Stashbusting for Summer Part 4

Another attempt to reduce my fabric stash before I am found buried beneath multiple past purchases and a mountain of ‘to do’ lists.

Almost everyone – in the amateur dressmaking world at least – has probably made a Sorbetto top at some time or another.  It’s a free pattern from Colette which is a simple sleeveless top, embellished with a pleat down the centre to give it a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’.

I have made many and these are just a few that I can find photos for.

This one was made for Mlle. Tialys the Younger, pandering to her liking for things oriental.

This one which might have been some sort of homage to Vivienne Westwood though I doubt it.  I just liked the tartan.  Actually, I don’t know where this one is.  I must have a rummage through my ironing basket where I put ‘stuff for Summer’ at the end of each Summer when I know it won’t be needed again for a while but, because of my tempestuous relationship with the ironing basket, most of the ‘stuff’ never again sees the light of day.  ***

The lovely Liberty fabric one where I profited from a short sleeve hack that somebody had been kind enough to work out and put for free online.

Then there was the more recent Broderie Anglaise one with Peter Rabbit trim which I made for Mlle. T. the Elder as half of a pair of shortie P.J.s last Christmas.

So, when I wanted to make a pull on over your head, easy to wear Summer dress with short sleeves  (I’d made several such dresses last Summer but sleeveless) I thought I’d try making the Sorbetto top into a dress and I had some of my quilting fabric in mind. I don’t know why I bought so much of this, I usually buy small amounts for patchwork projects, so it must have been on sale or something or maybe I bought it with a dressmaking project in mind.  Who knows or dares to dream? Not me.  But, no matter, I had it and it needed something doing with it.

I made the bias binding for all of these tops and, although I toyed with the idea of making it in a contrast fabric for this dress, I stuck to using the same one for around the neck and the sleeves.  That’s the stuff going through my little bias binding making gadget.

I also toyed with the idea of leaving out the pleat down the centre of the front.  I like to toy with ideas, can you tell?  Anyway, I reasoned that, without it, it would look just like any old plain, short sleeved dress so I left it in.  Now it looks like any old plain, short sleeved dress with a pleat down the front but that’s the look I was going for.

I am all alone at the moment so have no photographer available and, if I can be frank with you, couldn’t be bothered to dig out my remote for the camera, so you’ll have to believe me when I say it looks better on me than on her.

Nothing complicated went on here, I just graded out the pattern slightly from below the waistline to the length I wanted and it worked out quite well.  I always scoop the neck out lower too with this pattern as one woman’s scoop is another woman’s high neck.


***  For those of you who care – I just remembered what happened to the tartan top (well it was 2014) and you can read about it here .  No wonder I’d wiped it from my memory although I wasn’t far off with my Vivienne Westwood connection. Read it and weep.


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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on July 1, 2019 - 09:07

    It’s a beautiful dress, and I hope you will wear it when someone can take a picture of you. Oh dear re the tartan, gardening top indeed! Please tell me it’s not n a scarecrow now.

    • #2 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 12:01

      Thank you – and I will get a photo of myself wearing it when the opportunity arises.
      As for the tartan top – the scarecrow refused to wear it.

  2. #3 by craftycreeky on July 1, 2019 - 09:19

    This is what I need to do, stash busting! They all look fab, I’ve not tried the Sorbetto, but it looks like it might be my sort of top 🙂

    • #4 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 12:13

      I think it would be Margaret. They did bring out a newer version – which I think is the one available for download now – with some other features like a lengthened tunic version with stepped hem.

  3. #5 by Kim on July 1, 2019 - 09:38

    That looks good, and I’m sure it will be perfect for summer 🙂

  4. #7 by katechiconi on July 1, 2019 - 09:57

    Lovely, and a clever idea to extend it. I really like the fabric; is one of those grey colours actually silver, or is it just the way the light catches the fabric? Either way, a pretty print. I hear you’re having the kind of weather that requires a dress that touches in the minimum number of places… We’ve recently had our shortest day and it’s been 24°C all day today…. Actually, I could use a cooler day or two, just so I have a reason to put on an actual pair of shoes and perhaps socks…. Haven’t needed a cardigan yet.

    • #8 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 12:18

      I looked through all my patterns thinking that I must have a simple dress with short sleeves and a scoop neck but no! They all had waist seams, princess seams, empire seams etc. apart from the one I made last year in several different fabrics but that was very A line and I wanted something with a little more waist and short sleeves which is why I thought I’d have a go at hacking the Sorbetto top. The fabric doesn’t have any metallic colours in it but the lighter grey does look silvery – maybe it’s the slight texture.
      It’s been up in the high 30s since last Tuesday but we had some rain last night which seems to have cooled us down a little – although now, of course, it’s humid. Oh, well. 24 degrees is probably my preferred temperature of all, nice and warm but not too warm.

      • #9 by katechiconi on July 1, 2019 - 12:22

        Once I’ve delivered the latest teal effort, I’m hoping to scrape together some garment-making time; there are a couple or three Big Shirts I want to make before it starts to get hot again.

  5. #10 by claire93 on July 1, 2019 - 12:14

    lovely fabric & lovely dress!

    • #11 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 12:22

      Thanks Claire – are you still sweltering over there?

      • #12 by claire93 on July 1, 2019 - 13:08

        yes we are.
        It was (only) 37°C yesterday but water in the spa heated up to 35°C in the sun . . . almost felt like a hot tub lol.
        Wondering whether or not to plug a fan in in my sewing room this afternoon and make a sunhat for baby Viking or perhaps some doll crafting. If I wait for temps to cool, I won’t get anything done.

      • #13 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 13:12

        Eek. We had some rain overnight which has sort of freshened it up a bit but now it’s getting humid. My sewing room is the hottest room in the house as it’s under the eaves so I might also plug a fan in if I manage to get up there this afternoon.

      • #14 by claire93 on July 1, 2019 - 21:21

        we’ve just had a bit of a storm with some rain. Windows are all wide open, letting the fresh air in. Hopefully we’ll sleep better tonight and I’ll get some crafting done tomorrow!

  6. #15 by Laurie Graves on July 1, 2019 - 14:31

    As someone who doesn’t sew, my jaw always drops with admiration when I see your projects. You are a wonder, that’s what you are. Always enjoy seeing what you have made.

    • #16 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 16:43

      Aw, bless you, what a sweet thing to say 😘

  7. #17 by kathyreeves on July 1, 2019 - 16:29

    You are in a heat wave over there! This pattern is just a great basic, I just downloaded it for myself! Thanks for the info. I think your dress is a great look for this summer, cool and breezy but definitely not tentish, so it has some style too! 👍🏻

    • #18 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 16:42

      Thanks Kathy. I hope you’ll show us what you make from the pattern.

      • #19 by kathyreeves on July 1, 2019 - 17:01

        I will, I’m hoping there’s enough of the gauze I used for a top for Girl #2 last spring, for a start.

  8. #20 by Sewsouk on July 1, 2019 - 16:31

    Another great sewing project. I came back to my laptop to take a rest from sorting my fabrics so your post made me smile.Mine go back a long way- have some I inherited from my mother! I don’t make bias binding- love your little gadget- where did you get it from?

    • #21 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 16:41

      Clover do them so you should be able to find easily if you have such a thing as a sewing shop nearby. I used the 12mm (1/2 inch size) for this dress and do for most projects actually. If you search for ‘bias tape makers’ on Amazon you can buy that one or some people do sets of 4 at a very reasonable price.

      • #22 by sewsouk on July 12, 2019 - 17:28

        Thanks. I will get one when I am in London next. I currently live in Morocco- there are sewing shops but very few gadgets- most gadgets are hand made things. Sewing uses pretty ancient techniques here to say the least- easier to buy a loom or hand spindle!

  9. #23 by magpiesue on July 1, 2019 - 17:25

    That looks like a perfect dress for summer to me. Now I must go and read about the tartan top… 😉

    • #24 by magpiesue on July 1, 2019 - 17:30

      😀 I presume it’s okay to read the account and laugh? Maybe the next time you come across it (assuming it’s still in a basket somewhere) you could cut it up and make cute little Scottie dogs from the tartan. Time heals all wounds – or so they say.

      • #25 by tialys on July 1, 2019 - 19:12

        Definitely. Some of my best posts have come out of sewing disasters of one type of another.

  10. #26 by thecontentedcrafter on July 1, 2019 - 22:14

    I believe you, it looks like a lovely easy live summer dress. I remember summer – it is a long lost thing that is greatly missed. I feel your pain over the tartan top – but also got a laugh, first of the day. Thank you kindly 🙂 I love your bias binding thingamajig and have often been tempted to buy one, make some binding and admire it – just because. Back in the day when I used to sew making your own bias binding was such a hit and miss affair I always bought ready made stuff……

    • #27 by tialys on July 2, 2019 - 14:31

      You should try it again – it’s very satisfying and the shop bought stuff is usually too stiff.

  11. #28 by CurlsnSkirls on July 1, 2019 - 22:56

    I agree with The contented crafter above, as once upon a time making your bias was very miss for me, and even store bought binding isn’t used much. However, I do have one of those Clover thingeys and maybe one day will give it a go.
    All admiration for your Sorbetto as I tried and couldn’t seem to get it fitting properly.
    Am trying to get The Collection whittled down a bit but our summer heat has arrived, so we shall see…… and now there’s that knit in my colour I’d love to have… art gallery, artgallery, where are you over here….. 😘

    • #29 by tialys on July 2, 2019 - 14:30

      The bias you make yourself is so much better than the shop bought stuff which tends to be stiff. With the gadget, you just pull through with the steam iron at full belt flattening it as it emerges.
      I think people have had trouble with the Sorbetto fitting before. I don’t know which one you have but I downloaded the original version (without the two additional models) but they’ve updated it since – the one available for download now – which is supposed to be better for curvier figures (Colette normally design for cup size ‘C’ which is more than most do) but some people seemed to have a lot of issues with the bust dart placement.

      • #30 by CurlsnSkirls on July 2, 2019 - 18:44

        Now I’m hydrated… Always felt shop bias was stiff, consequently didn’t use it. Promise I’ll dig out that Clover thingey and give it a go soonist!
        Downloaded the Sorbetto approx….. 2014? Will look for a current version and might try it again. Didn’t know they designed for c cup, and thank you for that info!

      • #31 by tialys on July 2, 2019 - 18:58

        I think the link I gave you will take you to the most recent version. If you read the comments underneath it, you’ll see some people had problems but, you know, it’s a free pattern, it won’t suit everybody. Worth giving it another go though I would think.

  12. #32 by KerryCan on July 2, 2019 - 12:25

    It’s fun to see the basic pattern made up in so many different styles of fabric. And the dress looks perfect!

  13. #34 by dezertsuz on July 3, 2019 - 02:42

    I like the dress a lot, and the little sleeved top. I liked the plaid, and don’t think it’s nearly as bad as you do. =) The plaid lines match across the front, so that’s good! I don’t like sleeveless things for me, but they look nice on some people, and I would probably scoop less. I’m tempted to try it, but really quite lazy and not into clothing construction any longer. Your dress looks fabulous, though!

    • #35 by tialys on July 3, 2019 - 09:56

      You, lazy?? Yes, I see from your mammoth quilt production efforts how lazy you are 🙄

  14. #36 by Beads and Barnacles on July 18, 2019 - 16:16

    Ooh these look lovely. I never managed to get that pattern to fit me. I might have to try again since they have re drafted it and I have some more experience in trying to fit clothes

    • #37 by tialys on July 19, 2019 - 10:49

      I still have the original one actually but I scoop the neck out lower – it’s not too bad a fit on me. I think Colette draft their patterns for a C cup if that’s any help although you probably knew that already.

      • #38 by Beads and Barnacles on July 20, 2019 - 18:49

        Yeah I think I did know that. I did have a number of tops made from the pattern but hey never really made it into true wardrobe rotation, but I might have to try it again with the extra knowledge I have now.

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