A Sunday Sorbetto


Time for Teal (2)

In case you thought I had totally given up on dressmaking in favour of patchwork and kitten rearing, I thought I’d post about a ‘wearable’ fabric item for a change.

Ages ago I showed you some fabrics I had bought on a shopping trip to Toulouse and, almost as long ago, I actually started to make something out of one of those fabrics. Since then, it has been on a hanger in my sewing room waiting for the warmer weather to make an appearance and inspire me to finish it.

DSC_0001 (5)

Nothing exciting really, just a Sorbetto with sleeves but I thought it suited this gauzy fabric and the pleat down the front serves as a little ‘modesty panel’ because, as you can see below, you would need to have your best bra on if standing in front of a sunny window.

As the fabric is so fine, I used French seams.  These are apparently called English seams here in France in the same way (sort of) that those horrible ‘hole in the ground’ loos are called ‘Turkish toilets’ by the French but ‘French toilets’ by the Turks.  This is according to my friend Sandra who may well be mistaken – although she is French so I tend to take her word for these things.

french seams

The fact that I had run out of good weather by the time this top was nearly finished last October was not the only reason for the delay but I decided an ordinary hem wouldn’t look right on the fine fabric and wanted to do a rolled hem.  I can never be bothered to change the spools on my overlocker unless it is for a VERY good reason and I also don’t like unscrewing one of the needles in order to do a rolled hem so I kept putting it off.   The jersey pencil skirt I made recently, however, required a navy thread and, as a bonus, I broke the left hand needle while I was overlocking the seams so that presented me with the perfect opportunity to do a rolled hem on the blouse and complete an early ‘me-made’ addition to my Summer wardrobe.

rolled hem

I put it on for the photo but it hadn’t quite reached ‘thin blouse temperatures’ as you can tell by the tights so it’ll be going in the wardrobe until it warms up  a bit more.

bluebirdblouse (1)

I wish that Romeo bloke would just leave me alone.

The top photo – to get back to patchwork for a minute – is the second block I’m going to be sending off to Kate for her ‘Time for Teal’ quilt she is making to raise funds for ovarian cancer.  It’s been ages since I made a Dresden Plate block – I hope that doesn’t show too much – and big thanks to Ali at Thimberlina for sending me some pieces of leftover teal fabric she had after she also made blocks for Kate.  I was having trouble finding the right colours in my stash or in the limited local fabric shops.

I’ve just eaten a home-made hot cross bun – courtesy of my daughter – and I’m intending to tuck into some chocolate Easter egg tonight – courtesy of Mr. T .

A Happy Easter to you too.


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  1. #1 by Thimberlina on March 27, 2016 - 15:58

    Happy Easter to you too!
    Your Sorbetto looks perfect for the soon to be warmer weather, but I’m just wondering if Romeo’s a bit shy with floaty nearly see threw top!? Did you make up the sleeve pattern yourself, I love my past Sorbettos but they’d be more useful with sleeves. Your Dresden plate looks fab – I like the pointy and rounded segments (right word?!) together. It’s going to look great when Kate pieces it all together. Hope it raises lots of money 😀

  2. #3 by katechiconi on March 27, 2016 - 15:59

    You do better than me! I look at the overlocker, then at my garment, then at the sewing machine overlocking stitch, and go “nah, too hard”. One of these days I’ll get it out, change the thread and get going, and then I suspect I’ll be unstoppable. Lovely top, and lovely dresden plate, which is going to look a treat on the ‘Teal Table’.

    • #4 by tialys on March 27, 2016 - 20:42

      Kate! Nothing is too hard for you. I refuse to believe it.

      • #5 by katechiconi on March 28, 2016 - 00:44

        It’s more a question of space. I’d have to lug the thing out, move the sewing machine, set up the overlocker, do a few seams and then reverse the whole process. If I had a bigger table I’d probably leave it set up and then it would get a good workout on a frequent basis.

      • #6 by tialys on March 28, 2016 - 09:23

        It’s like kitchen equipment isn’t it? If you don’t leave that stand mixer and blender set up and ready to go, you’ll never use them. Have you got room for a separate small table just for the overlocker? If so you could probably pick up a little one for peanuts in a local ‘junk’ shop.

      • #7 by katechiconi on March 28, 2016 - 11:48

        I do indeed keep the stand mixer and blender out… It kind of needs to be kept on something with wheels so I can move it out of the way easily. I’m already shifting things around a lot. If I get into a phase of doing a lot of dressmaking, it’ll be worth keeping it out.

  3. #8 by Johanna on March 27, 2016 - 17:39

    Happy Easter to you! I follow your blog with great pleasure. I like your Sorbetto with sleeves very much. Like Thimberlina I also would like to know how you made the sleeves?

  4. #11 by Fred the Needle on March 27, 2016 - 17:48

    Love the top – it looks great on you. It was interesting to read about your ‘french seams’ being called English seams… language is fascinating. The plate block looks fantastic – lovely work.

  5. #13 by Jan Marriott on March 27, 2016 - 18:18

    neat fabrics ….both the block and the blouse.

  6. #15 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on March 27, 2016 - 21:57

    I never heard the name “sorbetto”for a blouse. Yours is beautiful. Those birds on the fabric are the same as the fabric I used on Kate’s teal blocks. I don’t have an overlocker, and haven’t tried a rolled hem on the Bernina, but I used to do them often and easily on my old cheapo bog-standard Singer! I made loads of loose covers and curtain frills with rolled hems.

    • #16 by tialys on March 28, 2016 - 09:30

      Thank you Viv. It’s a pattern by the independent company ‘Colette’ and ‘Sorbetto’ is their name for it. It is a free pattern you can download from their site.
      I knew those birds looked familiar 😉
      I have just been reading a blog post about vintage sewing machines doing the job as well, and often better, than the modern equivalents. The author of the post has only ever sewn on vintage machines. His readers, in the comments section, were praising old machines – all metal – like Elna and Kenwood and Singer and regretting trading up for modern machines as they are usually not as good, especially those at the cheaper end of the scale. I believe Singer used to be a ‘star’ of the sewing machine world but has no longer got such a good reputation.

      • #17 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on March 28, 2016 - 11:08

        I started with a Harris, which I had for 35 years, and which just did straight stitch, but was strong and reliable. Then I bought a cheap (plastic) Singer to get a zigzag, and it lasted precisely 2 years because it was not man enough for the job. I’m now on my second Bernina, which is still doing everything I want after 7 years.

  7. #18 by Trisha on March 28, 2016 - 00:32

    Great idea to add sleeves to the Sorbetto top!

    • #19 by tialys on March 28, 2016 - 09:24

      Thanks Trisha – although I can’t claim the idea as my own and have put the link to the hack in one of the comments above.

  8. #20 by sew2pro on March 28, 2016 - 07:37

    Pretty and delicate and you’ve given me shoe envy too. You clearly haven’t lost your garment-sewing touch!
    Hope you enjoyed your buns and chocs. We’ve just had a night of ‘angry gods’ weather here and my backdrop fence has blown away.

    • #21 by sew2pro on March 28, 2016 - 07:38

      Isn’t it just. Suddenly it no longer looks like ‘that free pattern’!

      • #22 by tialys on March 28, 2016 - 09:20

        Those are my favourite shoes – I love the colour, the height, the shape and the fact they are suede and, if you can believe it, I think they were made by Hush Puppies so I love the name too. Shame I don’t get to wear them more often.
        I heard about the storm on its way to you and was worried for everybody there but also hoping it would blow itself out quickly as husband and daughter are flying to the U.K. tomorrow morning at silly o’clock.
        I hope your fence didn’t get too far but I am guessing, either way, you will be paying a visit to the DIY store today 😦

  9. #23 by Dartmoor Yarns on March 28, 2016 - 13:30

    Hello! Top looks fab, now get back to those kittens 😉

    • #24 by tialys on March 28, 2016 - 15:03


    • #25 by sew2pro on April 12, 2016 - 00:58

      Hi there, Hope all is ok and the fashion show went well. I’m delighted these are Hush Puppies. I have two pairs by HP and both are extremely comfy without looking it!

      • #26 by tialys on April 12, 2016 - 12:37

        It did go very well – we made about 1400 euros which is quite a few castrations!! I might mention it in a future blog post but I can’t put my favourite picture on as it’s a bit too rude for my blog. I think I have your email so I’ll send it to you.

  10. #27 by jendavismiller on March 28, 2016 - 14:57

    Love the top! I have the sorbetto pattern, but never go sleeveless, so may borrow your hack. And, I very nearly bought that fabric but didn’t because of the sheerness….but it’s lovely! I may have to buy a new bra and rethink the whole situation. I don’t have an overlocker, but I think (maybe?) my bernina has something close for the tiny hem? And are French (English) seams the same as Hong Kong seams? Just curious.
    Hope you enjoyed your chocolate and egg Easter!

    • #28 by tialys on March 28, 2016 - 15:05

      I think Hong Kong seams are where you encase the edges of the seams in bias binding. Sounds like a bit of a faff to me but it does look good.
      The fabric is fine – just don’t stand with your back to the sun.
      I couldn’t manage any chocolate as we had a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and I was full to bursting. Maybe tonight 😉

      • #29 by jendavismiller on March 29, 2016 - 20:16

        Ah, those seams would be a bit out of my skillset. Maybe later….Enjoy your lovely, whenever that day comes. 😉

  11. #30 by Postcard from Gibraltar on April 3, 2016 - 09:59

    Lovely top – and gorgeous shoes in that balcony photo! I hope you had a great Easter.

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