Peplum

From Old to New

While visiting my parents, my mom decided to dig out an old dress and force it upon me. “Here make something with it!” Ya know, because I make magic from old ugly things.  I did not take a picture of the dress before I started hacking it apart. I even told myself to do so.  I was watching tv and thought I could rip it apart while I sat.  Picture be damned! The dress was a long sheath dress with a slit on each side.  Nothing exciting.

I knew I had enough fabric for a shirt and possibly a skirt or something else. Hmm… I started with the shirt. I wanted to make a peplum top.  I fished out my pattern Simplicity 1425. I made this shirt before and it wasn’t too bad of a sew.  The dress already had the proper neckline and it was sleeveless so I really only needed to worry about the princess seams in the front, darts in the back and the peplum. Talk about a lazy sew.

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Sorry for the deodorant mark! lol I’ve worn it already to work and we haven’t made it to wash day yet. 🙂

I laid out the pattern on the top and realized that the pattern wasn’t going to work because the fabric wasn’t wide enough so I decided to wing it! I put the top on and starting pinning it on myself. I picked where the princess seams should sit and pinned the line on one side. I cut along the pins and left a 1/4 seam allowance. (well I tried. It was definitely not that big) I took that line and mirrored it on the other side by folding the piece in half and marking the cut in chalk.

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I was able to follow the pattern for the length, darts in the back and the peplum.  I did have to cut the peplum short in width because I wanted to conserve as much fabric as I could.

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I made sure when I was sewing it back together, that I unpicked the hemmed edges.  I could have sewed it up without doing so but it would have left funny lumps at the joins.  Taking a few extra minutes to unpick is so worth it! Instead of the pleats on the peplum, I gathered the piece to fit the width of the top.

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I was super worried about how to do the closure in the back.  I had a plan of adding an extra piece down the middle and sew it closed to about the waist and do some snaps to finish out the length. It was going to look like the extra piece was hiding buttons or a zipper but when I tried it on with the extra piece, it was too big.  I was able to sew the back closed and I can still slide it on.  The fabric has a bit of stretch that is just enough to shimmy down into place.  Score!

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As if a cute top wasn’t enough, I have enough to make a pair of shorts.  Yup, shorts.  Like I mentioned before the fabric has a bit of stretch so why not!  I named them Rose Butt before I even started on them.  Because that’s just what you do.

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I used my handy dandy workout capri pattern I’ve used a bunch of times.  They are slip on style and have an elastic waist.  Unfortunately when I made them the legs were a bit too tight.  So tight in fact, my fat started to try to decide above or below the hem.  It was not pleasant.

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Tis a bit blurry but you get the idea.

Instead of just canning the whole idea, I decided to revisit the dress’ start.  It had slits.  I can just add slits to the shorts and bam!  No need for my fat to worry about not being with its other friends.

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Now I will tell you, this will be the one and only time they are worn together.  That’s so not cool.  I want to make a big, swingy top to go with them.  Tight on the bottom but airy on top.  I prefer this rule in my life.  Never two tight items or too lose.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I feel like I’m sharing a lot… too much? Oh well.

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I didn’t want to wait until I decided what the top should look like before sharing the shorts so I did pair it with my Blackout Sorbetto for another look.  Two for one special!  Out with the old and in with the (two) new.

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Peppy Peplum

This peplum thing doesn’t seem to be going away. I’ve never thought I would try it because if you have hips, why would I want to acentuate that even more with a ruffle? Well everything changed when I saw Rachel at Sew Red-y in a peplum.  Her and I are about the same shape, even though she’s got 4-5″ of height on me.

I didn’t seek this top out, it just kinda happened. I popped into Hobby Lobby when they had $1 patterns. Wouldn’t you know that I picked up Simplicity 1425 which is a peplum. Then I was looking for grey denim at Fabric.com and found a cute black and red polka dot charmuese, which would be perfect for a cute peplum.  The sewing gods were telling me this needed to happen. Who am I to argue?


The pattern has 8 pieces. If I hadn’t had misunderstood part of the directions, I could have had this done in one sitting. It had princess seams in the front a darts on the back to help create that fitted shape.


The part that took the longest was the bias tape. I made my own out of some black poly I had. You’re only supposed to use it on the neckline and arms. I used it around the bottom of the peplum.  Charmuese is a little slippery and the thought of turning the bottom and stitching a hem sounded like a nightmare. Plus the tape gives the bottom a little volume. I do have to give a warning on the size.  Normally I’m around a size 8 or 10. I cut the size 12 because that’s what the envelope suggested. I’m glad I did otherwise it would have been way too small.


I did make a change to the pattern, which when I looked up reviews on the pattern, a lot of other sewist decided to do also. The pattern called for three buttons down the back as the closure. Was someone phoning it in that day or what? 3 buttons. 1 at the top, 1 in the middle and 1 at the bottom. Uhhh, are you not supposed to move when you wear this top? Is it like a mannequin Halloween costume? Who can wear this shirt with only three buttons and not feel like they’re about to bust out of it all day.? Would you know when it happened? I mean it has to be breezy anyways then with a button undone, who knows the difference? “Um, excuse me Susie, we need you to actually wear your clothes appropriately when you come to work.” Unless you work at a strip club then you need easy to remove clothing. Maybe that’s who it’s directed at. Sorry got side tracked…


Anyways, I installed a zipper in the back. The zipper separates at the bottom so it’s easy to get the top on and off. At least so I thought. I could easily zip the top up to my shoulder blades and then my arms couldn’t bend the right way to grab the zip and pull it the rest of the way up. Crap! I don’t go scuba diving or have any need for a wet suit but I’ve seen enough on tv to know that they have a pull in the back to grab to help zip yourself up. That’s pretty genius. I have some pleather that I can insert into the pull on the zip and create the same effect.


I can now get the shirt on all the way by myself. Go me! I think the top looks good on but the volume is a little distracting when I wear it. I can see it out of my perphrial vision.


It flys up like a skirt when the wind catches it. Also, sitting behind my desk, many people thought I had a dress on until I stood up. Oh well. I still feel adorable!