Saturday, February 8, 2014

Collete - Sorbetto Tank

Sorbetto Tank made by Colette Patterns
Sizes: 0 - 18 (generous sizing in line with commercial sizes)
Bust Size: 33 in (size 0) - 46 in (size 18) (0.5 - 1" positive ease)
Free Pattern
Downloaded over 16 A4 pages.

Description from Designer:
"With its ultra simple construction (just two pattern pieces plus some bias tape, and no closures needed), elegant loose cut shaped with bust darts, and the box pleat detail down the front, Sorbetto is a pattern you can throw together in a huge range of fabrics for summer.

You could use a patterned bias tape, or just use a contrasting color. Or you could sew just about any embellishment you want down the center. This blouse is a true stash-buster and a great way to use some pretty buttons or trims."

So many things I loved about this pattern from the start.
1. A great tutorial on how to make your own bias tape provided by the designer.
2. She has since added a tutorial on how to make this pattern without the pleat.
And if you get really wide fabric, you can make the pattern in less than a meter!

Before I tackled the Shearwater Tunic FBA adjustment, I wanted to test the whole concept of Front Bust Adjustments on a free, simple pattern.  The Sorbetto fit the bill perfectly.  I could see this pattern in a light cotton voile with a lot of pattern to wear on hot summer days here in Australia.  Plus no facings to fight with since the pattern shows how to do bias tape.

Test 1: Plain Cotton Voile with Pleat

I used plain 100% cotton voile for the first test.  Straight forward sewing and made my own bias tape as per the tutorial provided by the designer.  Beautiful, easy sewing.

I measured out the actual pattern and decided the size 12 (bust line 40") would suit my shoulders and back measurements with the intention I would add an FBA on the front piece eventually to get the right positive ease.  My bust line is 42".

While the shoulder straps sat perfectly over my bra straps and back piece perfectly fit, the bust line was tight.  When I undid the front pleat, it looked like I needed an additional 2 inches around the front.  The Designer did say her patterns suited up to a C cup.

Test 1 conclusion:
  • 0.5 - 1" positive ease.  Go up to next size if room needed.
  • I need an FBA on front only.
  • No adjustment required for the back.
  • Hips too tight = move to size 14 from waist line down.
  • I should have probably tried making the size 14 or 16 before doing the FBA.  That's in hindsight though.

Test 2: Without Pleat and FBA 1"
 1. I used the suggested direction from SEW LA Blog to make pattern based on upper bust line measurement (40") and then add required FBA.  I ended up with a 1.5" FBA which would give me approximately 1 inch positive ease.

 I left the back piece alone since it fit well.

With all of the taped together pieces of A4 paper cutting the FBA into the original pattern made all sort so paper logistical nightmares!  I retraced the newly adjusted pattern to tissue paper for ease of ... everything.

I don't have a photo of test 2 because I used what fabric I had at hand - very slippery polyester satin and I cut it on the bias.  The shirt looks fabulous but satin makes horrible bias tape (and I did a nasty job of putting it on).  I had to read some blogs and view some videos on how to do bias tape nicely.

How to put bias tape on nicely.

Test 2 Conclusion:
  1. FBA of 1.5" did the trick around the bust line.
  2. Will need pleats on front only to suck up additional fabric added to the waist line.
  3. Lengthen pattern at hemline.
After stuffing this shirt at the bottom of my fabric stash, I sewed nice deep curves at the waistline to make that part of the shirt smaller - without resorting to darts.  It actually worked since the fabric was originally cut on the bais.  Only need to pick off the dodgy bias tape and put on new stuff in a pretty contrasting fabric to make the shirt wearable.

Final Sewing Project: FBA 1.5" and no Pleat

I found the most gorgeous cotton voile from Tetssuti in Chatswood, NSW that was really wide, and really expensive.  Fortunately, I could get the front and back just by buying the exact length I required, .75 meter.  I took the plunge and made the top in about 1.5 hours (including making own bias tape) and love the results.

The front darts are V-shaped from the bust line down to the waist line.  But I couldn't get the waist line towards hemline V right without causing the whole shirt to ride up my pot belly.  So I opted to just NOT have the bottom section of the dart and ironed the dart open equally to both sides.  It really suits the fabric and makes the hip line roomy for sitting down.

If I sew this one again, I will try the size 14 or size 16 as is in original pattern.

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