Around this time last year, inspired by Jenny’s many versions of it, I made the Colette Sorbetto blouse for the first time. I knew that if I could get it to fit properly, it would be a very handy wardrobe staple. I like to wear shells under cardigans and jackets year-round and on their own when it’s warm enough. On top of that, the pattern requires very little fabric, and I thought it would be a great pattern to use on this Liberty fabric (I had one meter). Plus, it’s free!
The first one I made was out of a blue yarn-dyed twill-woven (but drapey) cotton from Mood and was a straight size 8. That blue version was a bit large, so in March, I made another out of pink calico from Joann’s (purchased in 2004 and mostly used then). For that version, I removed the front pleat. I also added length — I’ve since realized that a lot of others have found the pattern a bit short too. As drafted, it’s almost a crop top on me. The lengthened pink version was a good length, but not a perfect fit.
I got back to the project in June, when I decided it was time to fit the top properly, with muslins. It took a couple, but I finally settled on a size 6 with the dart lowered (I think about 1.5 inches) and length added. By that point, I had quite a pile of fabric set aside for this pattern, so I made three versions in a row: black dotted Swiss (from gather here, but I can’t find it anymore), navy double gauze (Kobayashi Double Gauze in Indigo, also from gather here), and finally the ostensible subject of this blog post, rose-printed lawn (Liberty of London Rosa H Tana Lawn).
I love the double gauze and the dotted Swiss versions, and I even wear the pink calico one quite a bit (not so for the original blue, I’m afraid — just not a good fit). However, this rose-printed one is my favorite. In fact I think it’s my favorite make of all of 2015. Here’s why:
- The print: I know there are a lot of Liberty fans out there, but I have a hard time imagining myself wearing most of their prints. However, I really like this one. It’s nostalgic, but not childish, floral, but not busy. Although I would have classed it as a “spring” print, I’ve worn it frequently over the past summer, fall, and winter — looking forward to testing it in the coming spring!
- The fabric: Here I’m talking about the substrate on which the design is printed: Tana Lawn. This is undoubtedly the nicest cotton I’ve ever sewn with or worn. It’s extremely smooth (almost shiny), it’s a joy to iron, and it’s wearing well. I’m not handwashing it, but I’m not machine drying it either — it always hangs dry. After 8 months of wear, it’s still looking as good as it did in the beginning.
- The pattern: I love the simplicity of this pattern — in removing the center front pleat I removed its main detail, but even so the pattern stands up. The sides curve gracefully, and the armholes and neck lie very nicely.
- The fitting: This shirt, along with the navy and black versions I made at the same time, has really sold me on fitting and alterations. I had certainly altered a lot of patterns before this — lengthening, shortening, grading between sizes, Franksteining, etc. However, this was my first time really altering for fit. I’m really pleased with the results and eager to do more fitting. In fact, I fit this same pattern for my mother last fall and made her a couple of shirts for Christmas (the second of which was finished this week).
- The finishing: I really took my time with this shirt. The side and shoulder seams are French seams. I added bra strap holders on the shoulders. And, my favorite, I catch-stitched the finishing on the binding. (I attached it to the right side by machine, then folded it over and catch-stitched within.) It took a long time, but it brings me joy every time I see it.
I’m finishing a purple flannel version, also with roses, right now. Just the catch-stitching remains!
This is off-topic, but since I don’t have an Instagram account, I’m posting a sneak peek of my Secret Valentine below. It should have arrived at its destination yesterday — I’ll share more details here once I know its recipient has opened it.