Wednesday, 16 April 2014

::Sewing::FO:: Kimo-No Sorbetto Cobalt Rayon Top

I don't know what is happening with my face here.
Please excuse the 'bitchy face'
This blue rayon has been calling to me since I bought in September last year. I've been a little afraid to play with it because it felt slippery and slinky and I thought I would be a bugger to sew.
Last week I was playing with my fabric (please tell me I'm not the only one who takes fabric out of my stash; pets it; admires it and folds it all back into the stash) and inspiration struck. I think this fabric would work fabulously in a kimono tee. I looked to Miss P's amazing pashmina refashions for inspiration.

Took out my Colette Sorbetto pattern and traced out the size 18, added 2 inches in length, raised the back neckline by 2 inches and drafted on some kimono sleeves. I took photos of my process because I was going to share how I added my kimono sleeves with you, but I won't because I stuffed that up a bit.

A little trick I thought up as I was added length was to trace the pattern, mark the added length at the bottom then slide the pattern down to the marking and trace the new hem. This trip probably wouldn't work in all cases (like adding length to a circle skirt) but it worked fine here.

I cut out the fabric using a rotary cutter and cutting mat which I thought would be safer than scissors with this slinky slippery fabric. A few hours later I had a 'ding' moment and thought I may have drafted kimono too narrow. My suspicions were confirmed when I basted the top together. The sleeves where far too snug and distorted the neckline.

I unpicked the side seams. I resigned to the fact that this wasn't going to be a kimono tee and made it a cap sleeve top by cutting from the outer edge of the shoulder seam to the underarm (just above the bust dart on the front) removing the lower portion of the sleeve. Thinking about it now I should have cut the sleeves with a curve so the cap sleeve was less pointy at the shoulder seam.

Construction wise this top had a bit of back and forth about it.
The first bit of sewing I did was to stay stich the neckline.
I sewed the bust darts and then sewed and overlocked (serged) the shoulder seams.
After baste fitting the side seams; ripping them out and removing the lower portion of the kimono sleeves I overlocked  all along the side and sleeve edges.
The side seams where then sewn.
I did a double turn hem for the sleeves.
I overlocked the hem, then unpicked it because I didn't want bulk in the hem.
The neckline and hem where faced with bias tape.

I've avoided rayon because it's a bit slippery and I thought it was synthetic. But as it turns out it’s a natural fibre that has very intense processing (which I learnt from Steph C). In the end it wasn't that hard to tame the rayon.

I'm surprised with how much I like the sleeves on this top. It's a happy accident. I like the fit although I could probably be a bit snugger. The neckline is wider than what I'm used to and find myself fussing with it to make sure I keep my modesty and my bra straps covered. Thinking about it now, maybe bra strap carriers are the answer.

Colette Patterns Sorbetto - Hacked

~Changes I made this time~
  • Back neckline raised
  • Added length
  • Added kimono sleeves, which I then had to adjust into a cap sleeve
~What I Like~
  • The fabric colour and drape
  • I like the length
  • The cap sleeves turned out better than I thought they would
~What I Don't Like~
  • The neckline is a bit wide and the front neckline sometimes droops a little too low for comfort
  • The sleeve hems are a bit bulky and alter the drape
  • The top has a lot of ease
~Changes for Next Time~
  • Try tracing a size 14 next time and from under the grading out to a size 18 from the waist to hip
  • Make the neckline narrower (although if I trace a size 14 at the top it might not need it)
  • Finish all openings with bias tape as facing
  • If I'm going to have another go at making a kimono top I must remember to shift the lower part of the sleeve down a 2 inches and rotate the bust dart into a French dart so it doesn't get messed up in the kimono sleeve.
PatternColette Patterns - Sorbetto (FREE)$0.00
Fabric 1.5m cobalt blue rayon (spotlight) $6.29/m$9.45
  • Thread
  • Bias Tape
Time6 hours (* $16-ish Australian minimum wage) $96.00

Kind of expensive for a basic top, however, the materials were cheap, considering the lessons I learnt and the fact there was a lot of unpicking I'm totally cool with that.

~Final Comment~
I really like this top and I can see myself wearing it a lot. Like, A LOT.

Have you been able to 'save' a project that was going a bit wrong? What was it?
I'd live to hear about it, leave me a comment. :)

Until next time,

Lets connect


  1. I really like how you've shown a table of costs that includes your time. This is so often forgotten when handmade items are spoken about! But it's so important.
    Also, I love rayon. I have a few rayon items in my wardrobe and they always make me feel cool and look good, but boy do they need ironing! That's the biggest downfall.
    I haven't had to save an item of clothing (only because I don't make that many), but I've had to save crochet projects so many times I've lost count. One time I was making a pair of fingerless mittens and I had to save the pattern so much (I was using the wrong hook and the gauge was different) that I forgot how to do it all again on the second mitten. There is still one mitten sitting in my projects drawer!
    So inspiring as always! Keep it up sister :)x

  2. Thanks Sarah! I agree, many people forget or omit the time it takes to make things. Shame about the mitten. :)


Thanks for stopping by. I really like reading your comments, so drop me a line by clicking to comment

Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID.