My June #wardrobebuilder makes - a trio of vests

June's #wardrobebuilder project; a trio of vests

I was determined to use a free pattern for this month’s #wardrobebuilder project. If you look around you can find a couple of vests and camis available to download. Given that Colette have recently re-released their Sorbetto, I thought I would give this one a try. Whilst looking around on their site I also dipped into a couple of Seamwork patterns. I do subscribe to the magazine so used some of my credits for the Aurora tank and the Gretta vest. I've ended up with three quite different on to find out more about each of them. (Be warned, it's a long post!)


I used a black georgette fabric for this vest. I bought it from John Lewis for £6 a metre a while ago and have been using it for various projects as trims etc. I paired it with some black satin bias binding to match and finish the neckline and armholes. My aim was to create a vest that I could wear in the very hot weather, that would be airy but also okay for evening too.

The pattern is a free download from here. There are three versions – a vest, a longer tunic with side splits and a boxy top with capped sleeves. It’s designed to be a loose fitting top for woven fabrics and the vests have quite wide armholes. The download folder also has lots of differently graded pattern sizes which cater for larger measurements too. I cut a size 8, which is the size that matches my measurements most, in Version 1 – the sleeveless vest. I have used this size before on my Colette makes and it usually works well.  There are only two pieces for this pattern, so it should be quite a quick make!

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Colette patterns Sorbetto vest

I went about constructing the vest as per the instructions. I found the box pleat a little difficult I think this was mainly because I was working in georgette which was trickier to press into place. The construction of the top is very simple and you only really need to know a few simple techniques to get going; sewing darts and using binding to finish edges. If I had been working in a cotton this would have taken about an hour to sew from start to finish.

Now, here comes my big mistake. I spent so long fiddling with the box pleat I didn’t try on the vest before I sewed on the bias binding. Woops. When I finished the top and put it on there was a significant fitting issue. You can probably see from my pictures that this vest is way too large for me. The bust dart is a lot lower than it should be so ideally I think I should have made a size smaller than I did. I would probably have to make an alteration at the shoulders or sides too. This is definitely the airy top I was aiming for, I’m just not sure it is quite the same look that I had in mind! 

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Colette patterns Sorbetto vest

This pattern was re-released because Colette have redesigned their pattern blocks, which should have made me realise that what fit in my previous makes might not fit now. After I made this vest I read an article fromAllie J which compared the old pattern with the new one. She makes some interesting points that are definitely worth a read before you make one.

Would I make this pattern again? Probably not. I think there would have to be a lot of alteration to get a good fit, which is something I don’t have the patience for. If I loved the pattern enough I would try, but I’m not convinced enough for this one.
Would I recommend this pattern? Well it is free, which is always a bonus. I would just be wary that there may be some fitting adjustments needed. Having looked at the measurements in more detail, and having had a better think about it, it's probably a good idea to use the bust measurement as the key guide. I imagine this is obvious to seasoned dressmakers!


If I was going to make one of these vests again, it would be this pattern. I'm super happy with this make - partly because I got to use a £3 Sew Over It remnant that I picked up from their store on impulse. It's also very comfortable, particularly on very hot days!

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Seamwork patterns Aurora tank

Aurora is a Seamwork pattern, and a good use of magazine credits if you have them! You can still buy patterns if you don't subscribe to the magazine, but subscription is a good value option. As a Seamwork pattern it should be doable in 3 hours. I managed it in about that time, so for many more experienced sewers it could be a lot less. The shoulders are part of a back yoke element, and have gentle gathers which add nice detail. There is a box pleat at the back too, so the back still has lots of detail - not bad for a summer vest! You can make the yoke and shoulders out of a contrast fabric too for added customisation. 

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Seamwork patterns Aurora tank

As I said, the fabric I used was a cotton jersey in the remnant basket. I had about a metre and just about squeezed out a size S from this. There are only three pattern pieces so this one is a good stash buster (especially if you are going with the contrast idea). The instructions are very easy to follow and have good diagrams that are clear to read. This was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon make that doesn't take very long at all. I cheated when hemming the bottom of the tank and used a zig zag to save time switching to a twin needle. I don't think anyone will ever notice.....

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Seamwork patterns Aurora tank

Would I make this pattern again? Definitely. I'd like to try a silk jersey for a dressier look. I also like the geometric print on the pattern instructions so will keep my eye out for a good value scrap to make another one from. I also like the length of the vest - though I often tuck them in I prefer longer line tanks and this one is perfect. 
Would I recommend this pattern? 100%. I have no alterations or issues with it at all.


My final make; one that I had intended for a different fabric but once I printed out the pattern I found I didn't have enough for the bodice and facings. It was only after cutting out my July #wardrobebuilder (yes, I am a little ahead on that one) that I realised I had enough for this vest. A brilliant find because I ended up having enough to also include the pretty shoulder tie option! (Here I am, trying to show the shoulder ties off....)

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Seamwork patterns Gretta vest

The fabric I used for this vest is also from Sew Over It - the same haul that I got my remnant jersey from. It's a silky feeling, light viscose that feels amazing to wear - I couldn't stop stroking it in the store. It's £16 per metre, but sold out from this store now. I have seen it crop up in other online stores like Fabric Godmother, so if you like it you might get hold of it still.

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Seamwork patterns Gretta vest

The Gretta pattern can be made without the shoulder ties, and also has a pocket (which I didn't have enough fabric for). The front and back bodice have facings that are attached in a similar way to the Betty dress. The instructions are very clear on this part so it doesn't feel as complicated as it could - especially considering those shoulder ties are involved in there too! (The shoulder ties aren't hard, just time consuming). This did take me a little longer than 3 hours, and I did end up rushing some elements which I regret now. My shoulder ties are a little dodgy and my understitching is awful. 

June's #wardrobebuilder project; Seamwork patterns Gretta vest

Having learned my lesson with the Sorbetto, I cut a size smaller this time, a size 6. I think I might adjust further from here though as the bodice is really wide. I prefer a little more slim fit so will need to take in the sides around the waist. Weirdly it looks like it tapers back in to the hem, which makes me think pulling in the sides will make the overall look more polished. You may not be able to notice it as much in these photos, but it is definitely still too big. The advantage of the shoulder ties is that the low bust dart isn't really an can adjust how high it all sits through these. Again, the length is perfect for me and has enough to tuck in or leave hanging loose.

Would I make this pattern again? Maybe. If I work on the width of the bodice a little. I do really like the shoulder ties and they are not hard to do at all. I don't think it's the kind of thing you find easily on the high street.
Would I recommend this pattern? Yes. It's easy to follow, and so long as you have an eye on the sizing it should turn out fine.

So there are my three #wardrobebuilders! One clear success, one I'm not so keen on, and one that needs a little more work. I'm more than ready for summer holidays and barbecues now with these in my wardrobe! Have you made any of these patterns? What did you find the sizing was like?

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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