the middle of February. Then I took a fabulous trip to New York City to visit with friends and came back tired but very happy. It took me a few days to re-acclimate to life at home before I got started on choosing my Seamwork pattern for the month.

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I posted a few of my options to my Instagram stories and asked for some votes to help me choose. My followers helped me to choose between the Madrid, the Aster, the Natalie, or the Paxson. It was very close between the Madrid and the Aster but the Aster eeked out the win at the end. The Aster is a Colette pattern but you can get digital versions of the entire Colette pattern library for only ONE Seamwork credit!

I downloaded and cut out the Aster in just one day. I studied the sizing chart and finished measurements chart and decided to make a size 16 at the shoulder and bust and a 20 at the hip. The Aster has a bust dart and a pleat below the back yoke. It’s perfect for someone pear shaped like me because there is a lot of room at the hips!

The fabric is some cotton chambray I had in my fabric bins. I am pretty certain I purchased it at JoAnn’s last year. It is good quality and with a coupon I paid around $6/yard.

This is BEFORE I corrected my neckline issue. See how the fabric stands up on my shoulders?

This is BEFORE I corrected my neckline issue. See how the fabric stands up on my shoulders?

I learned a new way to sew an enclosed back yoke through these instructions. I’m not sure I prefer it over the current method I’ve been using for burrito sewing a yoke, but it is nice to be taught something new. Because of the way the instructions have you sew the shirt, there isn’t really any time for testing the fit of the garment until it’s nearly completely constructed. For this reason, I’d definitely suggest you sew a muslin of this shirt first. I used an inexpensive cotton chambray that I had on hand.

BEFORE the alteration to fix the shoulder issue.

BEFORE the alteration to fix the shoulder issue.

Overall, I was very pleased with the fit of the top with one reservation about the neckline. The bust dart was in the perfect location for me and the general fit of the garment was really spot on. I was incredibly pleased! But as you can see, I had an issue with the neckline standing up at the top of my shoulders.

I think this could have been caused by a few things. One- I may have stretched out the neckline some when I was handling it or sewing on the bias binding. I’m not entirely certain that is what happened but it’s possible. Two- I have had to shorten the bodice of tops between my shoulders and bust before as I am only 5’4” and most patterns are drafted for someone a few inches taller than me. That height can be removed in several different places when you are altering patterns for height and for me it is sometimes needed to be taken out above the bust. Three- my bust is not as full at the top of my bust as it is at the bottom. For that reason, I don’t always “fill out” tops as well as they are designed. Therefore there is extra fabric above my bust area.

Pinning out the extra fabric and testing the fit.

Pinning out the extra fabric and testing the fit.

To make this version of my Aster wearable, I unpicked the bias binding at the neckline and added a dart to each side. This took out about an inch of length at the neckline and solved the issue. It doesn’t look perfect but if you didn’t know the dart was supposed to be there you might not even notice it. Isn’t that the nice thing about sewing? Customization!

Can you see the dart just above my bust? I love that it’s hidden but still looks like a design feature.

Can you see the dart just above my bust? I love that it’s hidden but still looks like a design feature.

I made an adjustment on my bodice pattern piece to hopefully correct this issue. I intend to make another version of the Colette Aster in the month of March to test out of my adjustment fixed the problem. I didn’t change the armcye at all—I only took a wedge out of the neckline. It did slightly affect the curve of the armcye so I’m curious to find out if this will solve my issue or cause another issue altogether. What do you think?

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The rainbow buttons were partly due to the #sewhappycolor month going on in March and partly due to not having enough buttons in any single color. The ROYGBV color play was fun and helped me use up some single buttons that I have in my button collection.

I didn’t finish this top in February but I may have a found a loophole. If you are like me and think that February should continue on until at least the first week of March, then I guess I slipped it in by my self-imposed deadline. In that case, I finished my Aster on February 28+4 (March 4) and I’m still considering myself on schedule for my year of Seamwork!

I should probably go ahead and pick my March pattern since March is almost halfway done. I think I will sew the Seamwork Paxson shirt for my husband since he so rarely gets treated to a handsewn garment…and also a knit raglan top sounds like a nice palate cleanser after a sewing pair of non-stretch pants and a fitted woven shirt.

If you join Seamwork using my referral link, I will receive a discount on my membership and so will you! Thank you for supporting my blog and I hope we can sew our Seamwork patterns TOGETHER!

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