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Free pattern to download: The sorbetto top


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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I have a little treat for you today: the Sorbetto top, a brand new free downloadable pattern!

Several weeks ago, Kathleen of grosgrain asked me to participate in a little something she put together called free pattern month. I thought it would be a great opportunity to put together another freebie pattern for you all, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, seeing as the Madeleine Bloomers were such a hit.

So I asked around on twitter and facebook to see what sort of simple, free pattern you all might be interested in. Many people said they wanted a simple tank or camisole, or possibly a babydoll top to go with the bloomers.

With that, I took the 60s as my inspiration and made this ultra-simple and swingy little top! With its ultra simple construction (just two pattern pieces plus some bias tape, and no closures needed), elegant loose cut shaped with bust darts, and the box pleat detail down the front, this is a pattern you can throw together in a huge range of fabrics for summer.

This version was made in a coral pink crepe de chine, with bias tape made in the same fabric. I’m sure you can imagine all the things you can do with a blouse this simple. You could use a patterned bias tape, or just use a contrasting color. Or you could sew just about any embellishment you want down the center. This blouse is a true stash-buster and a great way to use some pretty buttons or trims.

Or check out this version, in a casual printed cotton lawn. For this version, we went ultra-simple and used a pre-packaged bias tape. For this top, we use an exposed bias facing. It gives a nice flat finish, but still lets you show off a pretty bias tape.

This top goes great paired with a coconut-basil milkshake, pictured above. That’s a highly recommended serving suggestion.

Just like with the Madeleine bloomers, some assembly is required for the pattern. You print out the sheets and tape them together to form the pattern. It’s multi-sized for 0 to 18. We estimate that this pattern takes about 2 hours, from start to finish.

Download the Sorbetto Top pattern!

And don’t forget to post photos of any tops you make in the CP Flickr pool!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 642


This is a wonderful free pattern. Thank you so much! I have a silk print that I think will work wonderfully with this.


Lovely free pattern! Now to find some suitable yarn, I can do with some more non-t-shirt tops.


What a sweetly simple top. I hope that I have a chance to get some fabric this weekend to whip one up!! Thank you so much for the free pattern, you’re so generous!


Just when I thought I had my late spring/early summer sewing plan down, you release a new pattern I can’t resist! hehe! I love this top and instantly thought of a semi-sheer cotton lawn I have in my stash, so I was delighted to see that you made it up in a similar fabric too. Thank you so much for sharing this–I’m going to print it out today. Plus, I think it’ll look really cute with the Ginger skirt I have on my list to make… ;)


What a great pattern! Thank you! I know what I’ll be making this weekend : )


Wow, so cute, I love it!

Thanks so much for sharing :)


What a lovely top! Thank you so much for generously sharing such a fantastic pattern.


Great, I’m excited to try this out! Thanks so much!


This is so lovely! Can’t wait to try one.

Carlotta Stermaria

Thank you very much to the Colette patterns team! And how considerate of you to launch th Sorbetto just before the beginning of summer sewing plans… this will certainly be a part of my Summer Essentials Sew along!

I love the front pleat and the bias finishing. Simple, yet very effective details (plus now I’ll get to try my hand at it).


This is exactly what I needed! I was even thinking of drafting something very similar for myself since I bought a coral silk skirt at the thrift store with intentions of turning it into a top. I’ve never sewn silk before, so I wanted to make it super simple. Coral is one of my favorite colors and is also very popular at the moment, so I want to make the top ASAP! Thank you!!


Sarai, thank you so much for this amazing free pattern! You are so generous, thank you, I can’t wait to make this and wear it all summer long. You look amazing in coral, I can only aspire to your fabulousness!


Thanks Leah, it’s my favorite color!


How great! Such a simple, versatile pattern is going to be great for my wardrobe! My head’s already spinning with possibilities!

Tabatha Tweedie

Fantastic! Thank you so much. Just what I need!

Dr Duckie

I nearly spent £45 on a silk top exactly like this yesterday! Hoorah!


it is gorgeous! thank you so much for offering this free pattern :) this gives me an excuse to try out 4-ply silk!


just ove it !! Thank you so much for that !!! On my way to make a new negroni shirt …..


Thank you so much. This is quite timely.


Thank you for the free pattern! It’s so generous of you knowing how long it take to draft patterns. The tank is cute. I’m adding it to my list to sew asap.


This is so gorgeous yet simple and classic. Thanks so much for posting this up. You’re so generous to make it a free pattern!


Aren’t you a DOLL! Thank you for this lovely pattern.


Thank you! I have to add this to my already large summer sewing plans. Everyone can do with multiple simple tanks.


LOVE! Both the top, and you for giving us thoughtfully designed and free patterns. How does the pleat detail hold up in wearing/washing? I have a blouse that has a similar pleat detail down the center back and it drives me a little batty because it’s always getting mashed to one side or the other during wearing. Any suggestions for making it stay put?


I have three of these now, and I haven’t had any problems with the pleat going off to the side, probably because it’s held in place pretty well at the top and bottom (by the bias tape and the hem). It does need a good pressing after washing, though.


Love it! I’ve been going a little crazy with summer tops and here is another one to add to my list. And in my favorite color, too!


Wow what a treat. The blouse is adorable and thank you for sharing.


This is lovely! So simple and stylish. Would you believe I was going to make a top almost exactly like this, using Simplicity 2593? Now I will try this version!


You are so full of loveliness! Thank you, this just made my day :)


beautiful! thanks for sharing this top. :) love your tattoos!


Thank you so much for this – it just perfect! I´ve been looking for more easy going -easy sewing top patterns. And this fits the bill just perfect! :-)


Yay! Thank you for sharing this pattern!


Thank you so much for this!! This top will definitely fill a gap in my wardrobe and I can’t believe the pattern is FREE!!! I wish I could hug you. seriously.


Haha, awesome! I love virtual hugs (and real ones too).


Beautiful pattern!!! And such a great staple–exactly what I need!


Thank you for posting this great pattern. I was just thinking the other day that I needed to get a tank top pattern to make some shirts for work. This design will be cool in the warm environment but still look professional. My latest purchase was a bias tape maker and this is a great excuse to use it. Thanks!


Wow, this is so generous. Thank you, I can’t wait to try it out!


Beautiful – I am very excited.


What a great pattern! I love the fabrics you use. Where do you source your fabrics from? I can never seem to find the fabrics I want to use without hours upon hours of searching online.


Oh, we get most of our fabrics locally, at a great (and huge) local store called Mill End. The ladies there are awesome, and they have an amazing selection of apparel fabrics.

ETA: Bolt is also wonderful! They carry Colette Patterns and have lots of Liberty prints. Yum.

Alli (One Pearl Button)

This is gorgeous, Sarai!! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern. I can definitely see it becoming a summer staple!

Gayle Grier

Love this simple top! Thank you for the pattern. I will send pics.


Thanks so much for sharing this pattern, and putting the time to make a lovely pattern and instructions! I look forward to making this up for summertime!


what a lovely pattern – so great that it’s for free! such a nice idea. (:


Thanks for sharing. This is a versaltile pattern that can be worn all year long.


Many thanks from Switzerland. This is a very nice pattern, I love the box pleat very much. In my stash I have a lovely voile which will look good with this pattern. Have a nice week end!


Lovely! Thanks for the pattern! I started making this last night and noticed a possible issue in the Stitch Center Pleat section. #4 says “stitch the pleat flat” but shouldn’t it say “press the pleat flat”? It doesn’t look like your pleat is stitched down so this confused me (although I’m making my Sorbetto from a man’s button down shirt so not doing the front pleat). Thanks!
I tried leaving this comment on the Grosgrain post but can’t seem to get my google account to want to post to her blog.


Thanks for letting me know! I will edit the PDF as soon as possible, so it should be fixed today.


Just so everyone knows, I fixed the typo and the PDF is good to go now. :)


oohhhhhh, that was my question as well. I starting sewing last night and couldn’t figure this part out. I am using a baby blue with white polka dot cotton and have the same fabric in lime green that I’m planning to make bias tape from. Can’t wait to finish up in between making my first dress, the Macaron.


And again Sarai, another great pattern! And free! Thanks for being so generous! I’m planning on making a long dress version :)


SUPER CUTE! Thanks very much. And great instructions as always!


This is so stinkin’ cute! Thanx for sharing!!!


Hello Sarai,
I created my first version of this shirt. I love it! I posted about it on my blog if you are interested to see how it turned out. I will post it on my flickr and link it to your images as well.
Thanks for the pattern!


I really want to make this shirt for my self & my mother…but when I down loaded the pattern my 4×4 sq is off….it’s a 3 3/4 x 3 3/4….any suggestions?


It probably has something to do with your printer settings. Perhaps your printer is not printing it at 100% size?


I had to change in page scaling option to “none” to get the correct sized square. The default option is “shrink to printable area” on my computer and with that option the square was off by a quarter of an inch.


Thank you, Rebekah. Changing the scaling to “none” worked. Wish I’d noticed your comment before I printed out and taped the pattern together last night.


Thank you for this hint!! I had the same problem with the printing, now it’s fixed!!


I had the same issue! And it wouldn’t let me change the scaling when I opened the pattern in my browser, I actually had to download the PDF to access the scalability menu and change it. All taken care of now! :)


can’t wait to make it!


Thank you SO MUCH. I have been having such an awful time finding blouse patterns that I like! I LOVE this one!


Thanks a lot for sharing this great pattern, I´m looking forward to try it!


Oh, I love the box pleat, great simple lines! Thanks, Sarai!

[Also, re. the printing issue. I couldn’t get it to print at correct size/scale out of Google Chrome browser I tried first, with my usual “Burda” pre-set printer settings (100% etc), or by setting up manually. Something in the interface with Chrome I guess, because I switched to Firefox, and it printed perfectly first time with same settings. I don’t really know why, but maybe that will help someone.]


This is awesome! Thanks!! Just what I need to kick start my summer sewing after spend the last two months being married to a quilt. I mean making a quilt.


I like this design and would like to make it, but I’m concerned that without any closures, it looks like it might be hard to get on and off. Anybody have any feedback about this?


It has a very loose fit, so I doubt it would be a problem!


Wow! i have a fabric in mind. can’t wait to try this out!!


Awesome, thank you so much.


My printer was about a quarter inch off as well, so I just went up a size and it worked beautifully. Turned out really cute and breezy. Thanks for the pattern!


Thanks for sharing this pattern with us! I can’t wait to make it!


Thank you! Lovely pattern, and I really like the contrasting bias binding idea. Much appreciated.


Thank you so much for this pattern! It has solved a biiiig problem for me. I made a skirt and absolutely didn’t want the ususal t-shirt to go with it. (Just tired of the “mommy-style”). And this is perfect.


Thankyou veyr much!! Am in desperate need of some new tops and this is perfect.


Thank you very much! I’ve wanted a pattern like this for a while now.


Thanks for the awesome pattern.

Those crepes and shakes are so good. I just had the coconut basil shake and the walnut, cardamom, cinnamon crepe.

Charissa – The Gifted Blog

Thank you so much! I’m working on my Madeleine bloomers and looking forward to having another project to try next. Appreciate all the work that has gone into these…I’d heard how well-made your patterns are and am getting to see that for myself now!


Thanks for another great free pattern! The box pleat is such an attractive and easy detail. I sewed this top and it’s on heavy rotation already, with several more in the works. Here is my review of the pattern, which details a couple minor adjustments I made:


Wonderful, I’m so glad you like it!


Thank you! I’m always amazed by (and grateful for) people’s generosity. Thank you for being so giving with your time and talents.


You’re welcome, Kelley! It’s nice to fit in these little freebies when we have time. :)


Where can I find the size chart for your patterns? I like them very much.


Oops! Guess I scrolled too fast as I just found the size chart.


Glad you found it! And for anyone who wants to take a look at the size chart before downloading, it’s linked from any of the patterns in our shop as well (except the men’s pattern, which obviously has a different size chart!)



Just a belated thanks to add to the list of all of those on here, for the Sorbetto top pattern. It’s an absolute pleasure to make, pleasingly quick, soaks up all those ill-advised scraps of fabric in wonderful prints and colours I can’t quite resist out of the remanants box in fabric shops. The instructions for the bias binding facings are also genius (as are the instructions and tutorial for continuous bias binding – very soothing to the soul), and I may now bias bind everything I make ever again…well nearly! Oh – and the finished garment – lots of fun, and quite smart, if I need to make it so, as well.



Hello- thanks for the wonderful pattern, which I am very keen to sew…I just have one problem :( No matter what I do (I have googled this, asked the IT support department at work, clogged up the printer at home) I cannot get the test square to print out at 4×4. I am getting quite desperate, as it comes out between 3×3 and 3.25×3.25 (scaling on the pdf set to fit or set to none) and when I alter the scaling, or rather zooming on the posh printer itself at work and manage to get the test square up to 3.75, I loose so much of the pattern because it is ‘zooming’ rather than scaling, the page moves down/left and I lose my size (16/18) entirely. I only have Adobe reader, do I need to buy the Adobe Acrobat programme?
Is there help, or am I to dumb to sew this wonderful top?


I was having the same problem with the sizing my 4×4 sq was coming out at 3 3/4x 3 3/4, I ended up taking the pattern to work and used our copy machine to enlarge the pattern. I enlarged the pattern by about 5%. I have since made 4 shirts, I change things every time, most recently I moved the darts down about 1/2″. You can see the shirts I made on the Colette flicker site.


I have had the same problem with the test square: It’s about 3.75 inches, not 4. I’ve taped together all the pieces and was going to trace it to make it easier to work with. But I think I’ll look into taking it to a copy store to enlarge it first.


The first time I printed the test square it also measured 3.75″. On the second printing, I went to Print –> Properties –> Effects in the PDF and changed the % from 100 % to 105%. With that change, the square measured 4″ exactly. Hope that helps!

Winwick Mum

Brilliant – thank you! I was worried because my pattern came out of the printer small too, but after reading your suggestion I tried changing the print ratio and it worked! I needed to print at 106% but it wouldn’t have occurred to me if you hadn’t suggested it x


I’m looking forward to trying this. Thank you.


Wow that looks fantastic – I love the cotton lawn fabric. Can’t wait to have a go at this. Thank you so much.


THANK YOU!! I’m a begginer and had no problems to understand your pattern. I will certainly do some more sorbetto tops!


This is darling!! Can’t wait to make it!

Angelina S.

I have what might be some silly questions.

1. Do the fabric requirements include the fabric you’d need to make bias tape out of the same fabric that your top is made from?
2. If not, how much extra would you suggest buying?
3. How wide do I cut my strips of fabric to get the proper size bias tape for this shirt?

Sorry, this is probably really simple stuff; I’m still really new to sewing clothing.


Hi Angelina… you might want to check out our tutorial for making bias tape (which is linked in the pattern instructions):

1) The fabric requirements don’t include the bias tape per se. But bias tape takes very little fabric, so it’s likely that you can just cut the tape from the leftover scraps.

2) See above. I doubt you’d need more.

3) The strips should be twice as wide as the finished width. (So for 1/2″ bias tape, you need 1″ wide strips).

Angelina S.

Thank you so much for replying! That tutorial looks great. I am ordering some liberty tana lawn to make a sorbetto and I really wanted to make sure I had enough to make the bias tape, but I didn’t want to order a lot more than was called for on the pattern. That stuff is expensive!



FWIW, I’d like to make up this pattern in Liberty Tana Lawn, too, but I’m first going to make a muslin and then use some other, cheaper, cotton fabrics first.

As you said, Liberty is expensive.


Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to make a muslin 1st! I have some voile that I got cheaply that has a similar drape to the liberty that I’m going to use. I would be crushed if I messed up my liberty fabric!


This is pathetic, but the last time I tried to learn how to sew before getting distracted, I bought two yards of Liberty to make a skirt in a beginning sewing class. I had to drop the class and I still haven’t used it, even though it’s far from my favorite Liberty pattern. That was over a decade ago.

I am actually glad that I didn’t waste it on the home sewery elastic waist pull on skirt that we were going to make. Plus, it was too light for that treatment; it needed to be underlined.


With all due respect to Sarai, if you want to make longer strips with as few seams as possible, you will need more than small scraps. This is a small blouse so the strips won’t need to be very long, but you will probably want to avoid seams.

I tried the method with the two triangles in muslin and was not happy with the results. I ended up with seams that ran in different directions and there were too many. I also found that my strips weren’t as clean and uniform as when I use a rotary cutter. For the results, it was not a time-saver.

I suggest you use the traditional method of making strips, cutting on the diagonal. A rotary cutter is helpful. There are articles that tell you how to estimate how much you’ll need.


If you take a look at the cutting layout for the pattern, there is quite a bit of fabric left at the edges, since both pattern pieces are cut on the fold. Its definitely more than small scraps and I still think it would be more than adequate.

If you think seams might be unsightly on the bias tape, you also have the option of doing the traditional piecing method:


Yes, the traditional piecing method is what I would recommend.



There is a Belgian site that sells Liberty bias tape for some fabrics. I’ve never ordered from them. It’s in French, but Google Translate is serviceable. You order by email. I’m sure someone there speaks English.


Thank you so much for posting this lovely pattern and instructions!! It is a beautiful top and I can’t wait to try it :)


I’m not proud of my arms. How would I go about adding short sleeves to this pattern?

Sewing Princess

Have a look here

And here

You need to measure around the armseye to get the full lenght and back/front to know how long each side is.
You can also try and adapt an existing sleeve pattern by comparing the lenghts. Try it out first on a scrap of fabric to see if it’s ok.

Sewing Princess

Would it be possible for you to save the pattern in A4 format. My printer doesn’t work on Letter format.
Thanks a million

Sewing Princess

I found the answer… you are a genius. Unlike other patterns where the printable area is stretched to the limit of a Letter format, you centered it. This solves the problem! And it gives me an idea in case I want to share patterns.

Claire (aka Seemane)

(I tried to send the message below via your ‘Contact Us’ webpage – but it wouldn’t work)

Hi Sarai,

I saw Mena of The Sew Weekly’s post about her 7 days of Sorbettos. And, I saw that she’d drafted her own sleeve pattern ( to go with your free Colette Pattern. I thought I’d do you the courtesy of letting you know that I’ve turned her sleeve pattern into a PDF file – which I’ve uploaded to a post on my own blog here:-

Best wishes,


I am new to garment sewing and after reading all the wonderful reviews about this Sorbetto top, I want to try my hand at crafting one. When I downloaded the pattern, however, I found that the pattern does not go up large enough to fit my ample curves. Any tips on how to draft the pattern to fit a 50 bust, 43 waist, and 53 hip?

Claire (aka Seemane)

Hi Jeri, you should be able to increase the size of the pattern. Increasing/decreasing the size is called ‘Grading’ – it’s not quite the same as take the seams in/out a bit – it’s more of a logical step-by-step methods to get an even, proportional increase across the body to get a nice finish:).

I’ve posted some links on my blogs to how to’s/resources on Grading:

You may also (like I had to on my first Sorbetto top) need to do a full-bust adjustment (sometimes abbreviated to FBA) – so making a test garment (called a ‘Muslin’ in the US, or a ‘Toile’ in the UK – where I am) out of some inexpensive cheap fabric will help you to assess any fit changes and tweaks you need to make to your pattern pieces… before you cut into your good fabric :)

Best wishes,


Thanks for the info Claire. I read through the info from Burda but unfortunately this still seems super complicated for my feeble brain to comprehend!

mes ptits titis

Very attractive, I plan to be made the sorbetto in a few days


Not sure if this is a problem with the download here in the UK, but when I download the pattern above, I’m completely missing row 6. Can anyone help?? I was really looking forward to joining the Sorbetto club, but can’t. :-(


Nikki, I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by “row 6”?


I’ve found the answer! Don’t try to print things at work, which really aren’t work!! For some reason my Acrobat Reader at work (where I have a decent working printer) didn’t download the last four pages and so I ended up with everything below the 6s and with the 7s too missing.

I’ve downloaded it at home and brought it into to work on a USB to make sure I get the last four pages! Hooray, I can now get started!!

I really should learn to keep my sewing at home and my work at work, but you know how it is with sewing, you get an idea and you have to do it then! Thanks!

:-) (feeling a bit stupid now!!)

Cindy Ericsson

Thanks so much for the free pattern! I’ve been wanting a couple of new tops — now to raid the stash!


I have a problem because I am big busted (G cup!!) and the top never fit correctly. What do you suggest I do to ensure the bust area fits correctly?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
One frustrated sewer!

Claire (aka Seemane)

Hi Wendy,

The FBA (full-bust adjustment) is your friend :)! Maybe try making a test garment (called a ‘Muslin’ in the US, or a ‘Toile’ in the UK – where I am) out of some inexpensive cheap fabric will help you to assess any fit changes and tweaks you need to make to your pattern pieces… before you cut into your good fabric :)

There’s some links here from on different FBA’s for different styles of top.

Or, you can see pages from 2 different fitting books on how to do an FBA here:
from this blog post
The Perfect Fit from the Singer Sewing Reference Library series of books (you need the top of pages 76 + 77).


This a is fabulous pattern. I can wait to make a few tops.
Thanks !

susan Harker

How wonderful! I just found the downloadable pattern – Thanks so much!!

Teresa Raines

I’ve been looking for a pattern like this for a long time. Thanks so much. I plan on making several different tops in batist and cotton.

Vanessa Newton

I just came across your wonderful site this morning and I can’t tell you how excited and happy I am about it! It’s wonderful. I was in search of a simple top that I could turn into a dress and perhaps even use my handmade dolls and I the sorbetto pattern is perfection!
Thanks so much for sharing. I will be following you lady and I can’t wait to get my hot little hands on your book as well.


Just adding my thanks to this as well. I just made it and used a facings tutorial from here
I have this thing about bias binding !!
I made a toile from a pink linen and wow, this is going straight into my wardrobe, nothing toile about it.


Great pattern and beautiful work.


Great top! And it looks easy to tweak too.
The bum on that dressform is cracking me up (pun not intended!)…love the stitched look!


I am pretty new to sewing but your clear instructions allowed me to feel confident enough to play around a little with the fitting and construction of this top. I am so pleased with the result, thank you! I’m feeling all Arnold Schwarzenegger about my sewing skills now and am going to throw myself into a Parfait dress adventure.


Thanks so much for the free pattern. I just discovered your site and look forward to checking out the tutorial section as well!


Hi Sarai, first time I’ve seen your site – love your work! I also LOVE the Sencha pattern and am desperate to get my hands on it as I have some gorgeous apple green japanese silk that would be perfect for it and have been waiting for a pattern that is worthy…like Sencha. Your site says the pattern is temporarily unavailable, when will it become available again please? thanks, kate.


Thank you so much for the free pattern it looks really lovely but is it a big size 18 … I’m anywhere from an 18 to 22 or like work 24 … nothing like change eh ??? LOL

Wanda Faith Rogers

sweet sweet pattern, will be cute with any skirt or crop pant pattern I have. Beautiful web site, I will be checking in often.

Than youk

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