A Sorbetto Problem: Please Help!


*Sigh*  I have a problem and need advice.  Presenting Sorbetto (free pattern!), approximately 75% complete. The fabric was on the discount table at the fabric store, so I don’t know much about it’s contents other than it’s a cotton blend of some sort.  It has a slight stretch on the bias.

But first a photo of my ever faithful sewing assistants…


Clearly they are a big help…

Moving on.  I made my own 1/2″ bias tape using the tutorial by Coletterie.  I was really excited about making my own tape and ordered bias tape makers.  “It’s so easy” they said, “it’s fun” they said.


I read and re-read the tutorial and thought I completely understood the process.  Turns out, I didn’t.  I was completely confused and even asked the scientist husband to help.  He was also confounded despite his superior spatial orientation skills.  Finally, we both stared at the fabric long enough (which I had cut into a parallelogram and marked lines at this point) and  figured out how to align everything into a spiral tube of sorts.

I then cut out the tape, but somehow my measured lines didn’t line up – some were wider than others.  Huh?  I seriously spent a long time measuring and I still had uneven widths?  I give up.

Then I ran the bias tape through the bias tape marker with my iron.  Not as easy as I was led to believe.  It took forever to press the bias tape, but I did end up with A LOT of bias tape.


Alright, so now I was ready to attach the bias tape around the neck, which I did according to the directions in the pattern.  As here’s my problem: serious gaping.  It’s clear the neck got stretched out when I was attaching the bias tape.

But how can I fix it?

One step I skipped in the pattern directions was to stay stitch around the neck on both the front and back.  I know, this is obviously the issue.  BUT, because the bias tape is 1/4″ wide after folding, I would have had to stay stitch at 1/8″ in the seam allowance.  I did try doing this, but my machine kept “eating” the fabric with such a small allowance and almost destroying the fabric.  I finally had to give up and move on with the pattern.

But clearly this gapping is not acceptable.

My thought now is to re-make the bias tape (I’ll have to use the main fabric, of which I have plenty left over, because I don’t have any more contrast fabric).  This time, though, I’ll make  1″ tape so that I have a wider seam allowance to play with and would (hopefully) be able to successfully stay stitch the neck.

Any other suggestions?


5 thoughts on “A Sorbetto Problem: Please Help!

  1. Theresa, are you cutting your bias tape at a 45 degree angle to the selvage? I would suggest using a clear ruler with a rotary cutter to get the Bias even and equal. I suggest a stay stitch that you can slightly pull/gather to get the neck back to where it began. You can run your stitch just shy if the .25″ line. It is very important that your bias is cut at at 45 and that you pull the bias slightly as you sew it onto you neckline. Let me know if you need any other help.
    Have fun! Terri

    • Thanks, Terri. Yup, definitely cut the tape at 45 degrees. I redid it pulling the bias tape, and that helped. I need to post the result!

  2. Hi Theresa! Great job overall and not too difficult to fix the problem here.
    1. Unpick the binding;
    2. Try this method for creating your neck binding:

    -Press, not iron, your binding fabric, using some starch and a DRY iron
    -Fold your fabric selvedge to selvedge edge and place your ruler on the 45 degree angle of your cutting mat
    – Cut your bias strip 1 inch wide
    – Fold the strip in half on your ironing or pressing board and gently pin in sections
    – Use a dry iron and press, taking pins out as you go; repress if you need a crisper folded edge

    Too much steam and pulling of the binding will stretch out woven fibers. make sure your binding fabric is also preshrunk.

    3. Repress your neckline with a dry iron and some starch. Staystich the neckline. Try using a piece of scrap fabric in front of your neckline to get your scant 1/4 stitching started. You just need to be a fraction in side the quarter inch allowance, not a full 1/8. Also having a straight stitch plate could help to prevent the fabric getting pulled into the needle hole.

    4. After your neckline binding is attached press on a pressing ham to shape the neckline without stretching and here is where you can use a little steam.

    I hope this helps! Best wishes to you and thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks, Mary, for the thoughtful comment. I re-did the bias tape before I saw you’re comment, so didn’t do exactly as you suggest, but I will keep it in mind the next time I use bias tape!

  3. Pingback: Sorbetto Redux | theresacouch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s