Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sewing Project: Sorbetto Top

If you have a computer, and you surf the internet about sewing, you know about the Sorbetto top. If you don't do either of those things...well, then you're not reading this review! You can download the FREE pattern at the link above, and you can sew this top up in no time. I made this entire top in a size 0 (including the bias tape) from 1 yard of 58" voile. And it only cost $3!

Cotton voile from Fabric.com

I typically don't work with woven fabrics, unless it's for my daughter. I was excited to try this pattern because it seems like a can't-fail kind of thing, and it takes so little fabric that I could whip one up out of anything. Basically, I wanted a gateway top for wovens, and the Sorbetto did the trick.

I traced off the size 0 and after tissue fitting was concerned that the armholes might need to be dropped. But I decided to go ahead and sew it up and see how I liked it before doing anything. Turns out, it was fine. Thank goodness for my skinny weak arms?

Believe it or not, I've been sewing for 9 months and have never sewn a dart. It seems crazy, but the only other woven shirt I've made for myself was Simplicity 2447 and it used bias cut panels over the bust, no darts. I didn't think about this ahead of time, but putting darts into a striped fabric probably could have turned out super wonky if I didn't put them in straight. I had a bit of good luck and the darts are barely noticeable in their particular stripe.

One part I did struggle with was the bias tape binding. Colette Patterns has a great tutorial on making your own continuous bias tape. From a square that was 11 inches x 11 inches I made enough tape for my whole shirt, with a bit left over. I actually had a hard time with making the bias tape. I don't know why it was so difficult, but the step where you offset the stripes and pin was SO frustrating. Once it was done, I was glad I did it, but it was still annoying. It helped that I had just finished a different top with store-bought bias tape and it. was. awful. I hate making bias tape, but I hate that polyester crap almost as much.

Here's where I confess my bad habit with bindings. I don't double fold on the inside of my garment. You can see in the photo above that the binding on the inside back neckline is raw. To be honest, I don't have the patience (or skill) to press 1 inch tape along the center, and then again in a 1/4 inch segment. Even if I had the patience to press it, I don't have the skill to sew it well and catch all the layers. So, unless I learn to make wider tape or I suddenly have lots of free time, this is my current method. Hate me if you must!

This picture also shows a bit of wonkiness with the bias tape. I'm not exactly sure why it's not laying completely flat. I suspect that when making my tape, it wasn't cut precisely on the bias. I've pressed it a zillion times and it only helps a little. It's probably okay with this type of fabric, which is wrinkly anyway no matter what I do, so it looks pretty casual.

When (not if!) I make this again, I'll probably curve it in a bit to make more of a waist. My husband said it looked too boxy. I also added a few inches to the length and may even add a bit more. I typically like my shirts to cover my waistband, since I'm constantly bending over to pick up my troublesome curious 1 year old.

The voile is a little see-through in real life, but from far away you can't tell. Yes, I know it's February, but if I don't start on summer clothes now, they won't be done in time! 


  1. Um, it seriously looks amazing. I don't think it looks too boxy - I'd wear that out in a heartbeat!! I'm the same way, though - I typically like my shirts to cover my waistband. I'm tall-ish (5'7"), but I have shorty short short legs and a looong torso. I was so excited when long shirts came back in style when I was in high school. I was so tired of wearing undershirts, haha. Again, seriously love the shirt.

  2. Wow, thank you! It's definitely one of those tops that looks better on and moving than it does on a hanger. I feel your pain with undershirts, especially in the summer. Who wants all those extra layers??

  3. Another person who doesn't finish the inside of necklines very well - welcome to the club! (My armholes look like that too.) I think your top looks awesome.

    1. Yeah, the armholes look the same! Glad to hear I'm not alone! With this top, I've decided that the slightly frayed look of the binding goes well with the casual wrinkles of the voile. At least, that's the lovely story I tell myself!


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