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Introducing the New Sorbetto


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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Today we are excited to share the New Sorbetto with you! We originally released Sorbetto back in 2011 as a free downloadable top designed to teach fundamental sewing skills. Six years later, we wanted to update this Colette favorite. This updated pattern includes two new versions, a new and improved fit, and updated pattern instructions.

New Fit and Look

Since 2011, we have updated our size range to include sizes 20-26. In recent months, we have also actively sought your feedback. All of these factors lead us to creating new misses and curvy blocks.

The New Sorbetto is drafted using our new blocks. It features a new fit across both misses and curvy sizes. Sorbetto is our way of sharing the new fit with you—for free!

Our signature in-depth pattern instructions have been updated with a new look. We also added both misses and curvy illustrated fit guides and personal measurement keys to help you achieve the perfect fit.

New Split Sizing

Moving forward, our patterns will include two different size ranges. This means that you can choose our misses size range (0-16, XS-L) or our curvy size range (18-26, XL-3X). Sizes 0-16 are drafted for a C cup and sizes 18-26 are drafted for a DD cup.

The process of drafting both size ranges is exactly the same, but each size range is created from a different starting point, depending on the body type it’s created for. If we were to use only one body type, the fit for many people would suffer. This is why we have a separate block and fit model for each size range—so that both size ranges get the look that best suits them.

Digital patterns, like the New Sorbetto, include both layouts, making it easy to blend between sizes. You can read even more about these changes here.

Version 1 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline as well as the armholes.

Version 2 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline as well as the armholes. This tunic length version has a side seam vent and slight high-low hem, which is finished with a facing.

Version 3 of the Sorbetto top features a center front box pleat and bust darts for shaping. Bias tape finishes the modest scoop neckline. This version includes short set-in sleeves that are finished with a baby hem.

Join the Sewalong

To celebrate the New Sorbetto, we will be hosting a sewalong. Together, we’ll make all three versions of this lovely top. This sewalong will be co-taught by myself (Haley) and my pal and fellow sewing expert, Katie.

Haley Glenn   —   Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments 79


Well this is exciting! The Sorbetto is one of my all time favorite patterns! I love the different version too as I have often wished for sleeves. The only thing I am nervous about is the fit. The new Sorbetto looks a lot more loose then the original, which makes me nervous as I love the figure skimming fit of the original.
Off to sign up for the Sew Along so I can give them all a try out!

Sara A.

I just downloaded the new version, and the font is really hard to read and is not improved by zooming. It’s not a problem for me, since the pattern is rather straight forward, but it could be a problem for a beginner and it doesn’t reflect the quality I’ve come to expect from Colette Patterns.


Thanks for the feedback, Sara! Do you mean the new logo on the pattern pieces? We’ll look into it :)

Sara A.

It’s the font for the instructions. The pattern pieces look fine.

Patricia Clements

I have the same problem with websites using a grey font. Very difficult for older eyes to read.


One of the points of sewing your own clothes is to get a personalized fit, and I wouldn’t expect to get a perfect fit from any pattern straight out of the envelope. However, you’d hope that the advertising samples would at least fit the model, be properly pressed, and be made out of an appealing fabric. My eye goes straight to the darts – they do not look good. The top photo with the side view of the orange shirt, where you can see the wavy side seams and it looks like it was made out of cotton broadcloth… not sure why you’d be advertising this as new and improved. Looking back at the original sorbetto posts, the samples looked much more appealing.


Thank you for your feedback. We hope you’ll give the fit a try.


That was my reaction too.


It also doesn’t seem to be “small person” friendly. I’m an A cup and I’m starting to realize Colette and Seamwork patterns are not drafted to really fit people who are smaller. I’m disappointed because I love the look, but it’s gambling every time I make a woven pattern. The knits so far seem ok, but that’s because I’ve accepted never having negative ease around the bust since I’m 32″.

Based on the photos, I agree that the new Sorbetto seems to have the same fit issues. The armholes were too tight, the bust darts were too high and now it seems it’s even baggier than before! I’ve done extensive work on making the old Sorbetto wearable and had hoped a new fit would have solved all these issues.

I wish you’d take smaller people into consideration when you’re drafting your patterns.


Hi Chloe, thank you for your feedback. Currently, 10 sizes are about all we can fit on the pattern sheets while keeping things easy to read. We’d love to include even more sizes if possible, and it’s something we will definitely look into if and when we ever revise our sizing. I will be covering many fit adjustments in the sewalong, including an SBA.


That’s a shame to hear. I suppose if that’s the case, I will have to stop my patronage and find a pattern company that offers a true size small and extra small. If you ever decide to start offering smaller sizes, I’ll be happy to take a look in the future.


Did you actually take a look at the new version? It starts at a size 0 – bust 33″ – so you should be able to get a decent fit.


While I might be considered a size 0 in many places, I am not a Colette size 0.
I am a 32″ A cup, so while you’d think one inch off wouldn’t be a problem, they grade their patterns for a C cup. What this means is that there is too much ease for me: nearly 5″ bigger than my bust! I usually only need about an inch and a half ease around my bust.
While I could grade their pattern down, I don’t see why I would put in the effort when I’m sure there are companies out there with better fits, or at least companies that recognize that women come in all sizes, and not just the larger ones.


As to the comments about patterns not fitting smaller frames: Welcome to the world of sewing! I am a smaller person as well (I joke that I can make ANYTHING with 1 & 1/2 yards, even if the envelope specifies far more) and typically have to alter purchased patterns sooooooo much (after downsizing and hacking off inches) that the pattern resembles some mini version of its former self. That’s why we sew! There won’t be a pattern that will fit you right out of the package, so don’t expect it to! The most common type of pattern review I see, on any site is in regard to fit, and I think, REALLY? My suggestion: make some slopers or learn to draft your own patterns (I did, because it was important to me, but I still use other people’s patterns too) if this is too frustrating. Maybe fitting should be taken as a lesson in patience. (:


There is no need to be rude and condescending, or make assumptions about my level of expertise.

I have not had as many issues with patterns from other companies. Colette chooses to grade their patterns on a larger scale. Not all companies do this. I can make my own patterns, and have done so, many off of the original Colette patterns, as well as my own slopers.

I only wanted to point out originally that Colette’s choice in starting their X-Small as a 33″ C cup is rather large. This is my opinion coming from a woman who normally wears X-Small to Small and perhaps Colette is just not the right fit for me.


I’m sorry but I was responding to your rudeness. A lot of people like these patterns, and as another small person (XS petite, size 2 in RTW), you must know that we aren’t average…..anymore.


The vast majority of sewing patterns are drafted for B cups, and it’s actually pretty great for Colette to make patterns for C cup ladies who usually have to adjust everything. It’s not reasonable to expect pattern makers to draft things that fit every bust size, and especially not for a free pattern–if Colette considers A cups more, what about D cups? G cups?

Needing to adjust the bust is probably going to be true for plenty of the people making this pattern, and that’s just part of the sewing process.


This was very well said.


I agree! Those armholes look too small for the model and the fit is too small across the upper-chest and back, and I totally agree with you regarding the fabric choice and wavy seam. The bust darts are too long as well. The tunic sample looks much better.


Yep, unfortunately those were my thoughts, too. The darts look too long and too high, don’t they? But I’m glad to know that if I do want to buy another Colette pattern in future, I’ll be able to try out the new fit – especially WITH sleeves – for free first.


Nice top! What is the tissue?

Gretchen Potts



I squealed with delight when I opened the email announcing this. As a super, duper beginner to sewing clothes, the expanded size range is going to make it so much easier for me to finally make a Sorbetto.


Your email announcing the New Sorbetto really brightened my day! And it’s still free! Such a versatile top. I might try a hack with the tunic length and 3/4 length sleeves, until the weather gets warmer anyhow!


Wow what a cool revamp! Love love looooove, the extended sizing and increased cup sizes! No for FBA’s for me! I never finished my first Sorbetto due to bust fitting issues AND my beginner sewing bad fabric choice (quilting cotton was never gonna work!) but will happily give it another shot now!


Being a pear shape I will need the top from the 14 with the hips from the 18.. Will it there be an issue combining the two?

If I use the 18, I would have to do a massive small bust adjustment from DD to a C! Not all curvy gals are busty gals.


Hi Stephanie, you can definitely combine the two! I would recommend blending from a 14 in the bust/waist to an 18 in the hip. That way you can avoid having to do an FBA.


That would require printing and tracing out both size ranges – I think just adding extra ease to the hips in the size 16 would be more practical and quite easy to do.


Thanks, Bonnie! That method would also work.


Wow and thanks! I downloaded the original Sorbetto years ago and am so excited about the extended sizing and more loose fit of this new version. I can’t wait to sew one up.


Any chance you could explain the new block please, and how it differs from the old? thanks


Instead of updating our old block, we drafted new blocks. This new block reflects our new split sizing and the more custom fit it provides to both size ranges. Sorbetto is our way of offering you a chance to try our new fit for free.


I love the tunic version and I will probably sew all three. Thanks for providing those free!


The Sorbetto was my first really successful project when I decided to get back into sewing a few years ago, and helped me believe I really could sew as an adult. Thanks for an updated version; I can’t wait to try to tunic version!

Dana Tougas

I love the updated Sorbetto, you really listened to your fans for a sleeved version especially after the blog posts on the Sorbetto last year. I’m surprised there wasn’t a curved hem version but I love the tunic length!

Barb Kuhlmann

I am a brand new sewer, with quilting experience. I love your patterns and I own 4 of them. Hawthorn, Jasmin, Dahlia and Violet. They are all printed patterns. Will the Sorbetto be a printed pattern? I plan on learning to sew with Colette patterns. I have limited time like other folks squeezing in a hobby or in my case a passion to spend time on PDF patterns, thats why I bought as many of your printed patterns as I could. I am a fan. I think I am going to start with Violet, I am a curvy girl or should I say old lady 57 today. So cross your fingers for me girls. I have never commented before, just enjoy your emails and blog. I don’t do Facebook I rather sew. But reading the previous comments from haters is disturbing and those gals need to find a different venue to spew their garbage. Thank you Colette! Keep up the good work. Kindly, Barb


Hi Barb! Thank you for your kind words. Violet would be a great place for you to start! Sorbetto is only available as a PDF pattern, but the download comes with wide format print options. This means you can send the file to a local copy or print shop and they can print it for you. This removes the hassle of tiling the pattern at home. Hope this helps. Happy sewing!


Thank You for the different options and kudos on offering the various sizes with the two block types. I have always loved Sorbetto and also have many of Collete’s patterns.

I am disappointed however at the quality of the samples you show – specifically the placing of the darts. It is clear that the dart on this model is not in the right place. This is not the first time I am noticing this issue with the darts in posts on the Collette blog. Infact I recall a few people commented about the same on previous posts of other patterns as well. I think there needs to be better quality control to these posts – and i say this as someone who truly loves Collette patterns and have come to expect beautiful shaped and fitted clothes.


Thank you for your feedback. We hope you will give the new Sorbetto a try.


Thanks for the free pattern. I made the original Sorbetto and I’m looking forward to making these versions also.


How would I test the new fit through such a loose-fitting garment?
And then when I go on to a pattern with less design ease…

No, thanks, I wasted enough on the book and on fabric already.


Thank you for using the plus size block! I, too, printed out the old version. It’s still sitting there waiting for some mystery gnome to do an FBA. LOL. Gnome be gone! Looking forward to sewing this one up sans FBA.


Thanks for making the pattern available for the sewing world to sample. The extended size range is laudable, and the fact that you have introduced new blocks may overcome some of the problems associated with previous patterns. But – with great respect – have you checked issues with darts that were spoken about widely with the previous block?? These look very high – especially for anyone outside their teen years/ twenties…. Has the new block been developed for someone in particular who may have a narrow-ish upper torso and high bust points? Of course, I will give the new pattern a try….but …. please check this with a range of different models/ body types before you commit to the “new” block!


I too downloaded the first version, then spent a long time making muslins to get it fit my very curvy body. So glad you have done larger sizes, so many pattern companies are only interested in women who don’t have any shape. Love the version with sleeves. Material is ready so to sew.


I’m very excited to see the re-release, but I was hoping for some variations on the box pleat. I would love to see some tutorials on alternative treatments, from making an inverted pleat released at the hem (which novices might not know how to do on their own) to modifying the pattern to remove the pleat, or create gathers instead, make pin-tucks, add a collar, etc.


Hi Bonnie, the pattern offers instructions on how to remove the center front pleat. I love your other ideas. Pintucks would be fantastic!


Hi, I’m a newbie sewer of garments – I’ve just sewed costumes and things in my head
so I’m bad at understanding some of the instructions…. I was not sure where the “pleat line” was …. tried to guess just looking at the illustration in the instructions because it was not marked on the pattern or instructions that I could find – Did I miss something? I’m guessing it’s just to obvious to real sewers that it’s the “cut on fold…” line? In the picture it looked like it was a line further away from the center to me, so I did it wrong – apparently on the paper joining line! Is it crazy to use the term on the pattern that you use in the instruction? Thanks for the beautiful FREE pattern : )


There’s quite a fair share of Sorbetto “hacks” floating around the Colette blog and plenty on other blogs. I think that is actually what I love most about this pattern – there’s so much flexibility in it! Love the idea of the pintucks!


I’m excited to try this. I have been after a good beginner dressmaking pattern for my dressmaking course that would offer better sizing options for the students. I am UK based, would be pattern be available in a printed format ?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you


Haley and crew,
I’m wondering if the notes above that reference dart placement are a matter of taste in addition to personal needs for adjusting dart placement (like a SBA or FBA)? I don’t see anything amiss about the fit of samples your model is wearing, but I also have never sewn darts and don’t own any clothes with them. I wonder if this is something you’ll expand on in the sewalong?
Many thanks to the team for all you’re doing! Missing Sarai’s bob and vintage Levi’s on instagram, but digging the new directions in which you’re taking Colette and Seamwork. xo


Hi Jeanne! Thank you for the kind words! I will be covering raising and lowering the bust dart later this week on the sewalong.


Oh – and the tunic length just kills me dead! I could have an entire closet of that one variation and be a very happy lady!


What a load of whingers, complaining about a free pattern! I’m delighted to see the new Sorbetto, I have made the original pattern several times, and have gradually perfected the fit for me. True, I found the bust darts to be too low, but I am 5’9″ and it’s an adjustment I have to make with most patterns, and it’s easy to do. One of the benefits of making one’s own clothes is to get the perfect fit and NO pattern could possibly fit every woman – we are all unique.
So I am here to say, ignore the ungrateful comments, and thank you for a lovely free present, Gill x


Agreed! Those complaints were really bringing me down!

I love this pattern with the new variations, in addition to the hacks blog post. I can’t wait to get started on a brand new version very soon – incorporating the new block and Katie’s “Modern” hack with closed darts and a shirttail hem. I’m even thinking pintucks in place of the pleat. And a contest, too! Wonderful!!!


Can’t wait to see your version, Becky!


You are so right! I was shocked at all the negativity. I see nothing wrong with any of those darts on the model, and if you like your armholes a little bigger it is easier to cut a little off than to fix armholes that are too big.


They’re valid criticisms.

The same block that the free Sorbetto is drafted from is going to form the basis for other patterns. I like Colette styles, but I was hoping to see improved drafting in the new block before paying for more patterns.

Now I see that there are definitely going to be multiple adjustments necessary before even getting to fitting adjustments for an individual’s body, which requires extra time for me but will be even more detrimental to beginners who don’t know that much about fit.

After a few years of sewing, I now realize why the armholes in my garments made from Colette patterns are so uncomfortable; they’re drafted too high. After a year’s worth of washing, they shrunk a bit and got even more uncomfortable. I didn’t realize that starting out, and it’s not something that would occur to most beginners.


Thanks, Gill. We are so glad you like the pattern!


Gill, I wholeheartedly agree!
Thank you Colette Patterns. I always look forward to your pattern releases.


Thanks for this! Looking forward to trying it. Love the tunic version!

Lucy Wynne

Hi I don’t comment on blogs but I was so horrified by the negative comments about a “Free” pattern that I had to respond.
I am wheelchair bound and have an issue with weight going up and down because of my restricted mobility. I’m delighted with the range of sizes and styles that you offer for “free” and very grateful.
To the young lady complaining that you don’t offer a small enough size. Welcome to life dear. Those of us who do not fit the majority have to make more effort to find things that work for us. As in WE have to find it, it is not the job of a lovely person offering their skills at no cost to us to cover every permutation. You do have the choice to go elsewhere and I for one hope you do.
As to the other rude people I do hope that they too take their negativity elsewhere.


Hi Lucy, we are so glad you like the pattern. Can’t wait to see your version!


Hi Colette HQ,
I also want to say thank you for taking the time to redo this pattern and offering it for free. There have been lots of calls for a sleeved version of this pattern over the years and cudos to you for making that happen. I also want to say that I recently sewed up Winona (which I think is based on your new blocks) and the fit was really very good. Especially the narrower shoulders worked well for me compared e.g. to the Astoria – which I also loved and made work because I know that every body is different. I look forward to many more patterns and really can’t understand why people are reacting with such negativity.


I like this. I never liked the original version but the oversized version (with the sleeves) will be a great addition to my work wardrobe. Thanks, I’ll try it out!


Thank you so much for updating this pattern and making it available for free. You provide such a great resource for the seeing community.

I hope some of the ilconsidered comments don’t put you off. I found them very disappointing.

Thank you


I wish.this came as a paper pattern which I’d be happy to buy. Printing and fixing together pdf patterns is such a pain.


Does the front pleat always need to be pressed? Or is it too stitched or sewn in such a way that it always looks that neat?


It will depend on your fabric choice. The pleat is sewn into the bias binding and hem which does offer some control. You could always use a catch stitch to add some more stability.

A Morris

Happy sewing everyone!!! Thanks for another freebie. Great inspiration ..that’s what It’s all about!

Betty Parrott

Hi! I never comment on blogs, etc., but I just wanted to say Thank You for offering the expanded sizes in this lovely top. I too am appalled that people would be so cruel to criticize your offer of a free pattern. The majority of people can not just open a pattern, or print a PDF and expect it to fit their exact body shape and alterations may be needed. Again, I just wanted to apologize for those who were so unkind, and say Thank You for the pattern…OH! Yep…me too, the grey font is a killer on the older eyes…LOL

Nicole Gaston

Hi Colette team, thanks for this updated freebie!
I don’t seem to see the v3 in a0 print format included in the download after unzipping it.
Here is my sewing tip – use the “poster” print feature in Adobe to print a0 (or wide) onto A3 (or ledger) size paper. No trip to the copy shop required and waaaay less lining up and taping required.


Thank you for the FREE pattern. I am looking forward to trying the Sorbetto with the sleeve option. I am a new subscriber and I love how you have paid attention to the sizing.


Hello! May I use the old pattern and just add the sleeves?


Hi Joana, that is a great question! Unfortunately, the armscye on the original Sorbetto is very different and not compatible with the new sleeve. I encourage you to try out the new pattern. You can check out the sewalong, for fit adjustments to help you achieve your ideal fit with the new Sorbetto.


Any plans to make the old Sorbetto pattern available? The fit was great for me in the old Size 6 but I impulsively threw out the pattern thinking I could re-print it. It’s great that you have expanded the range of sizes but the new pattern is huge. I’m small but not tiny (size 6/small range for Colette patterns in the past). I’m concerned I may be sized out of your patterns based on this one.


Hi Rachel, we have discontinued the old version of Sorbetto. The new Sorbetto does have a bit more ease, but you should still fit into our size range. Check out the Sorbetto sewalong, we shared several fit adjustments to help you achieve the perfect fit on your new Sorbetto.


I really appreciate the response Haley and I have been following the sewalong. I think the issues go beyond ease or a need for fit adjustments. I have provided more feedback directly through the website. I hope it’s constructive.


For all the hard working ladies at Colettehq!!! Thanks for both versions of a FREE pattern! Jeeze peeps! What kind of world is it when you complain about a gift??!!! I figure we can use and enjoy a gift – or leave it alone! It isn’t as though either Sorbetto pattern cost you anything! And….I LOVE the ones I’ve made using the original version. – even though I am a member of the Itty Bitty club! So….thanks for a lovely free gift that I have enjoyed stitching and makes me happy with every wear!

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