Colette Patterns Sorbetto Top

I have a couple of lovely fabrics that would be perfect for this top, but I wanted to test the fit with something I wouldn’t mind losing, if things didn’t turn out well. As it happens, I am delighted that this gorgeous lawn cotton has finally found a home.

This fabric has been crushed in the bottom of my stash box for over 18 months, an early purchase from MacCulloch and Wallis at the start of my sewing career. I swear to goodness, I don’t think there was more than half a metre of this. Several times I’d considered chucking it – what was I going to do with this scrap of fabric? – and now I am so glad that I held on to it. There is a reason for stash boxes!

This is Colette Patterns’ recent free download, to be found here. Several beautiful makes of this top have already appeared in the blogosphere. I’m not surprised they were quick to be seen – this make takes about two and a half hours from cutting out the fabric to final stitch. For me, that included the time taken to painstakingly sew together about ten strips of fabric for the self bias binding. Honestly, I used up every last inch of fabric and managed this by the skin of my teeth.


  • Please DO check your print out against the test square that’s supplied. Your test square should measure 4×4 inches when printed out. Mine measured 3.75 inches. So I went up a size at cutting out. I’m really glad I did. Just a smidgen of difference and I think this top would have been on the too small side.
  • Length – keep an eye on it. I added two inches to the length of the top. This is a shortie, so if you don’t like short, adjust accordingly.
  • Don’t let the simple design fool you into rushing. Remember, with simplicity there’s nowhere to hide – any mistake will scream for attention. Go carefully and step away from the sewing machine if the bias binding is making your teeth clench. Get a coffee. Have a shower. Then go back.
  • French seams, french seams, french seams. This make demands them. There’s not a raw edge in sight on this make. This top should still be going strong in ten years time.
  • This top is highly adaptable. I can see it with jeans, shorts or a skirt. If going on a sun holiday or to a music festival, I’d run up several of these to chuck in the suitcase.

Here’s a close up of the pleat detail:

It’s a winner!

In other news, I finished an Erika Knight knitted cushion cover last night:

I’ve been in a real knitting lull, so I’m glad to have finally finished something. You can’t beat a knitted cushion cover to remind you that you can actually knit. There’s no fitting required, just constant, reassuring cable repetition.

What are you up to this weekend, peeps?

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35 Responses to Colette Patterns Sorbetto Top

  1. ooobop says:

    This absolutely is a winner Karen. Perfect fabric for the job. So pretty and what a great cushion cover too. I never mastered the art of cabling. My mum gave up trying to teach me long time ago! x

  2. Lisa says:

    That’s a lovely top Karen , I must try it myself . Thanks for the tips about the length and printing.

  3. Roobeedoo says:

    Very pretty! Definitely a “summer special” for the holiday suitcase. 🙂

  4. That’s lovely! I’ve been thinking about having a go at this myself. I’m not an expert sewer, so I shall bear your tips in mind. Your cushion is lovely too, and “thanks” for the link to that fab fabric shop! 😉

  5. Tilly says:

    Lovely! I adore that cushion too. Oh and nice necklace! x

  6. This is a perfect use of this fabric. Beautiful, simple summer top.

  7. little betty says:

    Don’t know what I love more, the top or the cushion. Great work on both. Can’t wait till summer again!

  8. Dibs says:

    Karen this is lovely. I love this pattern. as soon as I can, i’ll go crazy on it.

  9. Melizza says:

    It’s such a great pattern for a beginner like me. I gained a lot of confidence while making it. I cannot wait to make more and have a try at adding some embellishments to it.

  10. Melizza says:

    Aaand…I love the print you shose for yours. Forgot to mention that.

  11. MrsC says:

    What contrasting pair of projects, woolly knits and cotton lawn sun top 🙂 Variety is definitely the spice of life! Great work on both. And very satisfying getting it out of such a small piece of fabric. Know how that feels, I once made a Madmen style one sleeve shift dress with dior roses corsage out of two yards of 90cm wide thai silk – for a very slim lady thank goodness. I doubt there was so much as a wisp left of that silk afterwards! Felt good to be able to use it for something though 🙂

  12. Debi says:

    Fabulous job on the blouse! I love it!!! And your knitting is amazing…love that pillowcase cover!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    It was meant to be. Super cute top! Other than the length, did you have any other fitting issues with the pattern?

  14. Karin says:

    Such a sweet top. Adorable with jeans indeed. And oh knitting. I think I have a scarf waiting for me for three years now. I know, that’s sad, isn’t it? 🙂

  15. Jane says:

    Ooh lovely, I’m definitely going to make a couple to take on holiday. Glad you mentioned the length, that was the one thing that was putting me off making it, it looks fab just that little bit longer. LOVE the cushion cover too! x

  16. Debbie Cook says:

    I love your Sorbetto – the fabric is so pretty.

  17. prttynpnk says:

    Your post couldn’t come at a better time- I printed out the pattern this morning- thanks for al the advise!

  18. gingermakes says:

    Perfect Sorbetto! It really looks great!

  19. Erica says:

    Your Sorbetto turned out lovely. I agree about the french seams too it makes it look so pretty on the inside too.

  20. Suze says:

    Lovely top. I’m glad to see it “in person.” It’s on my to-do list of projects, and yeah, the pattern looked awfully short to me. I had already planned to lengthen it, probably by more than 2 inches.

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  22. Cat says:

    Hi Karen,
    First time commenting (so you know you’ve done something fabulous):
    I absolutely LOVE the top – I haven’t been too keen on the sorbetto, but yours is amazing!

    But also… I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cushion cover.

    So happy I found your blog.

  23. Shelly says:

    Love the fabric you used. I have printed out this pattern too. As soon as the weather gets warmer I intend on making it – I think it’s a winner!

  24. Deborah says:

    The ‘Sorbetto’ top is really nice, I quite fancy having a go at this myself, but will take careful note of your
    advice regarding length as I am a little on the lanky side. However, your cushion cover really steals the show
    in this post for June: sharp cabling and smart button contrast serve to highlight what I can only feel must be a robust home textile – perhaps one to withstand even the most tenatious Labrador jaws? Its chunky but subtly lithe design must be at home in a variety of settings; another hit! Thankyou for sharing your ideas and skills.

  25. Point de vous a moi says:


    Thanks for linking to this pattern. I’m almost finished making my first garment for myself (a rub-off) with the help of a teacher and wanted to try something completely on my own. This project will utilize some of the skills I employed on my dress, notably using a bias binding, although I used it as a finish.

    I will definitely want to add some length; I suppose I should add it just below the waist area; that’s where patterns usually indicate to add it. The teacher did some fitting in the bust area. If this pattern is sufficiently similar, maybe I can super-impose that pattern on this one to get a better fit.

  26. Point de vous a moi says:


    although I used it as a FACING.

  27. Marie says:

    Oh, how I love to see Sorbettos!!! As a fan myself, it’s great to see what other people are making and yours is soooooo sweet! Love, love, love it!

    Also, your recent knitting has really been inspiring! I really need to learn!

  28. Adrienne says:

    Thanks Karen! It’s really helpful to heat how you made out with the Sorbetto in point form!

  29. Adrienne says:

    Yeah, and I totally agree with French Seams. I discovered it only recently through Tasia’s sewalong for the Cresent skirt and it’s made SUCH a difference in my life.

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