Colette Sorbetto blouse in Liberty Rosa H fabric

Photograph of person wearing rose-printed shellI made this blouse back in June. Now that the temperature makes outdoor photographs of tank tops impossible, I’ve decided to blog about it.

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).

Photograph of rose-print shell on a hangerI 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.

Collage of four photos showing quilted denim on a sewing machine, part of a zipper, a gift wrapped in blue and white fabric, and a gift going into blue and white fabric wrapping

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Colette Sorbetto blouse in Liberty Rosa H fabric

  1. Both the Sorbetto and the SVE sneak peek look lovely, Ana!! I’m intrigued by the heart pattern you created. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you! And thanks again for the lovely gift. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was actually working on a full SVE post when you commented — it’s up now.

  3. Pingback: Woman Bathing Her Feet in a Brook | Analog

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