Just one Sorbetto…

Here’s a really ‘interesting’ garment I picked up on a trip to San Diego before Christmas. I paid $1 for it; unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the shop but it was somewhere in the Pacific Beach area…

It’s a summer jumpsuit made from 100% silk in grey, cream and peach (or coral, as we call it these days). I love the colours; the grey and coral combination has a great 80s vibe!

Just $1 for 100% silk?! YES PLEASE! This has been sitting in my stash for the last 6 months waiting for summer to arrive!

The silk is so light! I decided it would make a great summer top. So I reached for the Colette Sorbetto pattern (this is a great free pattern which you can download here) which I based this project on.

The thing is, the panels of the jumpsuit were pretty narrow and I didn’t want a seam down the centre front. So I cut the front of the top from one leg of the jumpsuit, but making sure the side seam of the leg was about 3cm from the centre front of the pattern. The Sorbetto has a symmetrical pleat down the centre front which would hide the seam.

Like this:

The silk was already starting to fray at the edges, so I thought it would be a good idea to do French seams. A French seam has the seam allowance completely enclosed so the cut edges of the fabric are not visible.

Here’s how you do it.

First sew the side and shoulder seams WRONG sides together (right way out) using HALF the seam allowance. My seam allowance was 1.5cm so I sewed at 0.75cm. Then trim.

Next, press the seams to one side and turn the garment inside out. Then finally, sew the seams again at HALF the seam allowance (0.75cm). The ravelling edges should now be firmly enclosed!

Here are a couple of work in progress shots of the top. Once the seams are done, you have to bind the edges with bias binding.

This is a really quick and easy pattern to make and I finished it in a couple of hours. Happily, there was plenty of the silk left, so there may be enough for another small project :-)

Here’s how it looks on:

…and with my new shoes and jacket!

Alternatively, it can be styled the other way around (coral skirt and off-white jacket). Again, with new shoes (everything looks good with new shoes).

Now, I like the white and coral outfit, but I also like the coral and white outfit. But which is better? …There’s only one way to find out!

I wore the coral skirt version to a garden party for a friend’s birthday. It was a lovely day despite the weather trying to sabotage things!



  1. Shelley

    I love the way you see great possibilities in (less than beautiful) unloved garments! What a great refashion–an excellent addition to your wardrobe. For me, the red blazer makes it much more formal business, while the white jacket is more casual. Love both pairs of shoes, especially the ones with the white jacket.

    • charityshopchic

      Yeah I don’t know who would wear that jumpsuit, or why! But it was easy to see the potential in this one since it was 100% silk and really light and floaty. Both outfits work for me – I actually wore the orange jacket version to a work event recently. Thanks for the lovely comment :)

  2. Katarina

    i love how you post more frequently recently, the shoes in the first outfit (coral blazer) are to die for! what does the poll say?

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks Katarina, it’s really tough finding enough time for all the projects I want to do, but I’m trying! Glad you like the shoes as much as I do. So far the white blazer/coral skirt is winning with 62% of the vote :)

  3. liz

    great print! and silk for $1! definitely voted for the white blazer. i’m still not totally sold on coral/orange even though i know its the “in” color. both outfits look great though!

  4. Colette

    Great looks and the shoes are certainly awesome! Thanks also for the mini tutorial on French seams – you make it look so easy!

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