Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sewing Project: Knit Sorbetto top

I'm so excited about today's post! Ever since I finished my first Sorbetto I was determined to make another in a knit fabric. The pattern isn't too complicated, and I thought it would be as simple as removing the dart and redrawing the side seam lines. I think I still have some tweaking to do to my pattern, but I'm making great headway!

To "remove" the dart from the pattern, I folded my paper together as if I were "making" the dart in my paper. Then I laid the pattern piece on top of another piece of paper, and sketched out the new side seam. I double-checked my line by placing a similar RTW knit tank top on my paper and making sure I was on the right track. Then I flattened the dart back out and drew the original armhole, shoulder, neckline, and hem.

I have lengthened it once already, but I'm still not in love, so I think I'll be slashing my pattern at the narrowest waistline portion, and lengthening it again. Since I didn't want to get too crazy, I did not alter the back pattern piece. It worked out fine, but I think I need to remove some fullness from center-back. In fact, I made a note to myself to do that after I finished my first Sorbetto, and I forgot. Whoops.

Even though I took the sides in some, my husband still thinks it looks too big (he said "I'm sensing a theme" he thinks everything I make is too big). Help me out here, fellow Sorbetto sewists, is this top too big, or am I just not used to wearing a wide-neck blouse?? I seriously can't tell if I need to make it smaller, or get used to the look.

The reason I'm so excited about this particular top (I mean, aside from how awesome it will be to make a zillion of these in all the knits I have) is the lace I used in place of bias tape. Stroke of genius if I don't mind saying. I've been looking for some narrow black lace for a different project and happened to see this at Wal-Mart of all places:

And the best part? It was $1 for 3 yards. !!! If you go looking for this stuff, it was with the ribbons and it was in these plastic globe thingies. I wouldn't have even noticed it except that there were a few open and spilling onto the floor. Ew. I didn't buy those, I picked a clean one.

I intended to make bias tape for this top, but happened to still have that lace sitting on my sewing table while working. "Aha!" I said. "Will this work?" (Not out loud...unless there was a baby/dog/cat in the room...then it's okay to talk out loud). It folded over PERFECTLY without any pressing, coaxing, or cursing. I practiced on a scrap, and with black thread I could sew anywhere over it and not see the stitches. I first sewed half of it down on the inside of the neckline:

Then I folded it over and sewed the second half down on the outside. When it came time for the armholes, I just pinned it a lot and was able to sew it all with one pass. (Seriously, do you hear the angels singing about how much easier this was than making bias tape???)

I love how the scallops on the lace correspond with the circle motif on the fabric. So pretty. Oh! And I also love this Sorbetto because I made a double pleat in the front.

Okay, so you can't see it from far away because of the print. But I can see it while I'm wearing it. Here's a photo while I was still pinning it in place:

Making the double pleat (is there a real term besides "double pleat"?) was easy, just a tad time-consuming. I made one tiny pleat first, then sewed along the original pleat line for a larger pleat.

The part that took so long was neatly flattening both pleats and pressing them. Even with aggressive pressing, the pleats were sort of flopping around, so I tacked them down in a few places with coordinating thread. You could also flip up the small pleat and sew right underneath it:

Side note, can someone give me some feedback about this black skirt I'm wearing? I've had it for years (from Old Navy) and I've never been able to LOVE it. It has all these pretty eyelet and pintuck details, but something about it has always been off to me. Maybe the length?

PHEW! Hopefully this post wasn't too long, but I didn't get many results when I Googled knit Sorbettos, so if I can help someone else looking for info then I'm happy to assist. And seriously, I need feedback about the size, so help me!

Psst...did you see today's Thrifty Thursday deal over at Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop? Today only, the adorable Sailor Shorts pattern is only $4!


  1. This is just adorable! Love the fabric, double pleat, print and color also your lace 'bias' works perfectly. I have the same problem making things too big. I do think you could go down a size especially with using a knit. Great review!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Carla! I think I'll try taking out a smidge of fullness from CF and CB to see if that gets me the husband stamp of approval!

  2. Colette patterns designs for a C-cup, so maybe that could be your culprit? I always have to take a tuck from the back whenever I make a Colette, otherwise I get that hunchback/dowager look. About the skirt--the length is too long (anything that skims just below the knee ends up looking dumpy--it has to hit above the top of the kneecap, or higher). In addition, you have the figure to pull off a slim, fitting skirt--maybe take it in and make a pencil version, or maybe a mermaid, using the ruffle? (Your husband would dig it!) Also, if the top is blousy the bottom has to be fitted, and vice versa; otherwise it'll always look frumpy.

    There it is: I just channeled my Nana!

    1. These are awesome suggestions! I wrote this post almost a year ago and since then, I've figured out the problem with skirt length. For me at least, it definitely works better to have it hit at the top of the kneecap like you suggest. I like the mermaid skirt idea, that sounds cool! And you're right, the proportions of this particular outfit (blousy top and bottom) are all off. Your Nana is a smart cookie! :)


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