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Sunshine-sewn Sorbetto

July 7, 2011

Everywhere you look these days, you’ll find a lovely Sorbetto on a lovely seamster.  Well, at least in the sewing blogosphere…I’ve yet to run into someone on the street sporting this little top, but I bet it will happen.   This popular little number is a) free, b) easy and c) cute, so it deserves all this love from us out in sewing community.

I was visiting my family for the recent holiday, and what better way to celebrate independence (in this case, independence from the racks of new clothes begging to be bought) than by whipping up a quick and easy-breezy summer top in the great outdoors?  Mom and I set up shop on the patio for a little girl time while R tended our every whim and desire, pouring champagne and feeding us grapes.  Okay, okay…he was outside doing manly things, like tending the slow-roasting pork for pulled pork sandwiches.  That grill was tempting us all day long. (Still, pretty charmed life over at threadsquare, huh?  And yeah, will all the chatting, this took longer than it should have.)

Let me say that I wasn’t certain at first if I’d get on the Sorbetto bandwagon.  It’s cute, but I wasn’t sure if it was “me”, being all loose and swingy.  Also, I was convinced that if I made one, I’d invert the box pleat.  But I do like it.  Such a basic, simple summer top, with lots of embellishment and alteration potential, and oh-so-perfect for beginners.  My version might be right on the edge of lunch lady land smock, but let’s also say it’s close to Betty Draper in the garden.

Oops...looks like I need to iron out a snag

I may not be purchasing fabric at the mo’, but I can still acquire it, right?  I fell in love with this vintage print in Mum’s sewing room, and thought the candy cane would make a sweet contrast for the bias trim. This textile is old, and despite pre-washing, there is still some yellowing, either from age or having survived a house fire decades ago.  I liked it too much to be swayed, and maybe-just-maybe the yellowing will disappear with successive Borax soaks.

You can see the yellowing along the folded edges on this back view

This is stitched up in a size 6, which gives me 2″ of bust ease (thank you sooo much, Colette, for including this info!), but I could probably still slip it on if I went down a size.  Didn’t bother with any alterations, and the serger was inside, upstairs, with dark thread.  In a pinch, just stitch, zig-zag, pink.  It worked for generations prior.

Shoulder & side seams were stitched, zig-zagged & pinked.

Mum did suggest a quilter’s trick for the bias binding.  The directions call for opening the bias strip, stitch right side facing wrong side of garment, then turning out & under and top/edge stitching.  It’s simpler to fold the bias in half, wrong sides together, then stitch this folded piece on the inside of the garment, close to the edge.  Then, all you need to do is fold the bias to the outside and top/edge stitch.  Raw edges are encased, and you’re not fiddling with keeping an even fold on the bias for that final pass under the machine.  Voila!

Hopefully this better illustrates my explanation of the binding application

So go sew yourself a Sorbetto this very instant.  For all my friends who think they can’t sew, this is the perfect project to prove otherwise, and give you a quick confidence boost.  I’ll say it again: it’s ridiculously easy, fast and adorable.  You’ll spend most of your time cutting & taping the pattern pieces together, and making bias tape, if you choose that route.  But just go purchase some if that intimidates you.  And show me your results!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2011 12:10 pm

    I love the pairing of the calico and stripes! Really cute. I’ve used the bias binding technique but have always turned the binding to the inside and topstitched. I never thought about doing it the other way around. Such a nice way to showcase unique fabric. For a solid color bias binding it would also look nice topstitched with a twin needle in a contrasting color.
    Thanks for linking to my Sorbetto!

    • threadsquare permalink*
      July 8, 2011 3:29 pm

      Ooh, good idea with the twin needle! I’m definitely going to try some pintucking…though without the proper foot, we’ll see how it goes.

      • July 10, 2011 8:00 pm

        Interesting! Now, I’m curious to find out if pintucks are possible without a grooved foot. The only reason why I used one for mine was to accommodate the cording but I hadn’t thought about whether or not I would need one for non-corded pintucks. Hmm….

      • July 11, 2011 11:16 am

        Your comment inspired me to do a little experiment with pintucks and feet. With lightweight fabrics and the tension dial set to a higher number (Do you say up or down in that case? I don’t know.) it’s absolutely possible to form a pintuck with a standard machine foot. I didn’t try any on heavier fabrics so I can’t say for sure if it would work but I would imagine that they would be a little more resistant. You can see pictures on my blog post.
        I hope to see you try the technique out!

  2. August 9, 2011 4:14 am

    That candy cane bias is adorable! Love your Sorbetto. I’ve made three and keeping wondering is I should stop…

    • threadsquare permalink*
      August 9, 2011 8:59 am

      Thanks :) I need to make more… they are so fun, but I’ve been distracted with other projects. No need to mess with a good thing. I say keep making them!!!


  1. Featured Seamstress: Lavender | Coletterie

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