I thought I might as well keep to something simple and free (a la Sorbetto) rather than buying a new pattern to test my sewing skills. I figured it shouldn’t be too difficult to draft a few extras to it when you’re still a complete sewing novice right? Yeah right.
The gorgeous blue fabric came from my mum’s collection which she has had for years. It’s polyester but has a lovely almost silky feel to it. I was worried it might be a bit too slippery to work with but it was actually not too bad at all.
I liked the idea of having a peter pan collar and adding some little sleeves, like in this version here. I found a free download for a peter pan collar from Sew News however, there weren’t any instructions to go with the pattern piece, as you had to purchase their magazine to receive the instructions. I figured it couldn’t be that hard to work out how to attach it surely? Maybe if I didn’t decide to draft my own back collar to go with it (which resulted in a bit of a (more like major) mess and faffing about for ages to make it fit!). When I printed the collar pattern out, it looked a little narrow so I had assumed the collar didn’t include a seam allowance. When I cut the material, I roughly estimated a 1cm allowance on top of the front collar and my drafted back collar making three separate pieces. Since assembling it all, I realised I really shouldn’t have bothered adding a seam allowance, the collar is now too big for my liking really.
I took the pattern for the cap sleeves from this dress found in Burda Style Magazine’s August issue. It may have helped also if I bothered to read how to attach the sleeves in the Burda Style magazine, but I just made it up as I went along.
I was hoping to not bother with bias binding seeing how unsuccessful I was in my first Sorbetto attempt however, to ensure neat seams for the collar and sleeves, I used some shop bought bias binding in a contrasting blue colour which I’m really pleased with (and worked much better than my self-made bias binding). I couldn’t quite work out how to use the bias binding for a cap sleeve and the bottom of the armhole, so my attempt is probably a little unorthodox but I think it still works!?
As you can (kind of?) see I’ve used the bias binding as a sort of facing at the bottom of the arm hole and then twisted it to cover the seams around the sleeve insert. I don’t think this is normal but hey, I think it worked. Would you normally have two separate pieces of binding to do each job?
Throughout the process, I had major issues with the collar. What I think I will do next time (because hell why not make a third Sorbetto?) is use the peter pan collar fronts but not bother with a back collar and just stitch the front collar into the shoulder seams. Trying to draft my own back collar just didn’t work well and my mum actually spent ages helping me to get it to fit onto the neckline properly. I’m probably a little lazy and didn’t calculate things properly and cut corners and it shows. I really need to learn some patience and take more time in preparation!
I had originally intended for this top to use for interviews but I decided maybe it’s not quite smart enough and ended up buying a cheap plain black dress from Target for use as my interview outfit (and yes I just got offered a job today too! Woohoo!), but I think this top is perfectly wearable for work with trousers or a smart skirt. For my photoshoot though, I wore it quickly with jeans with my ever impatient photographer who took a couple of photos and said that would do. Looking later at the photos, they’re really not that good…
I just used whatever interfacing I could find for the collar. I’m certain I used light interfacing but it feels quite heavy and makes the collar quite stiff. I think the back collar at least sticks out a bit too much for my liking and yeah, you can still tell from the front that the two collar pieces don’t quite line up evenly. I spent so much time pinning and tacking the collar on (and then unpicking it all to try again!) to get it to fit evenly, but it still doesn’t match. I reckon a bit of hidden hand-stitching under one of the collar sides to push it up a bit would probably work, which I will probably have a go at.
I’m already thinking about my next Sorbetto where I’ll try again with just a front collar and cap sleeves and maybe have a go at removing or doing something different with the pleat. Third time lucky?