Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Quick Blue and Orange Sorbetto Top

Here is a super-simple and quickly sewn top - the Sorbetto.  A very satisfying thing to make when time is short or you want fast results.  A new top is always lovely to have when inspiration strikes, as it did with me recently, and I needed something new to wear before the day is out!  This is a bus-stop selfie on my way to the office and I’m wearing the Sorbetto with my extremely ancient, battered, navy blue leather jacket. Fortunately the battered bits (worn elbows, slashed arm, faded bits and frayed bits!) can be cropped away in the photos!

I love that jacket though, even more for its age and visible signs of wear and tear and even though I’ve got a brand new and utterly decadent black one from Reiss, the familiar blue bruiser still gets wheeled out from time to time.  I think I’ve had this old jacket for about 20 years now.  It was a birthday present when I was young and had just moved to London, so it has many years of good memories attached to it. It also has the battle scars of many clubs, pubs, gigs and cloakrooms, and generally being carted everywhere and worn to bits.  In fact it might possibly the oldest thing in my wardrobe that I have had from new and still wear (so if my new black one lasts half the time this one has, it will have done well)!

Anyway, back to the new top.  This is a free pattern that you can just download straight from the very popular Collette patterns collection, with the Sorbetto pdf here.  This has been well used by many sewists over the last few years because it’s just so versatile as well as stylish and simple to create.  I followed the pattern just as printed (two pieces only so very minimal effort needed to piece together and cut out) but then added sleeves also.  There are tutorials on the web about how to do this; here is one with a free pre-drafted sleeve pdf ready to download.

The top has no fastenings and is only shaped at the seams and with two darts, so is fairly loose fitting and breezy.  There is a nice box pleat at the front adding subtle detail, but you could actually omit this if you wanted the top to be plain at the front (or if you’re trying to squeeze this top out of a smaller piece of fabric).

Similarly you could customise it by adding buttons, stitching, edging or any other trim to the pleat itself.  The neckline edge is finished with bias binding, again you could customise by using a contrast colour.  You could also very easily adjust the neckline itself to give you more or less coverage at the front and/or back as you wish.  This pattern is a really good place to start for some beginner pattern hacking and you could enjoy having some fun with it. 

The fabric I’ve chosen here is a summery, light cotton print in some of my favourite and most-worn colours this spring and summer, blues and oranges on a white background.  The same material has been used to cut my own bias binding for the neck.  I only needed just over a meter of the main fabric to cut a size 12 in this.  I’d like to make some more of these to take with me on my holidays this year, perhaps in multiple colours to mix and match with cropped trousers or jeans, a grey one with maybe bright bias binding to contrast and definitely one in white too.  Super-speedy-sorbetto!

I've been dabbling with some quite quick sewing makes and also a bit of design inspiration and diy at home (more on that later, involving quite a lot of yellow paint).  This comes after my rather intensive Shirt Therapy blogged here previously. So I've also had time to have some fun on Instagram with a new project set up by the truly inspirational blogger, Catherine from notdressedaslamb.  As a fellow blogger who likes to promote the stylish over 40's woman, Catherine has been kicking against the idea of what is deemed 'not age appropriate' and has set up the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike celebrating 30 days in August with a different 'banned' item each day.  Here's the original blog post if you fancy looking at the full list what, apparently, you're no longer allowed to include in your wardrobe or apply to your bod after you hit 30 years old.  Then head over to the Instragram group during August and see us all enthusiastically breaking the rules!

Find me on Instagram @studio63designs


  1. Love the colours and style of this top; thanks for the link, you've inspired me to have a go at sewing one myself.

  2. Brilliant, I hope you do. It's a good project for a quick sew! Sarah