Colette’s Sorbetto Top

My Sorbetto

My Sorbetto

Side seam details

Side seam details

Colette Sorbetto: fabric

This summer, instead of going to the shops to add to my wardrobe, I want to make my own. Back in April, I made a start with Colette’s Sorbetto. It’s a free pattern for a loose fitting tank-top with a box pleat in the front. I love a tank top, but am no longer in love with spaghetti straps. It has something to do with feeling a bit older and spending the past few years in seriously supportive nursing bras. Those aren’t straps you want the world to see! So, I downloaded myself a pattern and got sewing!

Last fall, I was back in North Carolina and picked up a couple yards of this nice lightweight navy blue cotton print on sale at Hancock Fabrics. It was intended for a wearable muslin and this was just the right moment. It has a texture, little bobbles that surely have some kind of name that I don’t know (yet). It was a piece of cake to work with and I like the texture very much. It’s also nice and light, so perfect for summer.

I didn’t do a lot of looking around on the internet or otherwise about fitting before I started and assumed that the loose fit would make it an easy fit. I wasn’t far off. The bust fit just fine. How nice to see that there are advantages to having an incredibly average bust! The back, however, seemed to pool a bit. I’ve got a slopey posture and might need a swayback alteration to get a great fit. I’ve never tried one and on this pattern, the lack of a center back seam on this pattern wouldn’t have made it easy. After a bit of thinking, I decided to try something different.

Instead of attempting a swayback alteration, I added splits to the side seams to give a bit of extra space over my hips, the idea being that the extra fabric could essentially fall over my backside. It seems to have worked just fine. I looked (again) over at Handmade by Carolyn to gather some ideas about how to execute my side seam split. I ended up cutting through the seam allowance just where I wanted the split to end, folding the seams under twice, top stitching all around. For a muslin, I’m pleased with the results. This top is in regular rotation and I feel quite comfortable in it. The next time around, I think I’ll lower the entire bottom by a couple centimeters and cut the side seam above the end of the split so that it’s all well secured.

I’m planning to use the fabric in the last picture for at least one Sorbetto. It’s a lovely drapey bit I picked up at the Stoffenkamer during our trip to Ghent. I’m scared of cutting into it and then trying to sew with it. It will be my first experience with a delicate fabric and it’s all a bit intimidating. The other thing is that I don’t usually wear any bold patterns and this is, well, rather bold and pattern. It’s going to be a very interesting project!

This is one of the few pattern sewing projects I’ve done lately. It seems most of my sewing has been from self-drafted patterns. It occurred to me, however, that this is a bit of folly. Of course, I need to sew from patterns a lot more in order to learn how they work, how they are put together, how to adjust and fit them. It’s intimidating to me to think of all that work. In particular, I find the idea of learning to fit patterns properly rather frightening. It might be time to invest in one of the nice books about alterations I’ve seen around. Any suggestions?

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