Exposed bias facing on the Sorbetto Top by Colette Patterns

Sewing the Sorbetto Top

When I was compiling my sewing curriculum I became familiar with the Coletterie blog and found an excellent article on How to Build Sewing Skills if You’re an Absolute Beginner (The Art and Science of Skill Building). I connected with Sarai’s story of ambitious sewing adventures: getting in over her head (been there) and the frustration that ensues when things don’t go right (definitely been there). Since she seemed to speaking directly to me, it seemed wise to start with garment sewing the way she recommends: with a pillow (check!) then the Sorbetto Top by Colette Patterns.

After exploring the enormous fan club of sewers who’ve made their own Sorbettos I put it at the top of my garment-sewing list.

The Sorbetto is a great candidate for getting familiar with garment sewing because it’s very basic, with no sleeves or closures. And it features exposed bias facing. I have a mild obsession with making my own bias tape. There are just so many possibilities when it comes to choosing colors and patterns to coordinate with the main fabrics, I feel like I could spend a lifetime just exploring that one element.

Sorbetto Top in muslin

Since my goal right now is to learn learn learn, I made my top out of muslin to take the pressure off in case it didn’t turn out well. The thought of gambling with my treasured stash was too much to handle. I also decided not to do any pattern fitting for this project, and sewed the pattern as printed.

This really was a great pattern for getting more comfortable with garment sewing. It’s not complicated and the instructions are clear. I’m happy with my binding around the neck and arm holes, but way the finished shoulder and side seams peek out from under the bound edges bugs me. If I make this top again, I’d like to find a way to improve those areas.

And some pattern adjustments would help it fit me better:

  • shorten the bust dart so it’s not going all the way to the apex
  • lengthen the top
  • lower the bottom edge of the arm holes
  • decrease the width at the bust line to reduce gaping under the arms

Making this top is a big milestone for me — it’s been on my mind for months, so actually getting it made feels like an accomplishment. Next up is pattern fitting with Joi Mahon’s Craftsy classes, Fast-Track Fitting and Fast-Track Fitting: In the Details.

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