During my search for suitable basic patterns I rembered that I still have the yet untried Astoria sweater pattern sitting on hard disk and I thought this might be a good basic pattern for casual sweaters. Once I fitted it perfectly, I could do a lot of funny things with different sleeves or necklines.
Looking at Astoria versions of other people on the internet I realized that many people have problems with the fit, though most of them are unaware that they do. There is the classic problem of too wide shoulders for a sweater with set in sleeves and the sleeves itself also look funny on many pictures, as there are diagonal wrinkels around the bicep.
Some days ago, fabulous mod girl Eva tested the pattern thouroughly and came to the conclusion that the sleeves problems are due to the sleeve cap being too flat. She changed the sleeve shape considereably and produced two very stylish simple little sweaters.
And so I thought I’d be super smart and wouldn’t even bother with the original Astoria-sleeves. Instead I used a sleeve pattern I know fits me well and transfer the corresponding armhole on the Astoria bodice pieces.
According to the sizing table I need size 2X for the sweater, so I cut out this size, altered the armhole and sewed sweater no. 1
Sweater No. 1: size 2x, sleeves and armholes from my tried and trusted wrap dress pattern
Conclusion: the sweater is too short for a comfortable feeling, I have a constant urge to pull it down. It feels too baggy. The sleeves are fitting quite well but the shoulders are still too wide. Already here I had the nagging feeling that the sleeves are maybe too tight for the style of the sweater, but somehow it slipped my mind an I continued to use the same sleeve pattern.
For the second version I cut the sweater one size smaller, made the bodice longer by 6 cm and repeated the armhole alteration of version 1. the pink lines are the original Astoria pattern, the blue lines are my alterations.
Trueing the side seam:
Sweater No. 2: Size XL, bodice parts lenghtened by 6 cm, same wrap dress sleeeves as in no. 1. I am standing a bit lopsided, because I have my mobile in one hand to trigger the camera. Hence the wrinkles on the left side.
Conclusion after the frist trial: the length is better, the shoulder width is ok, the overall width of the sweater is ok. The armhole could be deeper.
Since I still had some of the pink knitted fabric left I made a third version with a slightly changed armhole (purple line).
Conclusion after the first trial: Version 3 fits better than version 2, the armholes could be even deeper.
The fabric is all used up now and I believed that I had adapted the pattern almost to perfection, so there is no sweater no. 4 (for now) 🙂
Why did I write “after the first trial” in the conclusions for Sweaters 2 and 3? Because in the meantime I have worn sweater no. 3 for half a day and the first enthusiasm has subsided. Meanwhile I have a different opionion concerning the fit:
Firstly I think that the sweater is too tight after all. It has the tendency to creep upwards and form a nasty wrinkle right across the bust. Secondly I meanwhile believe that the shoulds are too small, one centimeter more would have been better. Thirdly the armhole could be larger. The lowest point of the armhole now is sitting right underneath the armpit with no ease and this is eventually also a reason why the sweater wants to crawl upwards.
My oh-so-smart sleeve adaptation maybe wasn’t all that smart after all; the sleeve pattern I chose is perhaps too tight for the style of this sweater. And if the garment is supposed to fit casually it is not recommendable to make it too tight because this will ruin the look. I am having difficulties with the style of this pattern because it is somewhere in between a baggy casual sweater and a fitted top and somehow I don’t know wich kind of fit is the best for it. I am open to comments here, even if you tell me that the sweater looks crappy on me in all three versions 🙂
So what’s next?
Frankly, I don’t know. There are a few paths I could follow:
1. Why not try a version with the original version as intended by the designer? However, I don’t have high hopes for that version, because when I look at the steep curve of the armhole as comparted to my armhole, I think there is too much fabric in the area above the armpit.
2. Try another alteration: Version 1 with larger armhole and wider sleeves.
3. Transfer the elements of the pattern that I like (neckline, waist shaping, waistband) to a shirt pattern that fits me better like the Polar Hoodie by Green Pepper Patterns in size M which I already made many times.
4. Sew blouses, who needs sweaters anyway 🙂 no, just kidding 🙂
It’s hard to believe that such a simple thing as a sweater pattern can cause so many problems, isn’t it?