Sunday 13 July 2014

Sorbetto Hell and a Touch of the Sway Backs!

OH. MY. WORD.  I have spent yesterday evening and all of today trying to make the "quick, simple" Sorbetto top.  I am rubbish!

If you have any interest in clothes sewing, you will have heard of the Sorbetto top.  Everyone seems to have made it - and it's a free pattern!  Let me make it clear - I am not blaming the pattern for my issues - I'm blaming my body and my lack of skill!

The picture above is my toile/muslin - I appear to have bough vast quantities of some lilac fabric many moons ago, so I thought I'd make use of it as a practice piece.  I'm so glad I didn't rush into making the 'real thing' and cutting into the good fabric, as this has given me no end of trouble.

It all started when I couldn't print the pattern to scale - stupid pdf viewer in Windows 8 wouldn't let me change the setting to 'actual size' rather than scaling it.  We had more luck with the Lumberjack's laptop - except that the printer then ran out of ink!  So, a quick dash to Asda at 8.30 yesterday evening was required to buy some more.

Once that obstacle was resolved, I stuck and cut the pattern, chopped the fabric, and sewed the top you see above.  It actually sits better than it looks in that photo - the skewed result of me trying to take a selfie.  However, the bust darts are too high and the back of the top had a load of bunched up fabric.

After much faffing about and lots of Google searches, I learnt about Sway Back.  Who knew I was afflicted with such a thing?!  This link explains more.

So, following the instructions at the link, I pinned up a horizontal wedge of the back fabric.  When trying on it made a big difference to the fit:

Excuse the terrible photos!!  The Lumberjack wasn't around, so I had to make do with bizarre over-the-shoulder-mirror shots.  (Could've brushed my hair too - it's lucky you can't see the state of my face!)

I didn't take a 'before' picture, so you'll have to take my word for it, that pinning out that wedge of fabric made the back hang much better.  Also, surprisingly, the hem was straight all the way round the top when it was actually on me.  (Which is how it is supposed to work, as this gets rid of access fabric my weird shaped body doesn't need, but I was still surprised when it worked!)  However, I had to transfer that missing chunk of fabric to the pattern pieces - a complicated business!  (Instead of having a horizontal dart removing that fabric, the excess is taken out in another way.)

So, I spent countless hours researching online and trying to adjust the pattern pieces for these three things:

  1. Lowered bust darts
  2. Sway Back adjustment (using the link I mentioned)
  3. 2 inches of additional length (as I wanted the top longer - my toile was a bit short for my liking and wasn't hemmed yet)
Eventually I had something that might work.  I cut out another toile as I had to test my alterations.  By this time it was getting late and I accidentally sewed the box-pleat on the wrong side.  No harm done really, as I only need the toile for fit, and that won't affect that.  But the stupid thing still isn't looking right!  Still too much fabric in the back - and I don't know whether it's because my Sway Back adjustment didn't work - or whether it did work but was then thrown out by the 2 inches extra length I gave to the whole top.  Who knows!  So, I stopped for the night... and thought I'd tell you all about it.

Any helpful hints and tips would be appreciated if anyone has any??!!  If you can understand any of this garbled post - I've got Sorbetto exhaustion.......!

Oh, and thank so much for the lovely comments on my Blog Hop post.  Anna has got a great post up already - so go over and check it out if you want a lot of gorgeous crochet eye candy!


  1. I have no ideas I am afraid, but I hope that you work it out as I can imagine that it will be a great top when you have all the kinks worked out! xx

  2. Oh no, its defo not a project for me. I struggle to cut out even the basics. Your changes, however, are looking good, x

  3. ??? oh my goodness - it all sounds very complicated! I can't help I'm afraid, but I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing your finished top. About the sway back, maybe Pilates will help?!! (joking :o) xx) Sam xx

  4. Ayayai! What a kerfuffle! It's looking good in these photos, you are a champ for sticking it out and figuring out how to salvage it, well done! I get so intimidated by sewing clothing, I totally understand where you're coming from! After my Coco top I needed to take solace in simple patchwork quilting, it was calming to just sew some straight lines! ;-) Chrissie xxx

  5. Oh it gets so unnecessary difficult. I am impressed you knew what to look for when googling. Shame it cannot be straight forward. Made me laugh though you running off after printer ink - but when you are in the zone right?! I started cutting the pattern in gardening fleece. That way you have something sturdier to work with instead of flimsy pattern pater and you can pin it into a better shape. Just an idea. Good luck! xx

  6. Maria you are hilarious. I'm afraid I'm as useful as tits on a nun because I know nothing about sewing. I'm only just catching up on my favourite blogs this morning. Expect spammage ;)

    Love your over the shoulder number.

  7. I am very impressed as my sewing skills stop at anything that doesn't have a straight line. I usually find that quick and simple sewing projects are never that. Good luck finishing it - think how chuffed you'll be when it's finally done! x

  8. Hello Lovely Maria sorry I have not been around for a while - just catching up with your fabulous blog. I am new to sewing and this little number looks fabulous but I cannot help I am afraid - I think it will all come out in the end once you have sorted out the tweeks needed. You will look lovely in it - your post made me smile and feel better in the fact that I am not the only one who struggles on things in sewing - I am with you in spirit Maria, sorry not much help in the practical sense. Sending you big hugs and loves


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