Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Colette Sorbetto Tank Top Pattern Review

During my self-induced Pattern Therapy sessions (hah) I decided I needed to make myself some new tops for Summer since my wardrobe consists of the same colour palette: creams, khaki greens, smudgy browns and dusty Pinks! Seriously - If you've seen me anywhere around over the past 12 months you'll think I always wear the same thing! 

Not only does my wardrobe consist of the same colours, but also the same style of garment, namely the trusty tunic, thus begins the search for the perfect tunic pattern (I can only change one thing at a time, and this time it's the colour, NOT the style, K?). Whilst looking for the perfect tunic pattern (still searching if anyone has any suggestions!) I re-stumbled across the Colette Sorbetto tank top and since it's a freebie download from the website, decided to give it a go.
I've had to peg the tank for 'aesthetics' - more on the sizing below!
The top itself is a basic tank with no closures (yey) and a box pleat down the front. This would be a great starter project for beginners using only two pattern pieces and just a handful of basic techniques. It's easily adaptable if you want to make adjustments too which is my next challenge.

The pattern prints out onto 25 pages which includes all your instructions, there's no colour coding so you can print out in grayscale to save your ink. It was simple to piece together and the fact that I have a guillotine REALLY saved me some time cutting out each block! 
I found the fabric requirements to be very generous, suggesting 1 1/2 yards of a 45in or 60in fabric but I used a 60in fabric and managed to squeeze the pattern into just half of that with a 27 inch cut for the size 10. If you want matching bias tape you'll need more and I can't vouch for any size larger than a 10 as I haven't made them! You'll definitely need more if using a 45 inch fabric. 

I have SO much of the fabric I used so this project would help use a bit more up (I really have to start using the materials I already have and stop buying new stuff and squirreling it all away). It's a lightweight cotton given to me by my grandmother last year so the ideas was to make a pyjama top to match the knickers I made using the same fabric a few weeks back. 
I won't lie, the length of the original scared me - I'm used to wearing my tops swinging around my hips, this is WAY too short for me but I wanted to follow the pattern accurately to work out adjustments for the next one and for a PJ top this length is just fine.

Now, sizing.. Because this is US sizing I made sure I took all my measurements to get the right size and came up somewhere between a 6 and an 8. The pattern recommends taking the larger measurement and cutting this size so I should have cut an 8. Somehow when I came to actually cutting the pattern though I managed to follow the lines for a size 10 and only noticed when I finished - I think there must have been a mental note embedded in my brain telling me I'm a UK 10 so cut that, urgh.
To make things easy I just went with it and made up the 10 BUT it didn't matter this time round, firstly because this was just a trial to see how the pattern goes together and secondly because it's only going to be used as a pyjama top so actually, the larger size is ideal. I'll pretend I did it on purpose ok? OK?! When I re-make I'll have to go for the 8, maybe even the 6.
See those gaping arm-holes? That's kinda what it looks like on me!
This pattern is so easy to follow and I'll definitely be buying from the Colette range in the future. All techniques are fully explained before going ahead to do them so if it's your first time you can't really go wrong! The one and only bit I really really hated was applying the bias tape. This was horrid - not because it was hard, it was just too tedious for my liking! If I'm going to go through all that effort again I'll definitely make matching bias (although I have my eye on this amazing panda fabric from The Eternal Maker, and some blue spotty bias similar to the stuff I used that goes really nicely)!

I'll definitely be making more of these, in the smaller size for day-wear! Adjustments I'd like to make are the following:
Add a peter pan collar with buttons down the pleat
Add lace on pleat
Lengthen into a tunic
Lengthen into a dress (maxi, anyone?)
Invert the pleat
Buttons down reverse

All in all I'm happy I have a new set of PJ's, I've used up some more of this fabric which seems to be never-ending and I have a new pattern to play with - yey!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hello Spring!

I've just returned from the post after sending out all my outstanding orders which means I have a rare afternoon free to myself! To celebrate I've poured myself a nice cool drink and have flung the windows wide as the weather is stunning today, it actually feels like Spring FINALLY! I'm having a go at making the Colette Sorbetto tank top using some vintage fabric my grandmother gave me last year. I made a pair of knickers in the same fabric so the idea is that I'll have a new pyjama set should everything go to plan! Photos to follow if all goes well.

Until then, I'm excited to announce I now have NEW colour leather journals! This Dark Forest Green is one of a number of pretty new colours available for 2013, I think it's my new fave! I have more colours coming soon but for now these will have to suffice - which is your favourite?
AND you can now buy lined journals straight from my shop (in the past you had to contact me prior to this!) This should make transactions a whole lot easier for everyone without the backwards and forwarding of emails and etsy convos to see if I can do them!
I'm excited to say that I have moved my studio - again! This time into a smaller space so it's a bit of a squeeze, just as I think it's looking nice and tidy and everything fits I remember I have a whole bunch of other bits to bring over so I imagine I'll be shuffling around for the next few weeks until it's 'perfect'. It's also going to mean getting rid of a lot of materials so I'll be opening a supplies shop on etsy for this purpose. More on this soon.

During my huge-clear-out I'm also hoping to knock up some new tutorials so keep your eyes peeled! I'm off now to attempt this tank top - wish me luck! I'll leave you with a treasury featured on the front page of etsy on Thursday featuring one of my journals!