Colette Sorbetto – the New version

Proof positive that good patterns don’t have to cost a lot of money. And sometimes they’re even free!


cp1037-sorbetto-01-large-cb424e1d12e9e05dc7af4f4e94dcc3985d48fe26edc2733dd2a309442502664fColette Patterns offers the Sorbetto pattern only in a free downloadable version. Sorbetto was one of the first fun tops I made when I started sewing again a couple of years ago. For that first effort I used a “bold” tropical themed quilting cotton that had been in my purse-making stash for at least a decade. That top is memorable because I placed the fabric upside down on the back, and didn’t realize this until we were walking into a restaurant and G asked me if the upside down palm trees were intentional. Ugh. I wore it anyway.

As much as I liked the original Sorbetto, it didn’t fit me quite right. The armholes gaped a lot, so I had to add darts in the armscye. And the top hit me at the wrong place on my belly. Last month I read that Colette had recreated the Sorbetto, adding two different versions (a tunic length, and short-sleeve option). They also improved the pattern blocks, added a curvy option, and increased the range of sizes. This made its way to to the top of my project list.


img_0026Makower UK cotton lawn (purchased at Original Sewing & Quilting Expo last month –  a real bargain at $6 per yard). I bought what was left on the bolt, and that was just under 2 yards, plus there was a chunk out of one selvedge. There was enough fabric for the main garment, but not the bias trim. For the bias, I bought two different fabrics, a solid in an indigo blue, and a blue/white gingham, both from Hobby Lobby.


According to the sizing on the pattern, a size 16 was the right fit for my bust and waist, so that’s what I cut.

After sewing the side seams there seemed to be too much fabric in the upper chest so I wound up taking in the seam under the arm to the dart by about 1″ on each side. That was the only adjustment made. No FBA needed!


Since this is a pdf pattern, there was the usual paper trimming and taping, but I’d say this pattern isn’t as tedious as others I’ve used. There are only 4 pieces (front, back, front hem facing, back hem facing).

This is a quick make. Once you have the pattern printed, taped and cut, it is absolutely reasonable to think you can make this in an evening. I stitched all of the seams on my regular machine, then serged all of the seams finishes.

As mentioned above, I bought two different fabrics for the bias binding. (Photos taken with the same iPhone and in the same light. Isn’t it weird how the colours changed?)


I decided to go with the gingham (on the right) for a couple of reasons: First, saturated colours are not pleasing to my eye, and the blue was just too dominating. Second, pattern mixing is fun, and I think it’s also a more sophisticated look.

Once I decided on the gingham it was just a matter of cutting 2″ bias strips, running them through my little bias pull tool, starching, then stitching!

Time Required

From taping pattern through to trimming loose threads total time required was under 5 hours.


I am so happy with the fabric and the trim. Does it look like the top is too big? It just seems a tad voluminous. There’s a fair bit of ease. Should I cut a smaller size next time?

I like the changes incorporated in the new Sorbetto. This length is better for me, and the changes in sizing meant that I didn’t need to add any darts in the armscye, or do an FBA. That said, the bust darts are a bit low for me, so if I go with the same size I will bring the darts up about 1/2″. (This in itself says the top is cut for a more mature figure. I normally have to drop bust darts!)

In the original Sorbetto I learned how to do bias trim, and in this one I learned how to do a really nice finish on a hem facing. These little tips are super helpful, especially for a new sewist. Sorbetto is a simple but interesting top that works well under a sweater or jacket for work, or in a fun fabric for weekends. Maybe next time I’ll add trim or embroider down the front pleat.


23-Apr-17: I’ve made another Sorbetto using a 1 metre piece of Liberty cotton (poplin I think) that I had in the stash. This time I cut a 14, so a smaller size, and I still wound up using 1″ seam allowances from the armscye to the dart. I also knocked off about 6″ from the length to fit the pattern pieces onto my remnant. The 14 fits much, much better. And I like the shorter length, too. The photos here are from the original version. I’ll add the new version when I can corral a photographer.

The side slits don’t really stick out that much.  Maybe I was doing a real spin around.

Colette Sorbetto Neckline
I’m really pleased with the combination of the gingham and floral. I just wish that I could have gotten the bias tape at the neck to lie a bit flatter. Maybe I can steam it enough to make the fabric shrink a tiny bit.
Great length for hiding a multitude of sins!


3 thoughts on “Colette Sorbetto – the New version

  1. I’ve read that steaming the bias tape in the shape of the neckline makes it lay flat. Maybe you could try a sample and see if it works for you. But it’s a really nice top!

    Liked by 1 person

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