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PatternReview Blog > Pattern Hack - A Knit Peplum Top
Pattern Hack - A Knit Peplum TopBy Deepika on 10/28/13 2:21 PM

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

Filed Under: Pattern Hacks  PatternReview Exclusive  
18 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
knitmachinequeen said... (6/6/14 1:00 PM) Reply
I especially like it with the belt!
TJSEWS said... (4/1/14 9:21 PM) Reply
This top is so pretty and I love it with the red belt!
Judy Kski said... (11/1/13 2:59 PM) Reply
It's a beautiful top, Deepika.
dresscode said... (10/30/13 5:56 PM) Reply
Love this and love Elliot Berman!!!
slee said... (10/29/13 11:03 PM) Reply
What a cute top! I will definitely make one.
Tricia Plummer said... (10/29/13 10:33 PM) Reply
Hi Deepka What a cute outfit and your daughter is adorable also. She seems quite the model for her the Mommy's sewing!
Sew it seams said... (10/29/13 10:01 PM) Reply
I love this top. You are so pretty Deepika, and you little daughter is a doll!
grey ann said... (10/29/13 6:57 PM) Reply
What a lucky girl to have such a creative mom! so cute
annakeeton said... (10/29/13 5:04 PM) Reply
This top looks super! Thanks for all of the details.
NinaLBoston said... (10/29/13 1:48 PM) Reply
I love it and can't wait to adapt it to a pattern for woven fabric! Thanks for the inspiration.
sewknits said... (10/29/13 12:18 PM) Reply
Well how cool is that?! Can't wait to try it.
msschiel said... (10/29/13 11:21 AM) Reply
This is cute!
Krikit said... (10/29/13 11:02 AM) Reply
I learn something new every single time I visit PatternReview! ~:)
dasm said... (10/29/13 9:56 AM) Reply
That is very pretty! Thanks for sharing . .
JOshiro said... (10/29/13 9:46 AM) Reply
Excellent hack! Looks great with and without the belt!
CSM--Carla said... (10/29/13 8:26 AM) Reply
GREAT idea! Thank you!
QuikSew said... (10/29/13 8:24 AM) Reply
Love it! This is a very easy modification I can make to my TNT t- shirt pattern. Can't wait to try it. Thanks.
DeniK said... (10/29/13 7:25 AM) Reply
Love your pattern hack - please consider doing further hacks to inspire us!

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