Hot! The “Married to the Music” Top | Sarah Gabbart

Music top - top photo

The Facts 
Fabric: 1.5 yards of red cotton broadcloth from stash, about $2 a yard from Jo Ann's
Pattern: Sorbetto Top – free from Colette Patterns!
Year: c. 2011
Notions: none
Time to complete: Less than an hour – from cutting to wearing it!
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$3

I am married to a musician. As a result, my life is filled with music – whether I like it or not! On most evenings you can hear the sounds of pug snores, trombones, a piano and some random guitar strumming in addition to the whir of my sewing machine. Life in the Gabbart house is good – noisy, but good.

Because my husband both a working jazz musician and teaches the subject at a college level (damn smartypants!), that the natural choice was to go with what I know. So I went with jazz. Thankfully, there are many, many  great examples of things that one would like in their wardrobe on jazz abums (where is the sarcasm button when you need it!) I was awash in "hip" 1960s fonts, weird outfits on oddly shaped cartoons and Miles Davis's crazypants wardrobe choices. Help jazz! Help me find an outfit to pursue!

Bru Then I found this lovely cover of a Dave Brubeck album that features a beautiful woman leaning over his piano in a bright red dress. Bingo! I decided to use this elegant lady as inspiration for my top, opting to make a piece that could integrate into my wardrobe instead of a "once every few years" red dress. I am so happy that I did – I LOVE this top. Love it!

The top was very simple to make – as Colette Patterns often are – and happens to be FREE. Yes ma'am – totally gratis. I omitted the front pleat and added a simple neck bow by cutting a 6" X 44" piece of fabric, folding it in half and stitching one side. I flipped it right side out, ironed it and sewed it to the neckine instead of bias binding (tip" sew them wrong sides together and then flip over the neckline to create the folded over effect!). Voila!

I love having so much music in my life – before I met Ryan, it was rare that I would explore anything outside of Top 40 radio. Now I hear new music and enjoy it as part of our time together – thanks honey!



Sarah Gabbart


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  1. Yet another fabulous sorbetto – just beautiful.

  2. Yes, another fabulous sorbetto! I’ll have to whip out the printer soon!

  3. I LOVE this top…. I may have to steal this variation idea, it’s amazing!

  4. This is so cute! Please do a tutorial of how to do that collar… I’m seriously in love with it :)

  5. SO disappointed you didn’t go with the Miles Davis pants! My disappointment didn’t last long though, I LOVE this top – it is so gorgeous and suits you perfectly. A 1hr, $3 pretty top is a win on all counts. I would love Ryan to collaborate with Tex to create a pug-snore trombone masterpiece. Ah, the trombone. I played it for 4-5 years… but it was the spit valve that got me in the end. You have a beautiful, creative, musically puggely life :)

  6. Love this take on Sorbetto!!

  7. Ooooooh that is so pretty! And with the black pants it reminds me of that little dance number Audrey Hepburn did, that was jazz wasn’t it.

  8. Lady you look classy! Love your twist on Sorbetto and the fact you made something that can be wore often and with joy! Well done! Love jazz, great choice!

  9. Fast fingers missed the “n” …should be woren.

  10. I love this Sorbetto – it’s maybe my favorite variation I’ve seen yet! It’s been fun to see what fellow Colette-lovers have done with this top.

  11. That is one cute top! Love it!

  12. wow, i love the variation did with that top! it looks really great. and the color is stunning on you!

  13. SO gorgeous! Love the neckline. Most definitely have to make this top now :)

  14. Ab Fab, once again, Sarah!!

  15. What a beautiful sorbetto.. Great choice… Love it..Looks great on you. Happy Sewing.

  16. Such a pretty Sorbetto version, I love the bow!

  17. Wow, so little time for so much gorgeous! What a beautiful story this week, and I love your styling babes!

  18. Love this top – it looks great with a bow!

  19. margueritedesigns

    It’s a great interpretation.

  20. So simple, so pretty, so perfect!! Brava!

  21. Oh Sarah, this has to be the BEST Sorbetto top yet! You are making me relook at this one :)

  22. Sarah–I absolutely adore this Sorbetto top! So lovely!!! The bow and the colour are just stunning!

  23. jazzjazzjazzjazz i LOVE jazz! you are so very lucky. and that top is gorg. i’m so inspired by your choice to make a staple rather than a once every couple years dress– i mean, that’s going to give you happiness like once a week!

  24. Thanks Jen! I am in love with this pattern – and it’s free?!? What?!? That proves the best things in life are free parable.

  25. Thanks Caroline! I have had this pattern bookmarked forever because we were out of printer paper (Lazy Gabbarts!), but once my husband finally bought some we were in business! Get thee to the printer!

  26. Thanks lady! It was so so easy too – seriously, just a fold over and stitch on situation! Make sure you offset where the bow is going to be if you want it to the side like mine, if you make it even you will have a giant bow smack in the middle! Actually, I might make the next one with a wider collar and the bow in the back!

  27. Thanks lady! It was so so easy too – seriously, just a fold over and stitch on situation! Make sure you offset where the bow is going to be if you want it to the side like mine, if you make it even you will have a giant bow smack in the middle! Actually, I might make the next one with a wider collar and the bow in the back!

  28. Absolutely! I’m going to work on that sucker today – when I get it up on there, I’ll post a link!

  29. LOL! I love those pants too – they remind me of some crazy pajama pants my husband has called “America Pants” (our nickname) – they have tiny American flags on them! I salute him when he walks into the room with them on.
    Ewww spit valve – I learned my lesson that those when I picked up a handtowel from the floor and was yelled at “NOOOO! THAT”S SPIT!” I think I died a little that day. Spit rag – in my house!! Get it outta here trombone man!
    PS: Tex is literally snoring right this second and Ryan is playing the trombone, so holy moly you are on to something with this combo… :O)

  30. Thanks Jessie! OMG – yess! Funny Face is one of my favorite movies and you have made my week with this – I will forever wear these black pants!

  31. LOL – I am having a stuck K on my keyboard so I keep leaving that letter out; today is keyboard rebellion day!

  32. Thank you so much Maren! I love looking in their flickr gallery to see what others make with these patterns – so inspiring!

  33. Thank you so much Lauren! I was a little like “Can I pull off this red?” and was pleasantly surprised!

  34. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to see what you make!

  35. Thanks Alessa! I love bows, but never find ones that look grown up – I like how the collar is a little more adult (considered a pan collar, but no dice!)

  36. Thank you Happy Katie! Great seeing you the other night – that dish you ordered was to die for!!

  37. Thanks Adey!! I love how simple it is to make – it’s basically a sloper!

  38. Thanks Ooona! I love that we have a music house – and that I have a live in music curator. And yess! That is exactly what I was thinking – I can wear a bright red shirt to work with jeans and be happy OORRR wear this to the one fancy party I attend a year. It was an easy decision!