Sunday 3 July 2011

Sleeveless Top Challenge

After making my first Sorbetto top recently, I decided to do a sleeveless top challenge: the Sorbetto versus the Pendrell.  I felt that the princess seams of the Pendrell would be more flattering to my shape than the basic vest shape of the Sorbetto.  So away I went….

I’ve had some Anna Maria Horner voile in my stash for a while but keep changing my mind about what to make with it.  I struck whilst the iron was hot (literally) and quickly cut out the sleeveless version of the Pendrell (version three). Once sewn though, it was surprising to see just how plain a top the sleeveless Pendrell really is.  On me, it was verging on the frumpy. I didn’t take any photos of the Pendrell in its frumpsville phase, you’ll just have to take my word for it.   

I didn’t want to waste my precious voile, so I needed to do a bit of re-jigging. Hhhmm, what to do? In the end I added a Peter Pan collar and I think it saved the day.  Inspired by ooobop’s lovely dress in this post, I drafted my own collar using this tutorial. To stop the neckline looking too bulky (it was already bias bound) I top stitched the collar down.  It's not perfect, but it still works and at least the collar lies flat. The addition of a collar definitely makes it more wearable.  Overall, I’m pretty pleased with it.

I couldn't resist adding a button

Now that I’ve sewn the two patterns within a week of each other, here’s my list of what does and doesn't work for me with each pattern.

Barely 0.5 metres of fabric needed
Very quick to sew
Free download!           
Great for a holiday wardrobe           
Way too short (this is easily remedied though)           
Quite boxy in shape on me
Needs to be tucked in on me to look good 
Cool pleat down the middle            

More like 1.5 metres of fabric needed
Still quick to sew but not in the Sorbetto's league
Pattern is good value, considering this is my third make from it
Too plain on me without added collar or sleeves
Nice and long
Princess seams extremely flattering
Can be worn tucked or untucked on me
Two sleeve options available

In conclusion, I think they’re more or less neck and neck. I think the Sorbetto is better as casual
holiday top, whereas the Pendrell is a more elegant style.  They’re both great patterns and I’m sure 
I’ll make more versions of each one.  It was a fruitful experiment though – I’ve now got two very
wearable tops for my holidays. Result!          



  1. It looks beautiful. What a pretty fabric. The collar adds so much to a sleeveless top. I am going to have to give it a go some time soon.

  2. I love your alterations to your Pendrell, it's beautiful!

  3. Lovely - that voile is gorgeous!

  4. So pretty, Jane. Love the addition of the button. You do pick some gorgeous fabrics x

  5. I love the collar you added. So gorgeous! I have not yet sewn sorbetto but will definitely have a go at it soon.

  6. Having made the sleeveless Pendrell, as a wearable muslin, I agree it is a wee bit 'frumpy' [see my post]. I haven't tried adding a collar or any embellishements yet, but thanks for the ideas!

  7. Excellent work Jane, it's great to read about the pros and cons of both patterns...I've ordered a Pendrell so your thoughts will really help me when I finally get to give it a go. I really, really love both your tops, pleats and collars rock ;o)

  8. What a great idea to compare these two! I have Pendrell in my stash but haven't made it yet, and now I'm being tempted by all the cute Sorbettos I've been seeing on the blogs. Great job embellishing this Pendrell to make it suit your style.

  9. Jane - this is lovely! I've been admiring that AMH voile for a while, and it looks great made up as a blouse. The peter pan collar is a great touch. love it. x

  10. Well rescued! The AMH lends itself so well to that top, it's a winner. x

  11. LOVE them both! Love the collar as well!

  12. Ooh i love that pendrell, i think that's my favourite of all your versions.


  13. So lovely. Everything you do I seem to say that about,but it is truly how I feel.

  14. Thank you for your kind comments everybody! x

  15. oooh, i really love the collar on the pendrell. and the button is the perfect finishing touch!

  16. It's GREAT with the peter pan collar! Really takes it up a notch.



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