Sorbetto Part II: The Crop Top

colette sorbetto crop top

Weekend sewing > weekday sewing. I don’t remember the last time I’ve churned out two items of clothing within a four-day span, and it feels gooood. On an average weekday, I might break into a cold sweat at the thought of making and applying bias tape sometime in between an after-work run and dinner. This glorious morning, I sat with a cup of coffee while listening to Marc Maron’s charming neurotic rants, happily pinning bias tape to the edges of my nearly finished Sorbetto #2. Having nowhere to be and nothing to do on Sunday mornings has become my favorite (non)pastime. That and screaming at the TV during World Cup games. I had no clue soccer was so full of drama and biting! Anywho, on to the garment:

colette sorbetto crop top

I’m a big fan of the structured, polished crop tops that have been dominating runways and fashion blogs this summer, but I couldn’t seem to find what I envisioned (or one that was worth the $70 at Topshop). After whipping up my first Sorbetto a few days ago, I thought it might be the perfect candidate for a pattern-hack crop top.

All I did to alter the pattern (which I’d already tweaked for the last Sorbetto) was take off 3″ of length and decrease most of the flare that occurs toward the hem.

colette sorbetto crop top
a “headed to the pharmacy” selfie

I love this Amy Butler fabric—it’s billed as a quilting cotton, and I think the added heft really helps achieve a more structured look. At 3″ shorter than the original, the length is perfect. Here, I’m wearing the top over a lightweight jersey slip dress (I’m all for the no-skin-showing crop top), but I can see pairing this with a midi skirt or even some pants or shorts if they hit high enough on the waist.

colette sorbetto crop top
blurry pic + derpy face

The one thing I dislike about this top is the armholes. Somehow, these armholes are higher than my first Sorbetto, even though I cut them from the same pattern. I wore this top around for a few hours today, and it was comfortable, but my armpits could definitely stand for some more breathing room. I’m wondering if it just feels tighter since this top is a thicker cotton, rather than a lightweight chambray? Either way, I’m going to give it another wear and then decide whether or not I want to hack those armholes down.

Now that I’ve made a couple Sorbettos, I feel like I owe it to the ladies at Colette to cough up for a non-free pattern of theirs. Any favorites?

Hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend filled with lots of fireworks and patriotic Jell-O molds!


Chambray Colette Sorbetto Top

Colette Sorbetto top

For the July installment in the Summer of PDF Sewing Patterns, I went with a pattern that cost $0. That’s right—the Colette Sorbetto top is a FREE download! If you sew, this is probably super old news. I admit that I’ve seen images of this shirt (and hacks of this shirt) floating around the blogosphere for awhile now, but I’d never actually taken the plunge myself. Am I glad I finally did? I…. think so.

After reading what felt like 10,000 reviews of Sorbetto, I decided to make a few adjustments to the pattern before cutting out my fabric. For the record, I’m 6’0, wear a size 6/8 in dresses, and have a broad back and a long torso. Using Colette’s sizing chart as a guide, I cut a 6.

Colette Sorbetto pattern

Some reviewers mentioned that the top cut into their armpit, so I cut the armhole down to where it is for the size 12. I also cut the neckline down about 1″, because I get a little sweaty/panicky with high-cut necklines. My clavicle needs to breathe, y’alls. For length, I added 2″ to the waist area and about 1/2″ to the hem.

One of the most common complaints I’d seen was that the bust darts were waaaay too high. Since my whole upper half—from shoulder to hipbone—is long, I figured I’d need to lower the bust dart. Full disclosure: For some reason, I hate tracing bust darts onto fabric. That said, I tried to trace equal darts onto both side of the bodice, at roughly where the size 12 darts lie north/south and where the size 6 darts lie east/west.

On to the actual sewing!

Colette Sorbetto top


  • The pattern was super easy to follow. The directions are spot on, and thanks to their in-house continuous bias binding tutorial, I now know how to make tons of bias tape from a measly 10″x10″ fabric leftover.
continuous bias binding
Scrap of fabric destined for the trash becomes…
bias binding
…nearly 100″ of binding. Magic!
  • The pleat! I’ve never made anything with a pleat before, and I love it. It was super easy with the help of a nice steamy iron. (Sidenote: my old starter Rowenta has a broken handle and leaks water everywhere—any tips on good irons?)
  • It requires very little fabric. I bought 1.5 yards of this Robert Kaufman lightweight chambray, and I probably have enough leftover to make another shirt.
  • Comfort. It feels like I’m wearing pajamas. (Hell, maybe it looks like I’m wearing pajamas, too.)

Colette Sorbetto top


  • It’s short. Even after adding length in the torso and the hem, it felt a little cropped. Maybe that’s just the style of the shirt. Either way, I prefer my tops a little longer, especially if they’re woven.
  • The darts are too high. Surprise! My half-assed attempt to place these darts didn’t work. In fact, one was almost a full inch higher than the other (it was barely grazing boob at this point), so I had to seam rip that sucker and re-sew it. This was after I’d already sewn the side seams. Needless to say, I’m very happy my lightweight fabric stood up the the challenge of exasperated me + a seam ripper.
  • The bottom is slightly flared. It doesn’t necessarily look bad, it’s just not my style.
  • It’s a little tight in the upper back. It’s not uncomfortable, but since the rest of the shirt is so breezy, I’d like a little more breathing room for my oversize ribcage.

Fourth of July outfit

Overall, I’d say the pattern itself is well-drafted and includes amazing directions. (Colette really lives up to it’s motto, “Patterns that teach.”) Because a lot of Colette’s patterns are vintage-inspired, I think they might run a little short for me. I like the Sorbetto I made, but it’s a little swingy at the bottom for me. With it tucked into my red-white-and-blue shorts, I might just have a Fourth of July outfit on my hands. Now all I need is a Budweiser and a ketchup stain running down my chest.

Colette Sorbetto top

Anywho, I’m excited to take another stab at Sorbetto with a different fabric, maybe trying one of the fun modifications I’ve seen (like this scalloped edge) or trying a crop top version. Has anyone tried a crop? I’m curious to know before I go wasting fabric and end up crying in a heap of leftover thread and crumpled pattern pieces. (This has never happened.)

Happy Fourth!