Kicking Creative Constipation with Sorbetto

Sorbetto, Colette Patterns, top, polka dotsBecause of moving I didn’t do any “real” sewing for one & a half months. I made three muslins, but didn’t finish any projects. I’ve been dying to finish something, but haven’t known where to start. I always have a backlog of things I’d like to make, but never before had that backlog felt so urgent. More than a few times I’d be at work & fantasize about what to make when I got home. Then, I’d sit at home & agonize over what to work on first. I was out of practice with sewing something new every week. I had creative constipation.

Yesterday I rifled through all my sewing patterns & enthusiastically decided to sew a vintage dress. With the attention span of a squirrel, a second later I wanted to sew something else. The very process of getting a pattern ready- ironing the fabric, placing & cutting the pieces- seemed so laborious I felt I would never ever finish anything ever.

Finally, it dawned on me. Sorbetto. Easy, fast, I’ve done it before. No sizing guess work.

buttons, polka dots, stripesI used a vintage fabric from the 60’s that I’m fairly certain was curtains at some point. It was fabric I had been saving for just the right project & I wasn’t sure if I should use it because the Sorbetto would only take up half & leave me with a few small pieces that might not amount to another project. I’m glad I cut into it.

Sorbetto, Colette Patterns, top, polka dotsWhen cutting, I had tried to match the level of the dots on the front of the top with those on the back. It didn’t work, but I had been paying so much attention to it that I forgot to line up the polka dots to run right down the center of the pleat. Oops! Luckily, I had some big white buttons in my stash & I think they make the whole thing look better. Serendipitously I had just enough white bias binding to make it around everything I wanted, with not a half an inch to spare.

Sorbetto, Colette Patterns, top, polka dotsDespite my dislike for my spine (scoliosis), I like my back. So when I make a top that is loose in the front, I like to give some definition to my back. However, I still wanted to be able to slip the top on & off without messing about with closures.

Sorbetto, Colette Patterns, button, elastic
A somewhat shoddily put together back pleat held together with elastic.

After fiddling around with an ugly line of shirring, I landed on pulling an inverted box pleat together with a bit of lingerie elastic. It keeps the pleat closed, yet stretches enough so I can easily get the top on & off.

Today I wore the top to work just like this, but when I got home I added a button to the elastic in the hope that it would make the pleat seem more intentional & less frumpy since it doesn’t really keep its pleated shape that well. Do you like the button on the back?

No button on the left, button on the right. 

27 thoughts on “Kicking Creative Constipation with Sorbetto

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  3. I found your blog via Rhonda. I find your scoliosis issue very interesting as my sister and 2 brothers have/had it to a pronounced extent as did our mother and grandmother. Another brother was also affected as is one niece. Recently I found out at my advanced age, that I too have signs of scoliosis. Hey and it’s not genetic!!! Actually my reason for posting is that I would like to support my sister in her sewing. My mother was a superb sewer,but for herself she used a lot of padding on the non-extruding side to even out the difference. My sister is very self-conscious. She is retired and has returned to sewing.She prefers shapeless outfits which – she thinks – distract attention from her HUUUUUUUGE disfigurement!!! Any suggestions as to how I convince her that her spinal curvature is so NOT what people notice upon first sight and how I can help her adjust patterns to enhance her assets??sorry if this is a little off topic.

    • I don’t think scientists have found a specific gene for scoliosis, but it does tend to run in families, which seems to point to its being genetic. I’ve actually never had anyone (other than doctors) notice that I have scoliosis & my S curvature was so bad I almost had to get that nasty surgery. Honestly, I haven’t made many modifications for my scoliosis. But stay tuned, I’m working on bras. To my constant annoyance my one strap is ALWAYS falling off because my shoulders are uneven. If your sister is having this problem she can add bra carriers to her garments. They’re little straps sewn on the inside of shoulders that you snap in place around your bra straps. Also, she might want to take a class to make her own sewing blocks. Having something perfectly tailored- say around uneven hips- can reduce fabric bunching & wrinkling. She can then use those blocks to alter sewing patterns.

  4. The button on the back adds a lot! And I think the white buttons down the front save the whole thing, to the point where the misaligned polkadots look planned. I am forever suffering this same issue of being paralyzed by not wanting to cut into my fabric… I think if I just did it, I’d be happier having made something than having oodles and oodles of pristine fabric that’ll never see the light of day. Sigh!

  5. Oooh, definitely loving the buttons, both front and back! I’ve made the Sorbetto before but wasn’t please with how shapeless it made me look; your back pleat looks like something I might need to try. Love the print, too!

    • I fell in love with the print too, which is why I was so reluctant to cut into it. You might also try adding some ties to the sides & knotting them around the back to your desired tightness.

  6. Love the buttons on front and back! Personally I love the way the dots ended up on the pleat. I made the Sorbetto once and didn’t like the boxy shape so it has just sat around. Now I know what to do!!

    • Yes, I was pretty lucky with how the buttons & polka dots lined up. Another thing you can do it add in some ties to the sides of the top & make a bow in the back. I did that for my first Sorbetto using bias tape as an effort to hide a mistake & it ended up making it seem intentional.

  7. i love the button/pleat on the back – such a good idea for adding shape to boxy tops. i always gather that extra fabric up and realize it looks so much better with some definition, but i worry that it will look odd. now you’ve made it legitimate, and it doesn’t look odd on you at all. hurrah!
    ps- i think your outfit, especially with the vintage fabric, has a very audrey feel about it. you look so chic!

  8. Just downloaded it, thank you! So many options for that back pinch- suspender clips with elastic, tiny vest straps with D rings, none as straight-forward as yours. :-).
    Wow, a project a week?! Impressive! I’m wondering how long it would take to dent my stash at that rate… 🙂

    • Glad to hear from you! I was wondering where you had gone off to since you hadn’t posted to your blog in awhile. I found a method to make toes in socks uneven- when I gather it up I’ll send it your way. A project a week was what Make It Mondays was all about, although now I’m ready for a new direction. And it wasn’t so much of a stash buster since I kept buying more fabric!

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