The pattern for Sorbetto, a sleeveless top, is a free download from Seamwork. You can get yours here.
There are three views: a sleeveless top, a longer sleeveless top and a top with short sleeves:
I thought it would be great to have a basic blouse pattern and like the simplicity of this one.
First I made version 1 in a woven rayon print, and here’s the result:
This top was easy to sew and fairly quick to make. It fits me reasonably well. (The bust dart is in the right place – kind of a surprise since I’ve been lowering bust darts on everything – so if your girls are perky, you might want to double-check its location before you cut.) You can see that the front pleat kind of disappears when you use a print fabric.
I don’t love the top, though, and had to think about that. Why does it feel frumpy?
I went back and looked at the pattern pictures from the Colette website. The orange top actually looks a bit snug at the underarm on the model and the top definitely is more narrow in the shoulders than mine, especially across the back. I bound the seams instead of turning under the seam allowance, but that only adds 1/4″. The shoulders on my blouse are too wide, even for Nell.
Cutting for my bust size and ending up with a top that’s too wide in the shoulders is a familiar issue for me. It isn’t a huge deal with a sleeveless blouse, but means I don’t want to make the version with sleeves until I work that out. The top also catches me a bit across the hips when I sit down, which means it needs to be either wider at the hem or shorter overall.
One issue at a time. I decided to try a version with a shirt tail hem. I chose another woven rayon print from my stash. Both of these rayon prints came from Fabricland, and I think they were both included in a huge feature of rayon prints at $5/m last year. I love woven rayon prints and bought a bunch of yardage then. I’ve cut a dress out of each of these prints, so cut these blouses from the remnants, using the rayon as muslin. This rayon, though, is much softer than the navy one, which is more crisp, and wow, what a difference that made. There is nothing that can make you regret a million miles of bias binding like a soft, floaty fabric! After much gnashing of teeth, here’s the result:
It turns out that I don’t love the shirt tail hem, plus I had some issues getting it right at the side seams – because I’d felled the seams. One side is great; the other, not so much. (grrrr.) There is a tech article in this month’s Threads magazine about that very challenge, so I’ll have a look and learn.
This is a top of many errors – I was sure the print wasn’t a one-way design but I was only looking at the wider stripes. Look how the narrow ones between those wider ones alternate. Oops. It IS a one-way design, but I had to invert the back to cut it out of the remnant.
I also inverted the front pleat by mistake. (No pix. I forgot.) And I originally sewed the front pleat as a tuck at the neck and didn’t sew it down. This made a floaty top, but also made me look a LOT more buxom than I am by creating a deep shadow at center-front between the girls. (You could do that on purpose if you wanted to look more curvy.)
That look was a non-starter for me. I took the neck apart, fixed the direction of the pleat and sewed it down for just 8″, leaving the lower part of it open. This was mostly because I didn’t want to re-do the hem, but actually, it works well with the fabric this way.
In comparing the two test tops, I much prefer the crisper rayon. The shoulders are still too wide, but I didn’t want to just trim them back because the neckline is a bit wide, too. (That explains the frump factor.) Instead, I pinned in the center back seam, as if I’d trimmed off 3/4″ and tried it on (to make sure it would go over my head). It did and fits much better through the neck. I don’t want to redo that bias binding, but that gave me a modification for future tops.
I went back to my pattern and modified it. I cut an inch off the hem, cut 3/4″ off the center back of the back pattern piece, and re-angled the side seams so that they’re 3/8″ wider at the hem. The additions to the side seams make up the 1.5″ taken out of the center-back so the hem is the same finished width.
Then I cut another Sorbetto in Kaffe Fassett cotton in one of his yarn-dyed stripe fabrics. I hemmed this one with self-bias because I thought it needed some structure at the hem to hang properly. It also would be better in a crisper fabric than the Exotic Stripe, but here it is!
I’m pleased with this version. 🙂 And now, I have a pattern to make LOTS of quick summer tops in a hurry. Ha.