Throughout Me Made May I kept thinking that I needed more tops in my handmade wardrobe. Then one day, I found buried at the bottom of a box an already cut out and darted Sorbetto top. Result!
The Sorbetto top is a free downloadable pattern from Colette Patterns, and was pleasingly simply to construct. It’s light shape keeps fitting easy, and the armholes and neckline are finished with bias binding, meaning there is minimal cutting (only 2 pieces) before getting stuck into the fun sewing bits. I made this top out of the pillowcases from a charity shop found duvet, the same one I made this skirt with. This duvet is the gift that keeps giving! Seriously, I’ve made three garments with it so far (this top, the skirt, and a pair of dungaree shorts which were pretty flimsily made so I haven’t worn them in a year or so.), and I still have the whole of one side of the cover left!
If I recall correctly I decided to omit the front pleat due to fabric restrictions on the pillowcase, and for the same reason created a yoke in the flower pattern. To do this, simply cut the pattern straight across the point of the yoke, and cut these pieces out separately, remembering to add seam allowance.
Once I had sewn the top together, I tried it on and realised that the armholes were a bit high and tight for me. This seems to be a recurring theme with my makes (and actually with a lot of RTW too), so maybe I just have unusually low armpits? Easily solved, I marked how low I wanted the armhole, drew and cut out the new curve, then folded the top by the centre front to mirror the new shape on the other side. In other words- kind of worked it out as I was going along!
When it came to the bias binding, I was stumped as to what to do for a bit. Should I buy some pre-made bias binding, but have to wait longer to finish the top? Should I make my own, which I havn’t done before and might be fiddly? Then, I had a revelation. The duvet (A very nice one from Laura Ashley, no less) was bordered by complementing yellow piping which was made of a long strip of fabric cut on the bias. I ask, and this duvet provides. I carefully unpicked the piping from the fabric, put the rope stuff inside away for another day, and then all I had to do was iron the strip into a bias binding shape. I don’t have one of those fancy binding tools, so I followed this tutorial by By Hand London which worked pretty well. It can be a bit fiddly but once you’ve got going it isn’t too bad. I ironed the binding whilst watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend, so I was well entertained.
This project has also made me find out that bias binding is so cool to use. I love having the raw edges concealed and this does it so neatly. My advice for newbies like me to bias binding is pin very carefully and frequently, making sure the bias follows the curves exactly. Then, sew nice and slowly.
And there we go, a quick summer top which works with trousers and skirts. This top fills a hole in my wardrobe and I thank The Duvet for fulfilling my needs once more.
If anyone has any ideas of what to make from a single duvet’s worth of the yellow check fabric, I’d love to hear them in the comments!