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