Sunday, 8 January 2012

F I R S T C O M P L E T E P R O J E C T ! ! Colette Patterns: Sorbetto

Let's kick off with the picture I'm so proud to show you!!

Giddy little ginger lady!? Yes, by the looks of it!!!

OK, so this is my 'Ex-Pat Old Blighty Sorbetto'

I saw this fabric in Hickeys, which is pretty much Ireland's only fabric chainstore and really liked it. I had plans of aprons and dresses... I have had many plans as you will have gathered by now!

Alas, my 2012 resolution is to consolidate and actually DO sewing, rather than thinking about it and reading about it. So I started from the very start. I've filed away my eBay super-duper hard pattern purchases, I've organised my sewing room. I've enrolled on two courses which start on the 8th of February: Clothes Alterations and Dressmaking for Beginners. Before now, I've fantasied about making homewares from oil cloth seed organisers to hot water bottle covers.. but can I actually sew solidly and reliably?!?! NO! Solution... strip it back to the start and get the basics right.

In comes the Sorbetto.... after my epic post-10-hour shift Diet Coke, BBC Radio 6 and laptop internet research stints... I found Collette Patterns ... A company in the USA making just great, stunning, timeless and adaptable patterns WITH tutorials, support, hints and a community of like-minded people who can discuss and help each other... HELLO! After much more reading and drooling, I stumbled across the Sorbetto, a free tank top blouse pattern with instructions and promised to be simple and take 1-2 hours to complete. YES PLEASE!

Within the hour I had printed and cut and pinned the pattern onto my fabric.... I was on a roll!

OK, so the making... Let me tell you, its easy and satisfying. For a complete novice with a bruised history of incomplete projects through misjudgement... to work my way through this pattern was an ego boost! I pinned, I planned, I ironed and then... I bias taped. Ergh.

I am utterly in love with the top and even though its as simple as me with a hangover, I still have an issue with bias taping. Its my achilles heel. Maybe this harks back to spending €50 on a selection on bias tape makers that I will never use (6mm bias tape maker??!!), cutting my finger on my rotary cutter when I was cockily showing my fiancee my new tool and wasting loads and loads and LOADS of fabric trying to make the bloody stuff!!!

Have a look at this disastrous hot water bottle I made....

The bias tape would not join and came away when I put the hot water bottle in, so its actually an utterly useless piece of material seen as its whole purpose in life was to hold a hot water bottle!

Hmmmmm... from the other side it looks nice, maybe when I get more sewing miles under my belt I will be able to rectify the situation with this little beaut. Tis a shame too because that ruddy quilting took me AGES and used loads of precious Gutterman thread too!

I love the 25mm Clover Bias Tape Maker and if anything is going to help me crack this saga... its that!! People, word of wisdom... I don't have many so heed this, DO NOT buy a 6mm bias tape maker, unless you want to bias bind a thimble. I can't think of many projects that would warrant what would be 3mm of fabric border. I don't know.. maybe I'm naive and maybe in years time I will laugh at the stupidity of me writing that..... I hope so actually, then I wouldn't have wasted €9 on it.  

Right... time for some reflection....

I will wear this top again and again and again. I am wearing it right now as I listen to BBC 6 Music.... see....

... but I have made some mistakes...

I was a F.O.O.L to use red bobbin thread and navy main thread. I thought that it would be funky and the red specs would compliment the red stripes. NO! It was a pain in the ass and looks terrible on closer inspection... 

Also, I am still struggling with bias tape.... I lurve the look of it too, hence why quite early on in my sewing days... I have a rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat and lots of bias tape makers. I guess it's OK. I know its going to take some time for whats going on in my head to be replicated into what I'm making with my machine. Patience is the name of the game. I am really proud of the darts on the top. I know that they are childs-play to people reading this with more than a few days experience sewing, but I loved how they brought life to my top!

OK... next project....   Angela Kanes Pinafore Dress

I'm going to use this material.....

Its a Navy and Cream stripe. As you can see, I have already cut and started darting... so tonight I am going to start sewing all the bits together... wish me luck! Happy Sunday!!




  1. Congratulations on your first completed project! It looks great! Bias binding is not my strong point either but I have improved with practice.

    I look forward to yiur next project!

    1. Hey Suzy! I'm nearly there with project number 2! I'm really REALLY happy with it :-)

  2. Hurrah! Your first completed project looks so professional and suits you so well. I'm really pleased to gave found your blog x

    1. Thanks Roisin! I am utterly in love with dressmaking! My fiancée is amazed that I was up at 7 this morning. When I first met him, I was a midday day out of bed gal... It's sewing! I jump out of bed... Walk the dog, tidy the house then crack on!! Happy to have you onboard... I'm revealing my SS12 day dress later... Yipee! X

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of sewing! Things don't always turn out like they look in your head by it's SO satisfying when they actually do! This top looks great. I can't wait to see what you make next.

  4. your first project turned out really really great! but how do you have the time to sew whilst being a nurse!?! my friend is an RN in med surg, just bought a lovely pfaff & never uses it! drives me crazy!

  5. Congratulations on your first finished garment!!! I am reading your blog from the start and look forward to seeing everything else that you have made :)

    Great job with the bias binding!!!!!


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