A few weeks ago, after months of rain, it suddenly got HOT. And I realised I barely had any clothes suitable for HOT weather, let alone driving around France in hot weather (I know from experience how hot that can be). I wanted something super simple and super lightweight, but I also wanted to make it myself and I had about two lunch breaks and half an evening to do it.
And so? The Sorbetto Sundae dress was born!
Bad picture! I was in a hurry! I’ll try and get some pics of me in it on holiday!
The fabric is a French (according to the man in the shop) cotton voile and it’s super lightweight. I bought just a metre of it and practically ever inch is used in this dress.
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).
As both front and back need to be cut on the fold, I ironed my fabric to have two folds and then lay the pieces like this:
And then…(this is the bit where I should have taken a picture), I made sure the bottoms of my two pieces were level with each other, and then just continued the line down and out as far as it would go (basically making a very long top). It ended up being not that much wider at the hem than it was at the hem of the top, but that was fine.
Ok, so I can’t do anything about the fact I didn’t take pictures, but here’s a reconstruction using a post-it note! so the black is the original bodice/top pattern and the pencil line is how I extended it. Except… to make it even more complicated, I folded everything in half after cutting out the bodice/top bits (still lining up the bottom of the front and back) so that my skirt pieces would be mirror images of each other.
Still following? Phew!
This then came together really easily. I french seamed all the seams (like this! so fancy!), except after sewing the shoulder seams wrong three times I gave up and did normal seams, which I then bound with some very thin, light bias tape I found in my great aunt’s stash. It’s the short brownish line in this inside-out picture of the shoulder.
I did a bias facing… When I made my last sorbetto I thought I was just binding the edges with bias binding – I didn’t know that a bias facing (exposed or hidden) is a different thing! These were the two blog posts that helped me out: one and two. (I mainly followed the second but ran out of patience when it came to understitching).
Another inside out picture. See how the bias tape wasn’t at all visible on the outside? That’s the difference between bias binding as binding and bias tape as facing. On an exposed bias facing it would look like this, but when it was the right way out.
I sewed the hem with a baby hem/rolled hem done this way, but also a little bit bodged so the end result was smaller but nowhere near as neat:
Note, this is not what a rolled hem should look like! Done is better than perfect, right?
And finally, after all that boring detail, here’s two nice close ups of this delectable fabric. I love it! It’s just so summery, like an ice cream sundae in all my favourite colours (hence the ‘name’ of this dress).
This fabric is so lightweight that it’s practically see-through in the wrong light. For a day at the beach or in the car I’m fine with it being a tiny bit sheer, but I wore it to work with a cotton slip and it was totally professional. I could have lined it, but I like the flexibility of having a summery sheer dress for the beach but with the option of adding a sip to make it more formal.
So, my verdict on the sorbetto pattern? Dreamy. Seriously. The first time I saw the pattern I was like “eh”. But then, as it was free and I had that cheap fabric, I made one. And what do you know? Even though that thing is fugly and riddled with weird bits and the fabric is nasty to wear, I find myself putting it on all the time. And I can tell this dress is going to be the same! So, if you’re on the fence about the sorbetto, give it a go. It doesn’t take much money, time, or fabric and it’s a bit of a winner. Huzzah!
Edited to add – PSST – you can see a picture of me wearing this dress here.