Hot! The “Waterloo” Top | Sarah Gabbart

Top photo

The Facts 
Fabric: 2 yards of white hanky weight linen (from stash; similar at for ~$12 a yard)
Pattern: Sorbetto Top - free from Colette Patterns!
Year: c. 2011
Notions: vintage bias tape from stash
Time to complete: Should have taken: 3 hours; Actually took: 8
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$24

Friends, I have met my sewing Waterloo. Behold the beast that nearly sunk my battleship.

Dress form

My nautical top is a simple Sorbetto with a bib overlay that points in the front and back in chevron stripes. The overlay was bound on the edges with blue and red bias binding. I knew this project would take more time than my previous Sorbetto, as bias binding chevron stripes would be time intensive. 

Back detail

I had no idea that it would be this time intensive! The basic structure of the top was done in like 15 minutes, the bias binding went on smoothly and even the chevron stripes on the bib came out with minimal effort. I bound the armhole edges and moved on to the task of attaching the bib to the neckline. 

Putting the bib on the first time was a breeze! Then I tried it on. Arms. Can't. Move. It's too long. Ok – cool beans. Rip it out and start again! No bigs.

Round two: still long. Round three: DAHHHHH! Finally, after the 4th round of measuring, repinning and sewing it was a success. Too bad I sewed it on backwards. Yep. I did that.

After using a few words I wouldn't use around my friend's kids, I got back to work. Apparently 5th try is a charm. Shirt completed! 

Hopefully this will be the only Waterloo in my future from now on. I am going to wear this lots and lots to make the pain worth it!

Bonus: you might be wondering, what is that in her hand there? It's the SS Sew Weekly. Ryan made it so that something boat related would be in this post! 



Sarah Gabbart


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  1. I love this top! It’s really beautiful. Congrats on conquering your Waterloo.

  2. Totally worth all the trouble, it looks awesome!

  3. That is about the best sorbetto I’ve seen so far. Super Cute! Three Cheers for your tenacity.

  4. Looks beautiful – well worth all the effort. I wouldn’t have know it was the sorbetto pattern if you hadn’t said – the bib really changes the look.

  5. FABULOUS blous! I really love it and can’t believe it’s made out of a sorbetto pattern! A tutorial is a must :) I hate Waterloo patterns….I hate it when I sew things on backwards–this especially happens with trousers for me–I once did it TWICE on the same pattern…hehehehe..that was definitely a ‘put the scissors down and walk away from this pattern’ situation :) Your blouse turned out beautifully and looks like the perfect summer top!

  6. Oh it looks so great! I mean it is so flattering I really love it!!

  7. Looks amazing – please share where you got the bib pattern from or how I can make my own!

  8. What a fantastic take on the sorbetto! SO creative.

  9. Great top! Love it and your commitment to finishing it! After try #3 mine would have gone to “projects not done heaven”! Three cheers for sticking with it. It looks fabulous on you. And love the “boat”…how clever!

  10. Sarah, this is the most awesome and inventive Sorbetto! It has such a fresh look, perfect comes to mind. If it makes you feel better, the pain was worth the outcome. You look great!

  11. such a great idea!! well done for persisting.

  12. I seriously think that this is my favorite project of yours EVER. It looks gorgeous on you, and is such a fun top. To think that I pooh poohed the Sorbetto pattern when it was posted. I just need a little more imagination!

  13. This is such a lovely top! I’d have to say that this has to be my favorite version of the Sorbetto pattern that I’ve seen. Tutorial please :)

  14. This top is so beautiful. I love how it turned out.

  15. Thanks Emily! If it weren’t for the Sew Weekly, this top would have been a UFO – knowing I had to finish it kept me going and I’m so happy for it!

  16. Thanks Lindsay! That is exactly what I love about this pattern – it’s so basic that you can change it any way you wish!

  17. Thanks lady!
    I hate the backwards sewing on situation – twice?!? I would have burned the sewing room down with fury!
    I love the Sorbetto and I can’t wait to see what Mena does with her week of Sorbettos!

  18. Thanks you Coralie! I just sort of winged it on the bib, but will make a tutorial on how to do it and post next week!

  19. Thanks Marie! I hear you – if it wasn’t for the Sew Weekly that would be exactly where this sucker would have landed! Thank goodness for having to post each week!

  20. Thank you so much Cathe! OMG – I LOVE your creation this week; I am so making that breton top that you created – it’s beautiful!

  21. Thank you Shelly! You have made my week! I know what you mean – the Sorbetto is so basic and it can be hard to see it because there are so many possibilities!

  22. Thank you so much Maeve!

  23. judy roberson

    Sarah, this sorbetto is proud you persevered and now have this great blouse.. So sorry it was such a pain… Happy Sewing.

  24. I’m sorry it caused you so much trouble but it was totally worth it. That is a fabulous shirt and it looks great on you. Congratulations.

  25. ryan’s boat is so very fabulous.
    and holy crap your sorbetto is stunning. i gasped when i read it. HOW DID YOU DO THAT. i’m so glad you kept trying, that whole ensemble is a knockout!

  26. For the less creative sewers amongst us a tutorial for this and your jazz inspired variation would be wonderful. I am not clever enough to work out how to do this myself.

  27. I absolutely adore what you’ve done with the Sorbetto pattern! This is divine!

  28. I’ve been away, so just catching up and WOW I can’t believe how gorgeous this looks, and THEN I read the story! WAY to go! Well done!

  29. I’m digging through the archives and just want to say– this shirt is just too damn cute. It looks great on you. Jealous!