A palate cleanser – Sorbetto – and a denim skirt

I’ve been feeling really blocked with my sewing lately. I’ve been working on an eight panel, yoked godet skirt (StyleArc Janet) in black rayon twill for work. It has incredibly time consuming and frustrating to sew and I just know that fitting it is going to be even more painful still. It’s been sitting up there unfinished for weeks. One time I found a spare 30 minutes and made negative progress, forgot that it was 10mm seams not 15mm, ended up unpicking, ripping a hole as I did and then having to mend it.

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So I decided on a palate cleanser – a quick, easy project that would hopefully be an inspiring win, because I really need one. Given that it’s stinking hot right now I decided on the free Colette Sorbetto top. This has been made many, many times before, there’s only, like 101 reviews of it on PatternReview. And you know what, I didn’t read copious reviews and I hardly made any alterations, not even a FBA, I just said damn it, it’s a loose top, I’m going to see how the other half lives and pick the size based on my bust measurement, cut and sew. And guess what, it’s not perfect but it’s totally wearable.

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The fabric is a Japanese cotton that I bought at Spotlight years ago. It has a very 70s vibe and I never made that shirt I planned because I had second thoughts about this small floral print on me. This small sleeveless top is really about as much of this floral as I’d want to wear.

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I made a size 14 for a 42″ bust and the only alterations I made were letting out the shoulder seams to 5mm seams and making it the length of the size 18. I made self fabric bias tape using Colette’s super nifty continuous method. The bias trim and front pleat are lovely details – Sarai, she knows how to draft a nice pattern. The pattern states it takes two hours to sew but this project took me a solid 4 hours including making the bias tape. I am very pleased with it.

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In fact, I was so happy and inspired that I dragged out my Sally Jeans skirt┬áthat had been sitting almost completed, but without a waistband for many months. I abandoned it when I realised that the fit was going to be very disappointing and I was so far in that I couldn’t bear to unpick it, and couldn’t see a good way to fix it.

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See that wrinkling and bagging at the back waist? Well it’s not nice but I’m going to live with it. This area is a huge problem for me, as attested by the ugly back waist darts that I add into my RTW clothing and the darts I deepen and add to me-sewn clothes. What I did here was reshape the yoke panel to incorporate the darts. Can’t say it was a huge success. I think the yoke is too narrow to take the full transition – if they were real darts they would be longer than that.

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This skirt is great apart from that. It is really very me, if you know what I mean. The contoured waistband is comfy and the shape is good for me. In fact I like it so much that I actually wore it to work today, even though a jeans skirt is really a bit casual for my office.

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Yes that’s the dawn. It was 7.15am. So I think I’ll round that off to sewing win.

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Jaipur tablecloth dress!

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Our family go to the amazing Womadelaide festival every year. I usually pick up a few interesting pieces of clothing at the market stalls there. Last year I picked up two of these beautiful Jaipur tablecloths and bought them with the intention of making a dress out of them. The fabric appears to be wood block printed by hand, and has a border print.

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So in December I finally got around to making a dress out of it. Enter Burda 7547. This is a young, plus pattern. I love that Burda releases plus size patterns in younger, trendier styles! And this pattern is a perfect sundress pattern – you can wear a normal bra and have the straps completely concealed, and the body skimming fit quite flattering.

I traced the bodice in a size 42, the smallest available, and did a big FBA, sewed the side dart and lengthened the whole bodice.

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This resulted in a dress with quite high armholes which conceals those little fleshy bits under your arms, but does feel a little constricting to wear. I traced my hip size in the skirt section, but then ended up taking in both side seams considerably. I think I did not leave quite enough ease at the hip, it sticks a bit, but I think I just need to get over my preciousness about that. I am also not used to wearing straight skirts. If I made it again I think I’d deepen the back darts and let out the side seams from the hip down.

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The front and back deep V necklines are my favourite part of the dress. The front is low, but not unwearably so.

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The pattern instructs only the bodice to be lined, but I lined the whole dress. The lining hangs free on one side, and is caught in the side seam on the side with the invisible zip, as that was much easier.

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You can see that the hem drops a little at the sides due to my use of the border print.

The gathered shoulder is a nice feature and I finished it according to the instructions.

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I was a bit unsure about this dress when I first made it. A relatively fitted, straight dress is not something I’ve worn before, and the print is quite out there. However a close friend gave me some very positive feedback on it yesterday, so I think I will wear it. I shall certainly give it an outing at Womad itself when we go in March!