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Make a Summery Sorbetto Dress

It feels like summer is finally in full swing here in Portland. Outside every corner has been alive with color for months, but my wardrobe has been stuck in gloomy territory until quite recently. I love black, it is my favorite color to wear but black is easy, perhaps too easy. And it has most certainly become my style crutch.

The way I see it, dressing yourself every morning is an exercise in creativity and self expression. And I love that as sewists, we are one step closer to the source of our own creativity. We have the unique ability to dress ourselves according our own personal preference rather than trends and norms.

It truly is a burn-your-eyeballs"-PINK!

It truly is a burn-your-eyeballs”-PINK!

I was contemplating these things on a recent trip to the fabric store when this show stopping pink (and I mean PINK) rayon jacquard did a backhand stand, jazz hands, and smacked me in the face. This fabric was bold and unapologetic and exactly what I needed in my wardrobe right now. And I knew it would be perfect for a swingy-slinky-sorbetto-hack.

I love Sorbetto and I am not alone. You guys have sewn some pretty stellar versions of this Colette freebie. To celebrate this versatile tank we are sharing some hacks to help you create the Sorbetto of your dreams. This hack walks you through eliminating the center front pleat, adding a faced v-neck, and lengthen this top into a dress.

You’ll Need…

  • The free Sorbetto pattern
  • Hip curve
  • French curve
  • A ruler
  • Pattern paper
  • A sharp pencil
  • Tape

How to create a faced v-neckline


Start by removing the center front pleat as detailed in this post.


1) At the center front of pattern piece A make a mark where you would like your new neckline to end. I drafted mine on the lower side but you can modify yours to your preference.

2) Use a French curve to create a line that continues from the strap of your tank to your new neckline. The line should have gentle curve to it. Use paper shears to cut along your new neckline.


3) Add 1/4″ seam allowance to the neckline and armscye of the front bodice.

4) On a piece of pattern paper, trace the top portion of your Sorbetto. Start tracing immediately above the bust dart, continue along the armscye, shoulder, neckline and center front, ending 2″ below the center front neckline.

TIP I like to create corresponding notches at the neckline and armscye of both pattern pieces to help with construction!

5) Using a clear ruler, draw a 1″ line perpendicular to the centerfront at the 2″ mark. Repeat at side seam. Use a curve to create a soft line connection the two points.

6) Repeat Steps 3-5 on back piece B, to create the back facing.

How to lengthen Sorbetto into a dress


I am a big fan of shorter dress lengths, but you can customize your pattern to be any length you like. Don’t you think a maxi-legnth, styled with a waist cinching belt would be adorable? The answer is yes! Of course it would be!


1) On front piece A, mark the a line perpendicular to the center front that intersects the waist notch.

2) Tape a large piece of pattern paper to behind pattern piece A. Extend the center front line and create a second line perpendicular to the center front 9″ below the waist line. This is your hip line. Measure your hip, we will call this number A. Add 8″ (for ease) to A, then an additional 2.5″ (for seam allowance). Divide your final number by 4. Make a mark this distance from the center front, on the hipline of your pattern.

52+2.5= 54.5
54.5/4= 13.625


3) Using a hip curve, create a new side seam line connecting the waist and hipline.

4) Drawn in hem line at preferred length and add your preferred hem allowance.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 for the back piece B.

Sewing Notes

1) Cut and mark pieces A and B, as well as your new facing pieces.

2) Make sure to staystitch! Especially if you are using a drapey fabric like I am.

3) Sew bust darts.

4) With right sides together, sew the front and the back bodices at the shoulder seams. Finish the seams with your preferred seam finish.

5) With right sides together, sew the front and the back facing pieces at the shoulder seams. Finish the seams with your preferred seam finish.

6) Finish the bottom edges of the facings.

7) With right sides together and notches aligned, sew the dress neckline to the facing neckline. Grade and clip seam allowance. Turn right side out and press to finish.

8) Use the “burrito” method to finish the armscyes. Check out this video to learn this method.

9) Sew the side seams of the facing and dress. Finish these seams with your preferred seam finish.

10) Hem to finish.

I absolutely adore my electric Sorbetto dress. I I will be sporty this number through the summer and layering it with tights and cardigans in the fall. I even raided my stash and have plans to sew more in the near future. I mean, how could I not? A one hour project that fulfills my wardrobe needs will always rise straight to the top of my sewing queue.


Haley Glenn

Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.



July 7, 2016 #

Cute!! That dress is PERFECT for summer. Love the color – glad you jumped on it!!

Thanks for the tutorial (do love V-necks!) and for revisiting this great wardrobe staple with us this week. I should let me my friend know – she’s been wanting to tiptoe into garment sewing, preferably with some shells (for work + casual) …


July 7, 2016 #

Thanks Jessica! I really love the v-neck also, it is just so flattering. Sorbetto sound like a perfect fit for your friend.


July 7, 2016 #

Oh that does look comfy and cool! It would also look nice as a tunic over leggings and with a cardigan. Something else to add to my sewing list!


July 7, 2016 #

Love the idea of a dress in different fabrics and lengths. Great stuff. ! Thank you.


July 7, 2016 #

Oh man, that color is fantastic on you (and in general). I love the dress idea, too. Thanks for the tip!


July 8, 2016 #

Love your instructions and photos – so clear and simple, and the photos are spot on. Makes me think alterations can’t be that difficult after all. Your dress looks great. I myself am leaving a lot of black behind.

Glenda Bell

July 8, 2016 #

Thank you!…I love the fit of the Sorbetto top….and I know the dress is going to fit beautifully also….a real classic! The facing adds a refined touch. Thank you again!


July 8, 2016 #

And they used to sayredheads couldn’t wear pink! Obviously the old rules were wrong. That dress is gorgeous!


July 8, 2016 #

I am not a natural redhead, but have been dyeing my hair red for years. I never loved wearing pink until I ditched my brown locks for red. It is such a dreamy match!


July 8, 2016 #

I love this! I have some great linen and really want to make this dress in my linen. So cute. Thanks for the inspiration.


July 8, 2016 #

Beautiful and so cool for summer! Love the V neckline especially :) Very helpful tutorial thank you!


July 8, 2016 #

My plans for turning Sorbetto into a dress is to simply extend down from the hemline. I’ll measure first, but I’m thinking there’s enough ease at the hips that I don’t need to widen the pattern. But thank you for the hack instructions so I can make my second Sorbetto dress fuller, and rather than a v-neck, I think I’ll alter it into more of a scoop/oval neckline. And as I’ve typed this, I’ve already thought of 3-4 MORE variations. Once you start you’ll never stop!


July 8, 2016 #

I have a serious obsession with hacking patterns! I rarely make something with out modifying at least one aspect. But I have always felt like that was the best part of sewing!


July 8, 2016 #

So pretty! And just gotta love a dress that is equally cute with sneakers and heels.


July 8, 2016 #

Thank you for another great hack for Sorbetto. That colour looks fabulous on you. I love a bright pink, it’s such a fun colour and I think it’s cheerful and happy. For me, not being a dress person (formal occasions aside), I’d agree with Heide, and have it as a tunic with leggings or skinny jeans. I might go extra long on the skirt in a light fabric for a summer cover up (mind you, here in the UK you don’t know if Summer will last long enough for me to do it lol). I’m loving these hacks and all the ideas from other sewers, such good fun and very inspiring.


July 8, 2016 #

Forgot to say, I love the V neck, it’s my preferred style :)

AnnR Cyprus

July 10, 2016 #

Beautiful am so impressed I looooove V necklines they are so flattering as my bodyshape is quite broad especially across my back……….. makes me look a size 20 or 22 but I am in reality a UK16 so thanks for this. The pink is stunning I adore bright vibrant colours (who needs black?? how boring is that). Well done you x

Nancy Hunt

August 4, 2016 #

I am not one to comment on posts, but this time I just had to. You look stunning! I love the v neckline. The fabric, the color and the style work perfectly on you..