Ad Astra per Aster

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I seem to be incapable of sewing up a pattern as written these days. I often find myself removing design elements, merging pieces, using the same techniques and finishes over again. It’s a win-win really because these less complex garments are quicker to sew, and simple silhouettes are inevitably the ones I reach for to wear the most regularly as well. 

That’s my way of explaining that this is a sort-of-not really take on Colette Patterns’ Aster blouse. I was a bit surprised that this pattern didn’t really take off in blogland that much – I’ve only seen Marilla and Jaime‘s out there. Personally I love it and I’m glad that Colette seems to be moving away from a slightly cutesy/fussy vintage aesthetic into more basic wearable pieces.

Aster

As patterned this blouse has cuffed sleeves and a yoked back with gathers. I merged the back and yoke pieces into one, removing the gathers, and added cut-on cap sleeves in a similar fashion to my Alder hack here. Finally, I ditched the little straight edge at the top of the button placket because I couldn’t get it looking sharp and not like a mistake. Basically took the pattern from having 5 or 6 separate pieces to just two, ha ha.

Aster

This is only the second Colette pattern I’ve made – the Peony was one of my very early projects and was a full-on disaster, so I did approach this with trepidation. But happily my fit issues with Aster were all minor. I just had to raise the bust dart apex about an inch and pinch a small dart out of the neckline – that’s all. Despite my design changes I think some of the Aster’s detailing is retained like the pretty curved hem, shaped side seams and elegant neckline. I do need to do a little more work around the neckline, I think – perhaps a forward shoulder adjustment and to make the v-neck’s edges slightly more concave as they appear to bow outwards.

Aster

The fabric for this make was kindly supplied by Alice Caroline. I’m sure they’re on your radar already if you’re a Liberty lover like me. As well as selling a large range of Liberty prints by the yard, they specialise in pairing designs and colours together to form special bundles and kits to use for patchwork and quilting. Check out their site or Etsy store to browse the range. This top is made from Kevin tana lawn which I’ve mad my eye on for ages – I love the dusty colours, and like my super happy manga Holly, it’s one of those prints where you only see the lovely constellation details from up close. Thanks, Alice Caroline, for enabling a lovely staple summer top. Anyone else got plans to sew an Aster?

36 thoughts on “Ad Astra per Aster

  1. Lucy

    That’s lovely! I just bought the pattern, it’s pretty high up my (very long) to-do list at the moment! I need more wearable garments and I think the Aster could be a really useful staple. Just need, I dunno, a few more hours in the day…

    Ps That fabric is so amazing!
    X

  2. Bella

    Lovely! I have made an Aster (unblogged) and I really like it. I probably wear it once a week. Like you, I had to move the bust apex up quite a bit, and I also found the little square bit at CF challenging. I quite like that detail though so I might try to figure out a better order of construction. Thanks for sharing your version, I haven’t seen many on blogs either!

  3. Teresa

    Great to see one of these ‘in the flesh’. I really loved it and thought it would make me conquer button holes once and for all, or at least try to… I just have a very long sewing queue. Love your fabric choice!

  4. Sara

    I’m planning on taking part in the Aster sew-a-long that’s just starting. The pattern pieces are all printed & cut out, I just can’t decide what type of fabric to use as I’ve not made many clothes. It’s good to know about moving the bust apex though, I will make sure to check that before cutting the fabric! Thanks!

    1. Katie Post author

      I think a cotton lawn or chambray is a great idea if you’re inexperienced, because it’s nice and easy to sew. Good luck!

  5. Jessie

    Lovely make! I’m also enamored of Aster’s button-front and simple silhouette. Can you explain a little more about moving the bust apex up? Did you realize you needed to make that modification after you completed a muslin or from the flat pattern? I’m just about to embark on my make this week and have traced off my pattern pieces so wondering how to check. I often have trouble fitting darts due to ample bust and not-ample sewing experience. Thanks!

  6. Sam

    Love that the fabric is called Kevin!

    Excellent job altering the pattern to be what you wanted. I used to think sewing patterns (and knitting patterns) were “the law” and would never, ever have altered anything… now I rarely make a pattern exactly as intended!

  7. Carolyn

    I love that fabric – have had my eye on Kevin for awhile. It looks beautiful made up into your shirt, which is a lovely shape for you. I will have to learn (or get my sewing machine to learn) how to do buttonholes that work on the clothes and not just on the test fabric!

  8. Veronica Darling

    That fabric is darling! I thought this pattern was nice, but too simple and not at all my style.. I rarely wear woven tops and feel on curvy/petite/busty frame I’d look like a box of chocolates. But, it’s great that Colette are making patterns for everyone as I have made 3 of their previous dresses! Or maybe 4!?

    1. Katie Post author

      I’m definitely more drawn to Liberty in spring/summer! And they do layer up well in colder weather too, luckily.

  9. Astrid

    Hi Katie,
    Lovely shirt!
    I am planning on making a simple shirt of a bodice pattern that fits me well and I am wanting
    kimono sleeves. I saw you explanation in the other post about how to alter, I was just wondering
    how wide the top of the sleeve is (from neck to arm). I hope this question makes sense.
    It seems to be a bit wider on this shirt than on the alder hack one, am I right?
    I prefer this one.

    Bye, Astrid

    1. Katie Post author

      Hi Astrid. You’re right, it’s wider – this one is 6″ across the top of the shoulder and the other one was 5″ (excluding seam and hem allowance). The fabric drape also affects how it will look a bit – softer fabric will be able to mold more and create more of a sleeve effect, like here.

      1. Astrid

        Thanks! It’s nice to have an idea about length and not just making everything up as I go along.
        Yes I have a nice drapey fabric ready for it, so hopefully it will come out nice.

  10. Nique

    Lovely. Really been enjoying your everyday garments as of late.

    Trying to join in on the Aster sewalong if moving will allow.
    Ditto on Jesse’s comment about the bust dart. Just getting into trying to fit more.

  11. Meg

    Oooh- great blouse, great fabric. I was not really feeling the Aster for some reason. I think it felt like something I already own, minus the collar. But I love your modifications to it!!

    1. Katie Post author

      Yeah, perhaps the Tilly Mimi? It’s not groundbreaking but it was cheap (I got the PDF at 20% off) so I fancied it!

  12. Mags

    Joining the sewalong as well and have my fabric picked. As gravity has had its way with me I might get away with the bust dart apex! But at least I know to check it out, thanks. No doubt there will be masses of asters coming up this month. Love your version.

  13. Cara

    Really awesome blouse Katie! I’ do love your wardrobe!
    I think the pattern looks alot like the Darling Ranges Blouse version, I wonder if it’s worth buying this pattern or are they so similar that there really is no need?

    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you! With the amends I made they are very similar, yes, but the Aster actually comes with some other details like the back yoke and cuffed sleeves as patterned. If you wanted a simpler shape like this one you could definitely use the Darling Ranges.

  14. Sonja

    Love this! It’s so cute and so wearable! I’ve kind of written off Colette patterns as my shape is really different from the one they draft for, which means tons and tons of fit alterations that never end up quite right. But this is the first pattern they’re released in ages that’s tempted me at all, and your version tempts me all the more!

  15. Carrie

    this looks amazing! I’ve got some Loominous fabric that’s about to be cut into an aster! It’s been too darn hot to sew in my house lately and I needed a nudge, thanks :)

  16. Katherine

    I actually like the look of your rounded placket better than the original squared off one. It looks like a more seamless transition from that sharp diagonal of the neckline to the vertical button placket. I think I’ll do that on the Aster I’m planning to make next!!

    Thanks for a great blog and sharing all your creations.

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