A Peplum top is one of the easiest hacks. I've hacked it for my daughter a couple times.
And it was time I made one for myself too, since peplums are still going strong. The first (and the only) thing you need is a well fitting bodice pattern. Since we will be drafting a knit top, I decided to use the Summer Street Dress Bodice because I love the way it fits and it's got clean lines i.e. no darts or gathers.
Here's a quick how-to.
Step 1: Prepare the Bodice Pieces
Take your front and back bodice pieces and make a copy of them by tracing them off. The peplum usually starts from your natural waist. I measured my pattern pieces and realized that I need about an inch more length for the waist seam to fall at my natural waist. So I added that to front and back. Depending on your pattern, you may not need to do this step.
Step 2: Create the Peplum
Measure the bodice from center front to the side seam horizontally and do the same for the bodice back. For our purpose let us call this measurement A. If your measurement is different you will need to create two separate peplum pieces. The instructions will be the same. We now need to figure out the length of the peplum. If you have a RTW peplum top measure, the length of the peplum piece and add seam and hem allowance to it. Call it B. Now draw a rectangle with a width of A and length of B.
Tape it down on one end and slice the pattern from hem all the way to the top but not through.
Now carefully move the slices to create a quarter circle. For me that was enough flare. If you desire more, keep spreading the slices more. Just make sure that the top remains the same. We need to make sure that it matches the bodice.
Once you're happy with the circle, tape it down and trace it on another piece of paper smoothing out all the curved edges.
That's it! Your peplum piece is ready! Mark the fold line and you are good to go.
Sewing the Peplum Top
Sewing couldn't be easier. I was so excited about this project that I forgot to take photos, but I'll write step by step instructions here.
1. Sew the peplum pieces to the bodice front and back, creating the waist seam. Because the peplum is curved, you may need to add a few more pins to ensure that there are no gathers. To prevent the waist seam from stretching out or snapping as the top is pulled over the neck, I added clear elastic. Here's a detailed tip on how to do that.
2. Sew the shoulder seams.
3. Hem or coverstitch the kimono sleeves.
4. Bind or finish the neckline using your preferred method. I prefer to always bind my necklines. Here's my tip.
5. Baste the side seams and try the top on. adjust for fit.
6. Finally narrow hem or serge the peplum. I decided to leave it raw :)
No tutorial is ever complete without a few goofy pictures. So here are mineI hope you enjoyed this hack.
Summer Street Dress Digital Pattern
Tip: Narrow Binding on Tops
Tip: Clear Elastic to Stabilize Seams
Previous Pattern Hack: An Easy Knit Shrug
Fabric for this Hack: Elliot Berman Textiles