Tutorial: Make Sorbetto Without a Pleat


Love the Sorbetto top but want to remove the pleat for a simpler look? Here’s how to alter the pattern in no time. Watch for a tutorial on adding a scalloped hem to the top for a super cute look!

    Tools Needed:

  • Sorbetto top pattern
  • Pen
  • Scissors

1. Mark the pleat line as “place on fold of fabric.”

2. Cut along the pleat line. The pleat line is now the center front.

3. Place the pattern on the fabric and cut.

4. Follow the Sorbetto instructions, omitting the pleat, to finish!

Please do share what you’ve made in our forum and in our flickr pool. We love seeing your creations!

Some related posts you might be interested in:

Caitlin Clark   —  

Caitlin is the Colette Patterns design assistant. You can follow Caitlin at her blog, the story girl.

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Comments 30

Claire (aka Seemane) sew-incidentally.com

Nice tip! However, so that I can use the pattern (with a pleat front) again in future, I would simply fold under the section that you cut off and then use it like that to cut out my fashion fabric – that way I can use it on it’s original shape/size again for future makes :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

That’s a good point, Claire. You could also save the extra pleat area that you cut off, and tape it back to the pattern when you want to use it, or you could trace the front piece onto a large sheet of paper, and have two variations.


Thanks for the idea. This also seems like a good pattern for finally learning how to properly adjust a bust dart. Probably your dress form here isn’t a DD :) Any chance of some instructions on that?

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I think Melanie gave some good tips below for doing this kind of adjustment, but I would like to cover it here as well since so many people ask about it!

Claire (aka Seemane) sew-incidentally.com

@ Melanie – the technique you’re after is called a ‘Full Bust Adjustment’ (or FBA for short). I’m attempting it later this week on the Sorbetto top :)

You can see it here in ‘The Perfect Fit’ book on pages 74-77 (click here for the Google book preview look at the dark/vivid pink top for the FBA!). That book was originall part of the ‘Singer Sewing Reference Library’ and used copies (older editions but just as useful) are for sale for less than $1 USD

(‘Fit for Real People’ also covers this technique too.)


Sarai colettepatterns.com

Thanks for posting the pointers, Claire. That’s really helpful (especially knowing that book can be purchased for less than a buck).

Ava bygoneglamour.com

I will have to keep an eye on your blog to see how your sorbetto FBA comes along! I like the looks of the sorbetto, but being very busty and also short-waisted, I can never, EVER get FBAs to work quite right – they want to add extra length, which I then have to take right out again because I’m short-waisted by about two inches as compared to standard pattern-drafting. So much redrafting. :(

Marie asewingodyssey.blogspot.com

Oh, no! You’ve just given me an excuse to make my 4th Sorbetto and I’ll definitely be making a scalloped one too ;o) I must remember to share pictures of mine on your flickr! Thanks again for such a great pattern!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

You are very welcome!

Susan – Knitters Delight knitters-delight.blogspot.com

The Sorbetto top is such a winner! I have one down and many to go.


Cool! Thank you. If you want to keep the series going and the pattern works, you might want to try:

Converting the center pleat to two pleats;

Converting the center pleat to pintucks;

Converting the pattern to a dress, as was done on the Sew Weekly site. http://www.sewweekly.com/2011/06/oonas-bird-brain.html

I was going to try these things on my own. It would be interesting to see if there’s any trick to it.

Portia portialawrie.blogspot.com

Just finished my third,eek! Just such a perfectly simple and versatile pattern. A total winner!

sarah sarahsewing.blogspot.com

I did this just the other day for my very first sorbetto (although certainly not the last) because I knew I wouldn’t have the patience to iron the stubborn fabric I was using every time it got washed, haha. I can’t wait to make another one. Or four :)

Brooke gracenutsblog.com

Pintucks is a great idea!


One more suggested variation, if you have the time, and if it works with the pattern:

Demonstrate how to remove the pleat and include an insertion, such as lace. I assume it’s a matter of removing the pleat, figuring out how wide the panel should be, adding seam allowances and then trimming them. Or maybe it’s a question of getting to the point shown in the example above, and then making the adjustments for the insertion.

Again, I was planning on trying these experiments on my own. I like that the pattern doesn’t require that much fabric.

Thanks again for making it available.

Cathe amaryllislog.blogspot.com

I love Sorbetto and have completed 3…so far! I feel the fourth one coming on this weekend.

Sarai I can’t thank you enough for this pattern, it’s been so fun to play with and I have received so many complements on this shirt! It is a total love affair!

lsaspacey lifeisexamined.blogspot.com

I wore mine and received three compliments and I didn’t even go out for lunch! Must take pictures for the pool and for my blog!


I’m working on Sorbetto #2 and hope to make a few more, with and without the pleat. I love the pattern! Thank you!

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[…] week – I seriously love the Sorbetto! It’s quick, versatile – there are so many different ways you can make this top!!, so so comfy, and just an awesome fit on […]

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[…] How did I squeeze a dress out of a yard of fabric? Well. I used the Colette Sorbetto pattern (I think you’ll get bored of hearing that phrase over the next few months), which is free to download from here. I omitted the pleat because I didn’t have enough fabric (this is simple to do, but here’s a tutorial if you’re stuck). […]


I love the simplicity of this pattern. Since my taste runs this way (simple) I’ve noticed these are often hard to come by. So thank you! … I am wondering though if the shoulders might tend to fall off on me, since I have slightly narrow shoulders. Suggestions?

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Not sure how to enlarge the pattern beyond size 18. My hips are 52. Suggestions please.

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[…] How did I squeeze a dress out of a yard of fabric? Well. I used the Colette Sorbetto pattern (I think you’ll get bored of hearing that phrase over the next few months), which is free to download from here. I omitted the pleat because I didn’t have enough fabric (this is simple to do, but here’s a tutorial if you’re stuck). […]

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[…] well, in fact!  i followed this tutorial on removing the pleat, and this one on adding a scalloped hem, so it was a bit more involved than […]

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