Ginger Made: Strawberry Sorbetto Top

Voila ici le Sorbetto Top! It’s my first official entry in the 2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along. I’m vacillating between “Holy cow, I’m in love!” and “Holy crap, how did I screw things up so badly?!”

Here I am with Gus the Bus!

The good: The fabric! Mwah! I love it! It’s lightweight, sheer cotton that’s a perfect pink. I love the rectangular woven dots! Also, it’s just my style– comfortable, cute, and summery (plus it hides my bra straps!).

The bad: Ack!! Sunni’s Seam Finishing Week came one day too late! Stupid me, I didn’t realize that [zigzagging to finish seams] + [sheer, lightweight fabric] = extreme ugliness.  I’m not going to show you the inside of the garment– it’s way too embarrassing! There’s also a slight bit of weird puckering at the bottom of the side seams where it starts to curve out. Not sure what caused that.

The “meh”: The bias tape really forms a nice contrast (Wright’s 1/2″ Double-Fold in “oyster”, an unappealing name for a garment color, but that’s beside the point), but it seems a bit heavy for the lightweight fabric. It sticks out a bit from the garment instead of laying nice and flat, particular under the arms. I’m not really sure how to remedy this. Any thoughts?  Also in the “meh” category– fit issues! This is a seemingly simple top, but the style may not be instantly flattering on many people and may require some tinkering (or, in my case, three muslins!) to be wearable.

Squinting in the summer sun

On that topic, mods: I started out by cutting a straight size 2, which should have fit pretty well according to the chart of finished measurements. But the bust darts hit way too high and too far in, so I traced them on some transparent pattern paper, taped this onto the pattern about where I thought they should fall, and changed the shape of the pattern edge so the triangle thingy that pokes out between the legs of the dart was in the right place. This was my first time trying out bust darts, so I’m happy to have tried my hand at a new skill. Somehow I didn’t have enough ease in the bust, or really, all over (my finished bust measurement was 3″ smaller than estimated), so I added 5/8″ to the edge of both the front and back pieces, which did the trick. The armcyes were also way too tight, so I cut to the size 10 line, which worked. Finally, this top is crazy short. I added 2″ of length between where the 2C and 2D arrows meet on the back and the 6B and 6C arrows meet on the front.  I liked the length after this, so I added an additional 5/8″ to the bottom of the garment to reach this length after hemming it.

Look at the worn spot on my jeans pocket from carrying around my big fat wallet!

This pattern comes together really quickly, so it would have been really fast and satisfying if I hadn’t had all the weird fitting issues. Now that I’ve sorted those out, I’ll probably crank out a few more of these over the summer… and next time maybe I’ll try my hand at French seams or another nicer seam finishing technique.

Anyone else planning to make a Sorbetto?  How are your summer projects coming along?

2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along: The Grand Plan

Happy June, everyone! June marks the beginning of summer– it’s officially time for popsicles, sundresses, and weird pockets of sweat all over your body! This year, June 1st also marks the kickoff of the 2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along!

Every year, the first time warm weather hits, I realize that I have NO summer clothes. And every year I decide that I can power through the season wearing the same two tank tops over and over and over and that I can someone avoid wearing shorts all summer long, even though I work outside. As you can probably imagine, this strategy only results in the aforementioned weird pockets of sweat all over your body. But this summer will be different! My focus is going to be on adding breezy mix ‘n’ match separates to my wardrobe, as well as to sew things that will help me master new techniques (buttonholes! gathers! pleats!).

Without further ado, my 2ASESA plan (bold & italicized descriptions courtesy of Ali):

Poolside Pretties: Anything that cools or dries you off when there’s lots of sun and water around. One and two-piece swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, surf shorts, sun hats, oh my! One versatile swimsuit cover-up I find lovely is a terry cloth dress. Double-duty, that’s what I’m talking about. I’m waaaaayyyyyy too scared to try a swimsuit, so I’m thinking of doing a cover-up/dress in seersucker from vintage Advance 3335.

I'm so going to look like my crazy/awesome high school art teacher.

Clam Diggers & Co.: Bifurcated bottoms of every style and length, from flowing linen pants to short-shorts and all the inbetweens—clam diggers, pedal pushers, Bermuda shorts, etc. As I alluded to above, I have a pretty strong aversion to shorts. But I’m hoping to find and make a pair that turns me into a short lover, if only for the sake of comfort. Anyone have any suggestions for shorts patterns that are cute, girly, and not too skimpy?

Sweet & Sassy Skirts: Prints and solids, short and long, low-slung and high-waisted. But most of all: Airy, flirty, flattering. Skirts– now you’re talking! I’d like to make a mini version of Simplicity 2451, view D, in navy blue or gray twill. I’m also considering the Paper Bag Skirt from Adventures in Dressmaking‘s tutorial on Grosgrain.

Simplicity 2451

The Sundress: Need I say more? To me, the perfect sun dress strikes that chord between casual and elegant—arms and collarbones, looking good barefoot or high-heeled. It’s something you can wear to both a barbecue and a summer wedding. I LOVE sundresses!  They’re so sweet and easy to wear!  I’m planning to make Simplicity 3964 Built By Wendy as a sleeveless above-the-knee length dress in a peach striped cotton with dotted Swiss yoke details.  Does that count as a sundress?  If not, I like the looks of the Anna Maria Horner Socialite Dress pattern.  I also have a vintage pattern that I’m really excited to make, Advance 8295, but I’m not sure my skills are quite up to it just yet.   

Could this be the perfect sundress?


Tees, Tunics & Blouses: Yes, please! I’m finally understanding the worth of blouses as they also strike that balance between casual/formal, totally versatile. I’m also thinking mini-dresses that do triple duty as tunics, dresses and cover-ups.  Blouses!  I’m planning to start with the hot-off-the-press and FREE Colette pattern, the Sorbetto top, in a deep pink sheer cotton.  I’m also planning to do the Colette Violet blouse, and, if I have time, the Colette Sencha top so I’ll have plenty of options to wear with my new Ginger skirts!

Sorbetto (photo courtesy of Colette Patterns)

I also may try a simple tunic pattern from Sew Everything Workshop in a coral linen that I have in my little (but rapidly growing!) stash.

Those Summer Nights: Pullovers, cardis and hoodies may be the last thing you’re thinking of with the mercury rising, but there’s those cool summer nights, not to mention every last establishment with the air con blasting. Or: for those of you where thunderstorms are a daily summer experience, a lightweight trench?  None of these items are very high on my list of priorities, but maybe if I get through everything else on the list, I’ll stitch up something that fits this ticket. 

**NOTE** I’m much less a planner than I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, do-things-on-a-whim, loosey-goosey type, so don’t hate me too much if I deviate from the “plan”!!

2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along

So, even though I’m knee-deep in Ginger Mania, I’m already thinking ahead to the next project(s), and, just in the nick of time, I stumbled across the 2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along!  It’s a three-way party hosted by Ali of The Wardrobe Reimagined, Alessa of Farbenfreude, and Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones, and the goal is, in Ali’s words, “to stock your closet with quality summer basics”.  Participants will sew five or so summery pieces between June 1st and August-ish that may or may not fall into the following categories:

1.) Poolside Pretties (swimsuits, cover-ups, etc.)

2.) Clam Diggers & Co. (shorts, capris, etc.)

3.) Sweet & Sassy Skirts

4.) The Sundress

5.) Tees, Tunics & Blouses

6.) Those Summer Nights (pullovers, hoodies, cardigans, etc.)

The sewalong launches June 1st, which is perfect, since our big Ginger skirt reveal is June 2nd and we’ll all be anxiously looking forward to new projects!  I’m really excited about this and now my head is spinning with ideas!  Who else is in??