The Toast Tunic

2 Jan

At what point does a Sorbetto stop being a Sorbetto? I’m not sure of the answer, but I do know Colette’s free tank top pattern hasn’t let me down yet.

One of my favourite discoveries in England has been the phenomenon of the Toast Catalogue.

Toast is clothing/homewares store that stocks simple designs in beautiful quality fabrics. Their campaign shoots are just stunning and have made them their own niche in the world of catalogues.

They are (somewhat humorously) described in the Guardian as

“[being] synonymous with an idyllic, relaxed and creative way of life where people breeze around their Venetian palazzo or Scottish bothy looking beautiful. The catalogues are famous for their photography, shot on location in Lapland, Argentina or Sri Lanka. And Toast customers from Notting Hill to the Outer Hebrides buy into that way of life when they order their Fair Isle wool socks or their faded floral silk dressing-gowns. “

Toast Catalogue

One of my favourite items are their kimono-sleeved tunic dresses which they do in several fabrics, so it was a natural leap from my kimono-sleeved sorbetto to this dress. I widened the neckline, added cuffs and lengthened it straight down.

The problem is that it was so quick and easy to make… now I want more in silk… and wool…  and velvet… sigh.


30 Responses to “The Toast Tunic”

  1. Brumby January 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Love how easy this style is – I can see it as a very practical trans-seasonal piece. Love too how you’ve accessorised it! Stash fabric, or a purposed buy?

    • lazystitcher January 3, 2012 at 12:12 am #

      Thanks, hun! Purposed buy, but it was a steal at £1.50/m at the market! I wanted to muslin it before attempting it in something pricey! Style wise I was trying to channel those toast girls 😉

      • Brumby January 3, 2012 at 12:53 am #

        Lucky you, I can almost never find fabric I want when looking for something specific! And, yup, bar-gain! They style looks like you, not like you trying to be someone else!

  2. ReadyThreadSew January 3, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    I have to say – you look far, far better in your version than the model does on the Toast website. A great success in taking inspiration from elsewhere and making a better (and cheaper – WOW so much cheaper*) version.

    *I mean as in cost, not quality.

    • lazystitcher January 3, 2012 at 12:45 am #

      Hehe… quality too! I still have a lot of Polyester in my stash to use up 😉

  3. Cynthia January 3, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    This came out fantastic! You’ve made this little pattern completely your own.

  4. prttynpnk January 3, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    I just love a tunic and what a great fabric for you, just lovely!

  5. liza jane January 3, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Ooh, how nice this would be in velvet! I love the cuffed kimono sleeves.

  6. molly January 3, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Great job as usual, I think you totally nailed the aesthetic!

  7. Mary January 3, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    This color looks absolutely smashing on you, Alana! As much as I love Toast, I have to say your version is eons cuter. What a versatile piece this could be; I think you *should* have it in silk, wool, & velvet! It’s only practical. 😉

  8. ShonaStitches January 3, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    I love how you’ve made the Sorbetto top 1,000 times and each one looks totally different! This dress is gorgeous on you. I love the fabric!

  9. Sigrid January 3, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    Better than Toast, perhaps. This is really gorgeous!

  10. Lizz @ A Good Wardrobe January 3, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Wow – this is seriously gorgeous and I’m impressed at how close it is to the original. I always start with an inspiration and then somewhere veer very far off course! The tunic looks tremendous on you!

  11. Sølvi January 3, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Mmm, yummy! I love this! So elegant, yet relaxed. Perfect! I´ll just go ahead and pin it, so I have an excuse to make it next month! 😉

    • lazystitcher January 3, 2012 at 9:24 am #


  12. Maider January 3, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Alana!!!
    I just discover your blog and seriously, it´s great! I love your fabric choice in this project, it´s incredible what you do with the sorbetto!

  13. Marie January 3, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    How clever! It’s great that you took the Sorbetto and made it into something almost identical to the somewhat over-priced (£139!?!) piece you fell in love with. And if it was as easy as you say to make up, then why not make one in silk, wool and velvet too! ;o)

  14. mujerboricua January 3, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    What a beautiful start to the new year. I really really love that fabric. The dress looks very comfortable, something you’d opt to wear whenever, for whatever. Nice!

  15. Stevie January 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Dude, Do not get me started on my love for Toast! I used to live in Bath and I just used to wander around their shop and dream! They had an amazing silk paisley top I’ve been dying to knock off for ages. I’ve got limited fabric and a vintage pattern 4 sizes too small, It will be done though.
    That dress is perfect! Good ol sorbetto! Maybe I should actually start using that pattern! x

    • thesecretlifeofseams January 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      Looks great! You’ve made such innovative use of Sorbetto, as everyone else has said, you must make this up in more fabrics! I’d have considered a dress-Sorbetto could be quite boxy but in fact it’s very flattering, especially from the back.

  16. didyoumakethat January 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Gorgeouty-gorg-gorg-gorg. Gorgeous!

  17. paige p @ luxperdiem January 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    So gorgeous and flattering! I might have to take a crack at modifying the sorbetto into this!

  18. christine January 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    hi Alana,
    I just found your blog via grainline, and I love it! I need to get back to work, but wanted to at least say hi… I actually prefer your dress to the one from toast, don’t like their fabric that much, but I love yours!
    all the best,

  19. Roobeedoo January 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Oh SO lovely! The simplest things are so often the best 🙂

  20. Lynne January 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Ooo!! That’s fantastic, and it looks fab on you! 🙂

  21. Suzie January 4, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Oh my goodness – this looks exactly like the Toast version – only I like yours better! It looks really beautiful on you and I’m not surprised you want to make it up in a million other fabrics!

  22. Lisa January 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    What a gorgeous dress , yours is way better than the Toast one.

  23. Annie January 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I absolutely love this! You look fantastic and the tunic is amazing. I so want to try to copy this with a lovely silk I splurged on.

  24. iris November 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    This is so awesome! I wonder if it’d be possible to chop off the top 6″ of the dress and replace it with lace, like this dress: Another take on the classic sorbetto!


  1. Colette Fall Palette Challenge Wrap « Lazy Stitching - January 3, 2012

    […] The Toast Tunic // The Christmas Macaroon // The Burda Blouse // The Brumby-blue Dress […]

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