Just one Sorbetto (okay, two)

A bit late to the party as usual, but I’ve finally got round to sewing some Sorbetto tops from Colette Patterns. Apart from their lovely patterns, Colette are great at social media marketing, and have tons of free tips and patterns on their blog. They’ve played a blinder releasing the Sorbetto – it’s a perfect basic tank top, with a 60s-esque inverted pleat down the front, and has spread through sewing blogs like a particularly virulent strain of crafting flu.

If you remove the pleat, it’s also a dead ringer for the legendary Simplicity 2599, another sewing blogger favourite, which has tons and tons of variations, also applicable to the Sorbetto. Basically it’s a keeper.

I made the first version of yellow plaid seersucker, left over from making some pyjamas last year.Yellow Sorbetto from Colette Patterns

I probably should have ironed it before taking this photo but you get the general idea.

This version doesn’t fit very well – I sewed a 14 and it was tight at the chest and way too big at the sides, back, and armholes. Also the neckline gaped open (probably because of the tightness). I took it in a bit at the sides which solved the problem a little bit. It’s definitely wearable though as the fabric is lovely.

I made my own bias binding using this little gadget for the first time. It does make it easier, but it’s still fiddly and annoying to do. Somehow I managed to iron the bias tape THE WRONG WAY ROUND like an idiot, which meant ten minutes of swearing and burnt fingers as I ironed out all of those lovely bias folds I had so carefully ironed in.

I also used the Colette patterns tutorial for a continuous method of making binding which completely blew my mind, as someone who is incapable of thinking in 3D (bit of a hindrance when it comes to sewing). So thank you Colette patterns! The binding gives it a lovely clean finish and looks nice with the pleat.

Sorbetto close-up

I butchered the poor pattern up for my second attempt. It looks fairly drastic but the main thing I did was put in a FBA so it wasn’t so tight around the chest, and added a centre-back seam so I could take out some of the excess ease.

(I have an unhealthy addiction to doing FBAs as it makes me feel like a cross between a heart surgeon and a structural engineer. This may mean I need to get out more.)

Altered Sorbetto pattern

The FBA makes the top bigger at the waist, but it hangs well. I don’t think I did the swayback adjustment properly as I just added in the excess fabric at the bottom to make the seam straight, totally defeating the point. What am I missing here? However adding in a back seam and cutting quite a bit of fabric off it worked well and it looks better at the back.Blue sorbetto top from Colette PatternsThis is Ghanaian wax-print fabric, which I bought in a shop just off Brick Lane from two extremely nice women. You buy this stuff in bundles which are normally about 6 metres each, and it’s incredibly cheap – in this case just a tenner. It’s sold like this that you can get a full outfit of of it, including a skirt, top, headdress etc. In my case I’ve already made a dress and two cushion covers out of the same stuff.

African wax print Sorbetto
The wax-print stuff is quite thick cotton, which softens up more and more each time you wash it.

I also changed up the pleat in the middle, making one big pleat in the middle and two little ones either side, as you can sort of see in this photo. I just pinked the seams using my trusty rotary cutter blade. This is definitely the lazy girl’s way of finishing seams, and therefore I endorse it heartily.

I noticed that with all the blog posts about Sorbetto there were not nearly enough puns about ice-cream. I have attempted to rectify this oversight with my closing paragraph (see below). Colette Patterns, if you want to use this as marketing copy, please go ahead. It’s my pleasure.

This is a deliciously tasty pattern, and you definitely won’t get any frosty looks when you wear it! In fact, you’ll be icy cool! Whatever your outfit, it’ll be the perfect topping! Other patterns will melt away in comparison! So take a lick at the Sorbetto!

Sorry about that.


4 thoughts on “Just one Sorbetto (okay, two)

  1. Kelsey April 17, 2014 / 1:39 AM

    My sorbetto was a DISASTER! This is just the push I needed to try again.

  2. Ruth June 16, 2013 / 11:17 AM

    You completely got the point with the swayback adjustment. It is a length adjustment, not width (waist) so you totally should straighten the back seam. Most well-known bloggers who talk about needing a CB seam for this adjustment have NO idea what they are talking about. It should be a horizontal “dart” in the pattern before cutting, not a vertical dart or adjustment in the fabric – that’s a waist adjustment, not swayback.

  3. Marnie December 3, 2011 / 9:48 PM

    Ahh Brick Lane, you made me all nostalgic for London. Great post, thanks. Am just about to embark on a sorbetto of my own. I think I’ll give the double pleat idea a go. marnie

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