September 2, 2011

selfish sewing with Colette

Sometimes I get a bug to sew something up for myself for no good reason. Not something practical or necessary, just something to exercise my sewing muscles and take a break from "have to" sewing.

I've been spending more time perusing sewing blogs lately, and I was inspired by The Sew Weekly's 7 Days of Sorbetto challenge. The Sorbetto, in case you live under a rock or are my husband, is a free tank pattern by Sarai of Colette Patterns that, as evidenced by Mena's variations, is infinitely adaptable. The idea of finding a great base top pattern that can be built on and modified to suit a variety of styles is intriguing to me, so I decided to whip up a Sorbetto myself to see if there was potential there for me too.

I used fabric that had a previous incarnation as a disastrous failure from Spring Top Week. I had attempted to resurrect it, but it was no use, so I shelved it, and was happy to see that there was still enough fabric there to cut my Sorbetto. I had to modify a bit by cutting the front piece in two parts and stitching it together rather than cutting it on the fold, but this was really just a muslin to test size and see if the pattern had a good fit for me for future mods, so I wasn't concerned with that minor detail.

Aside from that, I cut and sewed the Sorbetto just as indicated in the instructions. Well, I guess that's not entirely true either. I added sleeves using the pattern from The Sew Weekly, and I stitched the bias binding at the neckline to the inside rather than the outside. But other than that, it's made just as instructed. I'm happy with the size and the fit, and I do think that it's a great base pattern to build from. It's too short for my taste though, and I doubt that I'll wear this particular version for anything besides lounging around the house or sleeping in.

While I was at it, I also downloaded another of Colette's free patterns, the Madeleine Bloomers. These are adorable, completely impractical, and again, something I probably won't ever wear. But I didn't care! I just wanted to sew something for the fun of it, and these are super quick to put together and easy too.

These were also stitched up entirely with things that I already had on hand. The fabric is a drapey, silkey bit of leftovers from a previous attempt at sewing something that I can't even remember right now. Probably a top, probably a failure that I never wore. It was the perfect weight for these bloomers though, and I got to try some fancy French seams and felling techniques that I don't ever use, so it was a good exercise. And they are cute, it just takes some mad confidence that I don't possess to pull them off. Even for PJ's.

There are some more photos of these garments here, along with some detailed shots of the interior seam finishes if you're a sewing nerd and think that would be interesting to see. And I highly recommend downloading one or both of these free patterns from Colette and sewing them up for yourself. Even if you're like me and you don't actually plan to use them! Sometimes you just need to sew, right?