Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sorbetto: fabric choices

To me, this is the most fun part, aside from finishing!  

The pattern suggests using "lightweight fabrics...cotton shirting, lawn, voile, batiste, swiss dot, crepe de chine, charmeuse"

Good luck finding a lot of those at the big box stores. Cotton shirting, sure, but it seems lawn, voile, crepe de chine and charmeuse (silk not polyester) are almost impossible to find. Not to mention, looks like the stores are already putting out the fall fabrics.  I was looking for swiss dot, but it's sold out til next spring.  Personally, I didn't love the shirting selection.  

Now, it's been hovering around 80 F here, and I'm spoiled by the SoCal weather, but I know my South Eastern friends are frying. My biggest suggestion to stay cool is go with a natural fiber. I love the drape of polyester (poor lady's silk, ha) but it is   H-O-T, it does not breath a bit.  The first Sorbetto I made is out of this glorious 80s polyester I upcycled from a $5 Goodwill skirt. But lemme tell you, for a tank top, it is still hot.

In all it's hot, poly glory...

Seersucker, linen, cotton sateen, gauze would all be great choices.  I chose linen this time.  I dare say, quilting fabric might even work well!  Check out this great discussion on Gertie's website about using quilting fabric for apparel here.

The second Sorbetto I made was out of a stash fabric I had. When I bought the fabric, it was labeled voile, but it seriously feels like quilting fabric.  It's got a boxier, 60s shape feel to it.

Another thing to keep in mind, is what are you going to use for the bias binding?  Are you going to match it to the main fabric like I did on mine?  Or are you going to do a contrasting one like this one from the Colette page?

So many options!

Just remember when you buy the fabric, if you do a contrasting color, make sure your thread matches the binding, not the main fabric, unless you're going for that design wise.  Personally, I find it hard to sew evenly, especially on curves, so I usually opt for a thread that blends.

TIP!  With thread, when trying to match it, go for the one that's slighty darker than the fabric you're matching it to, it blends in better than a lighter one.

Check out all these great examples on the Colette's Flickr page for Sorbetto here.

EDIT   I forgot to mention, when choosing fabric, yes, this will work with a nice slinky fabric, but those fabrics can be very slippery when sewing.  If you are new to garment sewing, I wouldn't recommend starting off with one.  If you are a little hard headed (like me, ha) and fall in love with one, I'll show you how to make it easier to sew!  


  1. i have the perfect fabric, I think...bought it at a thrift store. It's a golden silky fabric that might be sort of cool. But, what color bias tape should I buy? what compliments gold? i don't have a bias-tape maker and color combinations are difficult for me. tips?

    - also, when I printed my 4 x 4 test box, from the pattern - it's just *shy* of 4 inches. seems like this would matter - so how do I fix this? is a computer setting thing?

    thanks guys! ::)

  2. Eh, you don't need a bias tape maker! I do mine without, and I'll show that on Saturday's post. Easy peasy. For bias color, hmmm. Personally I would just make the bias out of the same fabric, it doesn't take much.
    Are you comfy sewing with a slinky fabric? They can be tricky cause they're so dang slippery. I'll show a tip for that as well, though :)

    As far as the 4 x 4 box issue, I did a little digging and found it's probably your printer.
    Check the settings and change the scaling option to "none". I guess the default on some printers is "shrink to size" which can throw it off a wee bit. Reprint just that page and see how it works...

  3. terrific! will try that today and see how it goes. yeeeeee! as for the fabric, I was just looking through all of the stuff I already had on hand, but I appreciate any and all suggestions and tips because I'm a newbie and still learning! i have to make a trip to the fabric store, anyway, so all the more reason to see what else is out there! woot woot! hey, i wonder why Nat Dogg isn't up in this! i may have to send a note her way...it might be because she's in the teaching-mode...but it never hurts to try, right?!

  4. Yes, we need to get Nat in on this!

    Hey, if that printer thing doesn't work, I also saw that some people were having trouble printing if they were using Google Chrome (?). A few switched to Safari or Firefox and didn't have problems after that.

  5. a wee bit late on this - but I was, indeed, using Google Chrome. Going to try another browser, as well as the other suggestion to see if it works properly.

    also, I texted Nat to invite but sounds like she's been busy with a rug....also has an upcoming trip so she won't be able to participate on this one. Maybe another! :)