From Tablecloth to Tank Top with Sorbetto

When I signed up for Me Made June, I was aware that wearing just one homemade item each day would be a bit of a challenge. Two would be too hard with my current homemade wardrobe, but one would surely be achievable. In order to add something extra to the challenge, I also pledged to restyle two items during the month. I thought I'd never restyled anything before, but as I was sorting through my clothes in preparation for MMJ, I realised that I had a dress that I had converted into a blouse.

Anyway, this is my first restyle of the month, a Sorbetto top made using a vintage tablecloth from a charity shop.

   I picked up the tablecloth months ago - a square cloth printed with scenes of Plymouth.

I think I had a vague notion of doing 'something' with it. At one point I considered making it into a Sencha blouse, but then the planets aligned -  Me Made June was proposed, I'd seen some lovely restyled items (cheers Lucy, I was inspired!), I decided to make a top with bias bound edges, and then the Sorbetto top was launched.

I did have some misgivings about cutting up the tablecloth. I don't know how old it is - 1960s perhaps? I think it is either being a wuss, or my museum background that makes me shy away from damaging anything remotely old. However as it wasn't a particularly rare item, I decided to go for it.

Pattern Used
Colette Patterns Sorbetto - which can be found for free here. It is a tank top with a pleated front and bias bound edges. If you've never used a downloadable pattern before, you just need to print out the pages and tape them together, then cut out your size as normal.

Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope?  
Yes! But the pattern is straightforward so I'd be worried if it didn't!
Were the instructions easy to follow? 
Definitely, as with all of the Colette Patterns range the text and diagrams are really clear.

The top before the bias edging was attached

 After attaching the binding

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 
I loved the simplicity. This top is very quick to make, particularly if you have pre-made bias binding. Most of the time I spent making the top was on preparing and applying the binding. I don't think I dislike anything! The sizing is good, instructions great, the style simple and classic, and it's FREE!
Fabric & Notions
Vintage printed table cloth from a charity shop for the front and green linen-effect cotton for the back and bias. I would have used the table cloth for the whole thing if it was big enough, but chose the green as it was close to one of the colours in the cloth. I'm not what the tablecloth is made of, perhaps a cotton mix, but it has quite a nice drape. I really like the look of linen, but it is far too creasy for the amount I iron (seldom), so this lovely textured cotton was perfect.
Bias made using the continuous bias tutorial - it makes A LOT. I'd also bought a bias maker, but for some reason I chose one that makes bias smaller than 1/2", which seems a standard size. Also, I can't make it work properly.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
I took it in a small amount (0.5 cm) at each underarm seam as it was a bit gappy on me. I tapered down from the top of the seam about 2 cm. I could also have done with making it a little smaller at the bust, which I will do on the next one by making the bust darts bigger.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? 
Yes and yes. I have the fabric for the next version lined up and I would wholeheartedly recommend the pattern. I think the loose fit is really flattering and it uses 1 1/2 yards of fabric so is a great way to use up some stash fabrics too. I might add a little to the length next time, since I'm tall.

£7.63 exactly - £1 for the tablecloth, £4.99 for 1 metre of green cotton, £1.64 for green thread.

I think the green bias edging makes it looks quite different from using a white edging, but as I felt it might be hard to match the white, I went for the green and made a feature of the edging. Overall,  I love the top and pattern, and I will be making more.


  1. I love this top it actually looks like you have bought it from some little boutique . This is exactly the reason I would love to ratch about in charity shops . I just never seem to have the time though sadly .

  2. This is such a good idea! The front has a vintage look and the green fabric adds to it. Very pretty.

  3. very neat top! I always thought about doing a half and half with colors/prints. You've inspired me to make it happen. I downloaded this pattern too, so we'll see how mines goes :)

  4. I love the combination of the green fabric with the print - it matches so well and really highlights the vintage print. It looks lovely! Did you make the bias tape without the bias tape maker then? It looks quite complicated (for a beginner like me!) - can it be done without the tape maker?

  5. Love the top, such a good reuse of something that would have been left languishing in the corner otherwise!

  6. Wow, absolutely love this top! The green back and binding works so well with the print. Have seen a few bloggers make this top but I think your choice in colours makes it really stand out. I think I'll have to have a go at making this top too!

  7. it is very pretty and neat. i like the fact that you upcycled your tablecloth.

  8. I LOVE it!! The tablecloth fabric is lovely and I really like how you paired it with green. :)

  9. Its so fab! I love how you used the tablecloth! I've been storing Sorbetto in the back of my mind to make shortly.

  10. Thaks for all your comments. I've had the project in my mind for a while, so it was good to put it into action.
    Kathhryn, I made the long bias strips using the continuous bias method, but then did the folding into bias tape manually. The bias maker I bought allows you to feed in the unfolded fabric strip and it folds it, so you just iron it on the way out. However the size of bias maker I bought was a bit small, and I couldn't make it work anyway! It was just a bit fiddly and time consuming, not hard though.

  11. Absolutely gorgeous Kerry, as Lisa says, it looks like something you'd buy in a boutique, completely original. x

  12. Argh, this is AMAZING!! That's me firmly on the lookout for vintage tablecloths now, it looks brilliant :) xx

  13. Oh wow! I DO like that! Refashioned tablecloths tend to turn into skirts, not tops - your idea was a really good one, espcially with the green binding!


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