For the July installment in the Summer of PDF Sewing Patterns, I went with a pattern that cost $0. That’s right—the Sorbetto top from Colette Patterns 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
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.
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.)