This was my first experiment with a downloaded pattern, so there was a little learning curve.

When you use one of these patterns, I cannot recommend printing out the sheet with the test square on its own strongly enough. And measure that test square!  I had to really fight with my printer to get this right.  Turn off any automatic scaling your printer does (this made my test square 3 5/8 inches).  After doing this, my square was still only 3 3/4 inches; I scaled up to 105% and eureka! 4 inches.  However, this made the pattern fall off the bottom edge of the page.  I spent a swear-filled half hour trying to recenter the page or change the printer’s margins to no avail.  Finally, I just went and got some legal sized paper and problem solved. I haven’t seen any one else who’s had this much trouble, so I blame my technology. But if you do have this problem and you happen to have access to A4 paper (it’s slightly longer than the 8.5 x 11 paper we use as standard letter sized in the US), that would be even better.

Once printed, you need to put the individual pages together like a puzzle to get your pattern pieces.  On the Sorbetto, like most e-patterns I’ve seen, there are lines around the area of the page with the pieces and notches on those lines that you match to align the pages correctly.  Most people seem to put the horizontal rows together and then tape those rows together vertically.  I did a lot of cutting–for the horizontal rows, I would cut the line on the right edge, then match it to the next piece, leaving the left edge of that piece uncut to give some stability.  I’ve since seen the advice that you can (d’oh) just fold along that line rather than cutting.  Still, my cutting precision could always use some work, so it wasn’t a total waste.

After fighting with getting the pattern out of the printer and together, sewing the garment was a breeze.  This little top goes together almost instantly–I think I spent about an hour start to finish.  The edges of the neckline and armhole are bound with bias tape; I relied on the Colette Sewing Handbook for an explanation of how to match the edges of the bias binding  Essentially, it walks you through making a tiny seam at the ends (this is a similar tutorial); previously I had always used the method where you lap the ends. I really prefer the seamed method, it looks so much cleaner.

This version of the pattern is such a fail that I’m just going with a hanger shot.  The fabric has no drape, which doesn’t work with this pattern and it turns out that green is way too yellowish to work well with my skin tone. I should have made bias binding rather than using the commercially available stuff, which can be kind of stiff. (I did steam it, but didn’t prewash–I know, very bad!)  All this means I ended up with a slightly distorted neckline.  I think I will try it again in a softer fabric, but I do agree with this post by Lladybird and its comments that there is something a little wonky with the fit, despite (or maybe because of) it being such a simple pattern.  Those side darts are really high.

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