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Make a Modern Sorbetto


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The beginning of a new season is always a bit awkward for me. I never really understand what I was thinking the year before. Thoughts like “I must have been really into gold, sparkle gold” and “I don’t think I’m as comfortable showing my belly-button anymore” seem to always crop up.

This year, I’m not feeling nearly as outrageous. The Summer of 2016 is going to be much more simple and classic. My river-dips and barbecues will be peppered with not-too-short-shorts paired with pretty solid color blouses. For work, I’d like to wear my usual get-up: a nice top with a knit pencil skirt. Let’s be real, they’re basically the skirt version of sweatpants.

But, my closet doesn’t reflect this dream one bit. Either items are too casual, too busy, or just plainly not my style anymore. What I really needed was a versatile and quick-to-sew blouse pattern that I can wear all summer, to all the things.


Thus, my Modern Sorbetto was born. The alterations were a breeze and after making the changes, the construction of the top is almost exactly the same.

The original pattern has a very vintage esthetic; the front pleat, the short length, and the higher neckline are all reminiscent of 1950s blouses. I first removed the front pleat and closed the dart, which Meg taught us all about in her Knit Sorbetto post.

Next, to add a slightly more modern and casual look, I lowered the neckline, curved the hem, and drafted a little pocket for the blouse front.

Luckily for you, I took notes! Here’s how to make your own Modern Sorbetto.

You’ll Need…

  • The free Sorbetto pattern
  • French curve
  • A ruler
  • Pattern paper
  • A sharp pencil
  • Tape

Start by removing the center front pleat and darts, as detailed in this post.

Pocket Placement


  1. Draw a perpendicular line from center front to the end of the closed dart leg. This is line A. Draw an additional line from the end point of the dart to line A. This is line B.
  2. Measure 1 1/2 out on both sides of line B. These marks will be your pocket placement marks.

How to draft a pocket.

  1. Draw a 3″ square. Draw a parallel line 1 1/2″ above the square. This is line A.
  2. Add 1/4″ seam allowances on the sides and bottom of the square. Bring the seam allowance line up to meet line A. At the point on the side seams where the top of original square is, draw in notches to help with construction later on.

1. Follow Devon’s instructions for adding a pocket after drafting your pattern.
2. Attach the pocket to your shirt front before any other Sorbetto construction steps.
3. If your fabric is lighter weight, interface your pocket piece for better stability.

How to lower the neckline



  1. From the seamline of the neckline and down the center front, measure the distance you would like to lower the neckline and mark. I lowered my neckline 1 1/2″
  2. Using a French Curve, redraw your new neckline.
  3. Cut away the extra paper, along the new neckline.

How to create a curved hem



Make sure to remove the dart before curving the hem.

  1. On the shirt front, tape an extra piece of paper to the bottom of the hem, it should be at least 4″ tall by the width of your pattern piece. Next, extend the center front line by the measurement you would like to add to the length at the center of your blouse, this will be line A.

    I chose to keep the length of the Original Sorbetto at the side seams and lengthen the center front and center back by 2″.

  2. Draw a perpendicular line from the end of line A. This line should measure between 6″ for a small to 8″ for a XL, this is line B.
  3. With a french curve, connect the end of line B to the side seam. Repeat these same steps for the shirt back.

Sewing Notes

  1. Reference Meg’s Knit Sorbetto post for instructions on removing the dart and removing the front pleat.
  2. Make sure to staystitch! Especially if you are using a drapey fabric.
  3. I did a machine rolled hem on my Modern Sorbetto, if you haven’t tried one yet, I highly recommend it- its sorcery!
  4. I made matching some continuous bias binding. You can also use some cute contrast binding for a more casual look!
  5. Follow the pattern instructions to sew this Sorbetto, omitting the section on sewing the darts.

There you have it, three totally different and totally awesome Sorbetto Hacks in celebration of Sorbetto week!
We hope you were inspired to make some of your own hacks and to sew up this quick wardrobe staples.

Which hack was your favorite? What awesome alterations have you made to your Sorbettos?


Katie Whittle   —   Producer

Katie teaches new skills through in-depth tutorials, sewalongs, and articles for Seamwork Magazine and The Colette Blog. She's all about encouraging sewers to try new techniques and create a personalized wardrobe that makes them feel great!

Comments 34


Thanks for this! Very versatile pattern. I love the pocket version.


I LOVE THIS!!!!! Looks like I need to get on the Sorbetto band wagon!


Love this! Do you think I could keep the bust dart and do the curved hem?


I think she just means if you are going to remove the dart you need to do it before you do the curved hem. I’m too busty to not have darts!


This is adorable. I need to make another!


Unfortunately I do not have time to do these hacks right now. Love them all. Will these hacks be permanently on the blog or website? Or should I download on my computer?
Jane from Philadelphia


They will stay on the blog, so feel free to bookmark them for later!


Another great look for the Sorbetto I really like. I’ve worn and loved vest tops (that’s what we call this style in the UK) for over 20 years- I actually have one brought from a store with a cute square pocket on the chest and it’s a favourite though it is a very relaxed fit (designed to be worn over something that’s more fitted). It’ll be nice to make myself a semi fitted top with a pocket. I’ve had lots of ideas, just need to be well enough to try them out (crossed fingers).

Ok, off to search discount fabric online! I want a linen Sorbetto and a jersey Sorbetto and a ….!

Thanks for a lovely pattern and all the different hacks. :-)

Ellisha Powell

Love it! I look forward to making this!


Is there any chance of getting the Sorbetto pattern enlarged to larger sizes?


This is so cute! I have made the original Sorbetto once and it was surprisingly easy and fits really well. I’m excited to try some new ideas. What kind of fabric did you use for this? Is it a knit?


Chiming in for Katie, because I love the fabric, too! It’s hemp dobby from Fancy Tiger here! It’s a great, drapey woven.


Gorgeous outfit. Did you use linen? And will these hacks always be available on the website?


The hacks will always be available, yes. Feel free to bookmark for later! Katie’s fabric is a hemp dobby from Fancy Tiger Crafts here.


Can you keep the pleat in front ( I prefer an inverted pleat) and do a curved hem? Love a high low curved hem.


Of course you can! Because there is that 6 inch measurement out from center front before any curve happens, you are safe!


Can you provide a source for the fabric?


You can find it at Fancy Tiger Crafts here!


did you do anything to the straps? they look wider-set than the original sorbetto.


Nope, the straps are the same! :)

Sarah I

Hello! I’m a bit new to sewing, and I was wondering if this pattern would look good with the green with white polka dot fabric I bought from walmart. (it’s in the link below) I think it is linen, but it does seem mid-weight. Also, would adding a scalloped hemline look good with the fabric? I don’t know that dots with scallops wouldn’t look too strange, although I am very willing to give it a try.


Aw, that fabric is cute! I think a Sorbetto would look great in that fabric. Just make sure to pre-wash your fabric in the way you intend on washing your finished garment.
As for the scalloped polka dots, I think the scale of your fabric is small enough for scallops. If your dots were super big, the “cut” dots may get distracting. Have you seen our tutorial on making a scalloped hem for the Sorbetto?


Thanks for the pattern hack Katie. Such a great and simple way to really transform a pattern and generate a whole new look. It also looks great on you to boot!

Quick question :Why remove the darts? Is it to create a boxier/trapeze look (your version does look a little flow-ier than the original)? Make assembly quicker? or is there another benefit/reason? Thanks!


When removing a dart, the extra fabric needed to shape the bodice correctly “swings” to the waist. For the Modern Sorbetto, I wanted a bit more swing to compliment the curves hem. The fuller the bust/bigger the dart, the more swing your Sorbetto will have.


I’ve always loved that Colette offers such a great pattern for free, but never really felt it was my style. I made this the other day using these modifications and LOVED it! Super quick to sew up and I loved that the armholes are cut in a way that nothing gapes. I used an odd kind of cotton that’s been sitting in my stash for ages. I really love that this uses so little yardage, even with the added length. This would be a great pattern to use for when you want to splurge on some pricier fabric and let it shine! I measure 35.5″ around the bust (34C), 27″ around the waist, and made this in a size 8. It fit perfectly. :)


I am so happy for you Gen! Honestly, I haven’t made too many myself until I did this alteration. The modern version is now a tried-and-true in my sewing stash!

erin fae

I’d love to see yours, Gen! I’m always looking for how things look on curvier ladies (i’m about 35″ bust and 27″ waist)


love the hem. I tried it keeping an inverted pleat in the front. I actually somehow skipped the removing the bust dart, so kept that in but had to adjust it to angle up a bit a few times. I made it a high low so extended the top by four inches and the back by 7.5 inches. It looks amazing. Will try it again in a drapier fabric and remove the bust dart. I’m not really a fan of how the dart is so “horizontal across” anyways.

can you do a side slit hack for the modern look ??:)


That is brilliant! I’m so happy that your Modern Sorbetto was such a success. I’m sure you could so a “side slit hack.” I just found this post on Sew Mama Sew that might just do the trick!


by the way, for those who are pear shaped the inverted pleat is very flattering and I feel like it actually gives a bit more width of fabric to the hip area, which makes it nice and drapey there.


Good point! I think the Modern Sorbetto would look great with the pleat.


I made this and it turned out pretty nicely. Warning, though, with the dart removal widening the front bottom considerably, it ends up looking a whole lot like a maternity top. Not exactly the look I was going for.

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