Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jersey Peplum Top Tutorial

Here it is the Jersey Peplum Top Tutorial.

Part 1 - The Bodice Pieces

Firstly if you're not one of those lucky people that own the Lydia pattern from Burdastyle never fear! The Sewaholic Renfrew Top is also a great fit for this purpose. Also I just stumbled upon this great Blank Canvas Tee that might work as well (and it's free!). Or why not follow this great tutorial on how to make a copy of your favourite top and make yourself a perfectly fitted pattern for free!

Whether you're copying a pattern or drafting your own pattern for the bodice what you're aiming to do is copy the bodice pieces until the waistline. This should naturally be your slimmest point and if you get the waistline length right the peplum will fall nicely down to your hips and be quite flattering.

Whatever pattern you end up using make sure to cut out your front and back pieces to your waistline and sleeves as normal.

Part 2 - The Peplum

This bit is not nearly as hard as you think it might be. I figured it out from using this nifty little circle skirt calculator I found on Pinterest. As you can see below I opted for a half circle "skirt".

Now firstly this little calculator was set up in inches so I just continued on that way. I plugged in a comfortable measurement of my waist to get the waist radius measurement. Then I measured from my natural waistline down to where I wanted the top to fall. I included my seam allowance in this measurement so I didn't add it into the worksheet above.

Time to draft it up on some paper using the below implements.

My special little brain only knew one way to set this up so if you think of a much simpler/niftier option please let me know. Wrap some thread around one pencil and stickytape it in place. Then measure out the length of thread to your measurement from the worksheet, wrap the thread around the second pencil and stickytape. Draw out the waist line.

Undo your thread and redo it this time with your hem cutting line measurements.

You probably can't see the first line I drew on that paper because clever me decided to use pencil during a tutorial. Note to self pencil lines do not come up well in photos.

What you'll end up with is this cool looking semicircular drawing. This is the point at which I thought I was doing it wrong. I wasn't sure where I needed to cut the edges to make sure it fitted my waistline. I figured if I took my waistline measurement, halved it and cut off the semicircular shape there it would work. And it did! Hurrah.

Please note I did get cleverer at this point and started using a blue sharpie so you could actually see what I was doing. Better late than never right?

And there you have it you've drafted a peplum that fits you perfectly!

Part 3 - Putting them together

Cut out all your pattern pieces followed by facings for the bodice front neckline, bodice back neckline and peplum bottom.

You should end up with all the of following pieces ready to sew together.

Sew your pieces together. If you're lucky enough to have a serger/overlocker - do your thing. If you have a regular sewing machine you could either sew a zig-zag stitch or you could use an overcasting foot to replicate the kind of stitches you'd get on a serger/overlocker.

Part 4 - Hemming

Hemming also wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I had assumed that the peplum would be difficult to hem since it's curved but the facing will make it a treat!

Sew your facings together with right sides facing before pinning them onto the top. You want to sew the right side of the facing to the right side of the top, stitch along the length and flip the facing over to topstitch it down. In the case of the sleeves I simply folded them over and did a straight stitch right round them. Lazy I know but I don't think my biceps are in danger of being so large as to pop a stitch anytime soon.

Now go wear it!

This top can now be twinsies with my Blue Jersey Peplum Top!


  1. Your top is fabulous. Thank you for sharing the step-by-step tips!

  2. Thank you for this tutorial. It's perfect!

  3. Thanks for sharing your lovely work - I am a buxom girl - I wonder how it would work with a longer skirt, maybe mid-thigh length that I would wear as a tunic with pants???

  4. Your top looks great! Thanks for the tute too. I am your latest follower.

  5. This is super cute!! And very well written!

  6. Great Tutorial! Thanks for sharing :)
    Just found you via The Sewing Library on Facebook.


    1. Thanks! This top has quickly become a favourite.
      I've never heard of The Sewing Library - I'm heading over there now to check it out.

  7. When you attached the peplum skirt to the top, did you ease it in along the curve like you do a sleeve?

    1. It was the right length to match up with the bottom of the bodice pieces but I suppose you could say that. Ease it along the edges until it sits flat and even all around. Hope that helps?

  8. thank you for sharing this amazing tutorial, need this very much, thank you.

  9. Jodie:} What I like most about your pattern is the soft drape, rather than the more poufy styles which flatter my "...made for babies hips..." Thank you