Colette Sorbetto (or, my battle with FBAs)

Same pattern, different look! I felt really guilty about not making a functional garment in July, so I doubled up with this project.

Early in the summer, I finally caved and admitted that I needed to learn how to do a full-bust adjustment (FBA). For those of you who aren’t aware, most pattern companies (especially the Big 4) draft patterns with a B cup in mind. If you’re larger or smaller, chances are that you’ll need to adjust your pattern to accommodate.

Sorbetto the first, worn to work today with this skirt and a black cardigan.
Floral Sorbetto, worn to work today with this skirt and a black cardigan.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Sorbetto

Fabric: 1 yard of cotton gingham and 1 yard of mystery poly blend

Alterations: FBA

Notions: Bias tape and bias tape maker

Make it again?: Maybe. Not my normal style, but it’s a solid wardrobe staple.

Favorite parts: Aside from the FBA, how easy it is to put together. Seriously, two darts and 4 quick seams. Love.

gingham sorbetto 1
Gingham Sorbetto, worn fabric shopping last week. I feel very Dorothy-esque wearing this top. Where’s Toto?

Process: After struggling to create a successful FBA with my Ms. Marvel gown (did you guys know that Kwik-Sew pattern sizes accommodate different cups sizes? Mind blown), I decided to step back and try a FBA on a simpler garment: Colette’s (free!) Sorbetto pattern. The pattern only has two darts, so I figured it’d be a piece of cake. Well, my first three attempts were HORRIBLE. Like, “Go back to sewing pillows you crappy newb,” terrible. The first was basically a tent and the second was so tight I couldn’t wear a bra with it. Sigh. My third was passable (though never blogged), but it’s made of cotton voile and I hate ironing casual clothing. I think it’s been worn twice since I made it? Anyway, I trashed the first two abominations and blocked the travesties out of my memory until after I moved.

Apparently I only know how to pose like a superhero. Ready to take flight!
Apparently I only know how to pose like a superhero. Ready to take flight!

With this round, I attempted things the “correct” way. I printed off an extra copy of the pattern, actually took my measurements *with* my normal undergarments (I tend to wear sports bras the second I get home, which mush the ladies around differently), traced my adjustments, and made an actual muslin. I found this tutorial (as well as this one and this list of FBA tutorials) very helpful when figuring out how much to add. I erred a bit more on the side of caution and added a full inch to my adjustment. The end result is a teeny bit loose in the waist and hips, but not unwearable.

Oh me? I'm just day-dreaming about a time that fall didn't mean face-meltingly-hot weather.
Oh me? I’m just day-dreaming about a time that fall didn’t mean face-meltingly-hot weather.

After doing cartwheels upon realizing that my FBA was actually successful (only kind of kidding), I made two real versions. The first is a cotton gingham with the center pleat and self-made bias tape. The fabric was an impulse purchase during D’or’s last fabric sale. I feel very Dorothy-esque while wearing it, so I’ll probably just wear it on weekends. Very likely out to the state fair in a few weeks. At least the blousiness will conceal fried food bloat!

Making the bias tape was the most time-consuming part of this blouse. Since I’m still not proficient, I took things slow, which added another hour to my overall sewing time (a whopping 3 hours).

flower sorbetto 3

My second Sorbetto is a mystery blend from Jo-Ann’s remnant section with pre-made bias tape. I decided against the center pleat for this one, mostly out of laziness. This one is simple enough for lazy dress work days. I can definitely see myself wearing it with my comfy trousers or another Mabel. Using the pre-made tape made this a super speedy project. I think cutting to finishing the hem took only 1.5 hours.

gingham sorbetto 3

Other thoughts: Overall, this is a good basic blouse, especially for beginners (or beginner pattern modifications). You can keep it super simple by eliminating the center pleat and using pre-made bias tape, or you can be fancy and make your own bias tape, add the pleat, throw in some sleeves, embellish the pleat, etc. In future versions, I’ll definitely add another 2-3+ inches since this hits me a little higher than I typically like.

Have you made this pattern before? What are your thoughts on it?

16 thoughts on “Colette Sorbetto (or, my battle with FBAs)

  1. Nice. I like it. I don’t kknow what an FBA is but I think it looks pretty nice.

    And no. I don’t sew much. That’s why I’m especially stunned you have the patience. I’d buy one for $300 before make one. XD I guess I just like to get things started and over with.

  2. I love your floral one especially! I think this pattern, a box, isn’t terribly adorable on most bodies. That being said, I made three and eventually have them all away. I just done like it. I assume, if you need an FBA, you are curvy. I prefer curves defined. Colette has many other patterns which enhance curves, so it’s great practice to try Colette patterns! But your floral one looks lovely! The best I have ever seen!

    Ps: I hate ironing too.

    1. Thanks! I agree with you on this pattern, and I also prefer defined curves. It’s not my favorite from Colette (I absolutely adore the Macaron. It’s actually about time for me to make another one), but I’m not going to complain (too much) about a free pattern. It’s a decent basic blouse.

      And UGH, yes. Ironing is the worst.

      1. I’ve only made x3 Sorbettos and in all three I re-did the bust dart and added waist darts. I can’t stand unstructured woven tops, even on very thin people they’re not that attractive. I do love that Dorothy Gale gingham! You did a great job on the FBA, I gave up on FBAs and started using Joi Mahon’s pattern altering techniques which worked like a charm for me. Sorbetto is not my favorite woven top but it is easy to put together. Try using a nice silk on a Sorbetto, makes a great date night top. I love both of those fabrics you used.

  3. The Sorbetto is one of my TNT patterns. I absolutely love it! For a looser look, I eliminate the bust darts. Your Sorbettos are lovely!

  4. I’ve never made this pattern before but it looks so cute! Congrats on the FBA – I never would have known looking at these that it’s your third attempt!

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