Monday, August 24, 2015

FO: Gertie's Cherries Rayon Sorbetto

On my recent 4th of July fabric binge I was lucky enough to get 1 yard and 4 inches of Gertie's teal rayon with cherries at Joann's on super sale. This was all that was left on the bolt and I've wished there was more ever since I purchased it. The fabric is buttery soft and drapey - just what the doctor ordered with this awful heat and humidity. Ugh, Florida summer, how I hate you. Since I had so little fabric, I knew whatever I made would have to be super simple. While looking through my patterns i pulled out Colette's free Sorbetto and when all the pieces fit I just started cutting.
The Sorbetto is the first thing I made myself back in 2012 when I started thinking I could sew clothes for myself. That poor shirt never gets worn due to bad fabric choice - quilting cotton just will not work for this one unless you don't mind looking like a box. This rayon on the other hand would drape beautifully and really make the pattern flattering. The only problem showed up when I realized that I had no idea what I was doing back when I fitted the Sorbetto, so I had to change quite a few things on the fly. Somehow I had a crazy amount of excess at the shoulder - I think I removed 3 inches total on each shoulder seam - which was a simple fix, but left the top a smidge shorter than I prefer. It's still wearable, just not 100% perfect. Ah well, you can't have everything. I just won't raise my arms ever.
I also don't really know what's going on at the sleeve. The sleeve is actually an add-on pattern piece someone other than Colette Patterns produced. The sleeve pattern only came in one size (I think it was an 8 or something like that) which was way too small for me so I had to scale the piece up way back when. I did this by eye-balling it around the edge to what I thought would be the right size. It worked on my quilting cotton version, but the sleeves were a bit long in hindsight so I shortened them to the length of a dress sleeve pattern I like. Something about the overall cut (maybe it's a grain issue?) seems to make the sleeves flip out in a weird way. Again, not a deal breaker - just not perfect. I do love the drape of the fabric though :)
Here's my fancy surprise on this shirt - it's finished with self-bias ... that I made ... out of rayon! I have to say I impressed even myself that I pulled this off. Knowing that rayon can be shifty, I started out by spray starching the area for the darts so that I could get them nice and straight. This worked like a charm! My machine was already set up with my walking foot, so I just kept that on and in combination with the spray starch it was a sure fire. I had no shifting while I sewed at all! From there, I decided to use the spray starch on the bias tape too. I received a Simplicity Bias Tape Maker from my in-laws for Christmas this past year and I am sad to say I hadn't used it until now. This machine is a boss! I'm kind of embarrassed to say it, but I've never successfully made bias tape before. I always end up cutting it wrong or burning the crap out of my fingers and have to stop. This machine made it so much easier. 
Once you cut the bias strips and get them sewn together, you just load it on the spindle and the machine does the rest. The only tricky part was threading the bias tape through the tip - rayon is not so good at this. I just sprayed the first few inches of the fabric with spray starch and threaded it through -  no problem! Beautiful! I did have to press down slightly on the little iron piece and hold the folded tape that was coming out so it didn't bunch up, but I'm pretty sure that's because I was using such a drapey fabric. I now have really pretty bias tape, and I can't wait to make more! (By the way I'm not being endorsed by Simplicity or anything, I just really love this machine and wanted to let others know about it - Amazon usually has the best price if you decide you need one!)
Obligatory mannequin shot - because everything looks better on her :) I love this print, don't you?! If I could have, I would have bought enough for a dress but they don't even have it available online. *sigh* Oh well. I'm borderline on thinking this shirt is too plain - do I have a problem? lol I can't decide. I mean, I know it's cute, but I think it could be cuter with something going on at the neck like some buttons or a trim. I haven't found anything that looks good with it yet though, so I'm open to your thoughts.
Detail shots - I used matching minty thread so it didn't take away from the awesome print, and I think that turned out nice on the hems and neck. The bottom two shots are peaks at my self-bias. Since the shirt came out a little shorter than intended, I'm glad I went with the bias since that kept just that little bit more at the hem. Also the front center is slightly shorter than the rest of the shirt, so I'll need to adjust for that next time. At least now I know how to adjust the pattern for the next go round!
Well, there you have it. A cute but simple top that's perfect for the Florida heat. I will certainly be making more shirts like this, and I have a complete obsession with rayon now. So prepare yourself!

Fabric: 1 yard 4 inches cherry printed Gertie rayon from Joann's - $4.19
Pattern: Sorbetto by Colette Patterns - Free!
Hours: 4
Total Cost: $4.19


  1. This is really lovely, I wouldn't add anything to it, it looks good as is.

    1. Thanks so much, Kaitlyn :) I couldn't tell if I was over thinking it or not, so I'm glad to get an outside opinion.


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