Peplum while they’re hot

ADA SPRAGG // DIY Polka Dot Peplum Top
At least, peplums were hot when I began thinking about this top almost two months ago. Are they still hot? Does anybody know? Anyway, I knew I wanted in on the action. I also knew the high necklines of these peplum patterns Vogue 8815, Burdastyle, Salme just weren’t going to cut it for my broad shoulders. If you remember this chat, and this one about the virtues of sweet heart necklines it will make sense that I pinned, this anthropologie number as inspiration for my ultimate peplum top. As for putting it together, the plan was just to borrow the bodice of my wiggle dress, Vogue 8280, make the sleeveless version, and, you know, simply move the zip from the back to the side and pinch the peplum from the Salme pattern. How hard could it be, right? Right?!
Dantela Corset Top

It’s come to my attention that the last three garments I’ve sewn have all had some mods from the original patterns. It’s been thrilling plotting ideas and just kind of sewing by the seat of my pants with a vague idea about the construction. But meltdown is never far away. Changing the hemline on this top went pretty smoothly, adding a side cinch to the Mission Maxi was manageable but let’s just say my trusty ‘how hard can it be attitude’ only goes so far. Peppi nearly killed me! The truth is, it didn’t actually take me two months to sew. At least one of those was spent avoiding it like the plague.

Ada Spragg // DIY Peplum TopAda Spragg // DIY Peplum Top

The details:

I followed the instructions for the lined sleeveless version of Vogue 8280 and lengthened the bodice by an inch. I was originally going to leave the peplum unlined but this beautiful Nani Iro Double gauze ‘Pocho’ dot is quite see-through and flimsy so I decided to line after all. That’s where things went rather pear shaped for a while. I attempted to bag out the hem but then I couldn’t turn the top back out the right way. I would have laughed but I was crying at the time. Unpicking followed, along with profanities as the delicate fabric threatened to disintegrate with every un-pick.  I couldn’t figure out the best way to hem so upon the advice of the girls at work, I basted the lining and the gauze together, folded over once and serged, which made for a super floaty finish. I attempted to put the zip in a few times before I was happy with it and ended up hand-stitching the lining to the zipper. It could also have done with some interfacing through the flange sections for support. It’s a hand-wash only garment!

Ada Spragg // DIY Peplum Top

So despite some tricky bits, it really turned out beautifully. And like childbirth as soon as I cradled Peppi in my arms I forgot the agony and just wanted another. But there’s too many new patterns, see here, to go back for seconds so soon. Besides I just want to follow a regular pattern from start to finish without any brain-straining modifications. Oh wait, that will have to wait until after my placket-less, lowered-hem, capped sleeve version for the Megan Nielsen Banksia Sewalong. Sigh…

Ada Spragg// DIY Peplum Top
We spent the weekend in beautiful Byron Bay, and finally had a chance to take some photos of the top. I have to say there were a lot more people around than I’m used to. Normally I like to go about it all as if reclining on crates, or sidling up to suspicious looking plants is just the most appropriate thing I could think to do at the time. But there were noticeably more ‘special’ faces to crop out in this lot so I must have been feeling the pressure.

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  • Mariewrote:

    Oh, this is lovely…the sweetheart neckline is such a great choice! I have a couple of peplum top patterns and I may have to copy you on that front! And Byron Bay…it stole my heart when I had the good fortune to travel after Uni…sigh!

  • Iliska Dreamswrote:

    You look great! Hope you enjoyed Byron.


  • little bettywrote:

    Great work! It’s a shame it was such a tricky ride. I normally find that the more work I put into a garment, the more I dislike it at the end. A most unsatisfying outcome!

  • lisa g.wrote:

    i love this top, it turned out really cute in the end! i probably would have sewn the peplum shell and linng together at the hem first then basted them together at the waist seam and attached it as one piece to the bodice. at any rate, the top is adorable!

  • sallie oleta barbeewrote:

    This is gorgeous! You should be so proud of yourself for persevering! I made a dress out of that Nani Iro pocho dot – it’s so soft and lovely! And the pictures are fantastic.

  • Neenowrote:

    I’ve been umming and ahhing over peplums and finally decided that I will make one.. but now I’m not so sure… is the trend going away soon? Then it would be such a waste of my beautiful fabric 🙁

    Your top is gorgeous, the sweetheart neckline suits u wonderfully x

  • Inna Swrote:

    Regardless hot or not, you look beautiful in this peplum top!

  • Nancywrote:

    It looks wonderful and flirty! You write up the best posts, sorry you had moments with this top but how gratifying it must have been when you finished cuz it looks fab!

  • kristinwrote:

    And she’s back! Yay! It’s so adorable. I couldn’t pull this off, but you look fantastic.

  • Merche Martinezwrote:

    Peplum is still hot (thanks to the August Burda issue, I know there are a lot of these on the make) and you look really good in yours! The neckline is so pretty.

  • Masustak eguzkitanwrote:

    It looks great on you! Peplums are still in hot, but I love yours because of this awesome sweetheart neckline, beautiful!!!!!!!!

  • Madalynnewrote:

    This top is adorable! Peppi may have ALMOST been the death of you but you came out alive and so did PEPPI!

  • liza janewrote:

    The shape of this is just gorgeous. I love the neckline. Very nice!

  • Heather Louwrote:

    Really, this is one of the best peplum makes I’ve seen. Your peppi really holds it’s shape so well – most of the time they’re all droopy. And I think we’re both behind the times trendwise – I’m finally getting around to making my version this month. I may make a few – great option to hide a little “I’ve been eating too many carbs” tummy.

  • meredithwrote:

    hahahaha!! “Peppi nearly killed me!” that is so funny. it looks great! i am impressed that you kept going… i would probably end up not lining it…then never even wear what i made because it needed lining. i’ve been wanting to make a peplum top for a while too, you’ve inspired me!

  • Nettiewrote:

    So cute!!! I love your pictures, too! I have the same issue with that vogue peplum top pattern. I don’t do super high necklines like that. I love your solution!!

  • gingermakeswrote:

    Wow! This looks amazing! Peplums are way hot on you, that’s for sure! I’m glad you persevered– it’s totally worth it!

  • small + friendlywrote:

    I love love love it! I’ve been wanting to make a peplum but feared the high neckline of most patterns. I might just have to brave the possible tears and copy you! Thanks so much for the inspiration as always!

  • Vanessa@Designs By Sessawrote:

    Despite all your issues, which I am so thankful for your honesty, you always seem to ROCK your looks! go you! I’ve been contemplating peplums with leggins.. but not sure how it will do with the mama pooch?

  • Rosiwrote:

    Love it! I hope the peplum trend hangs around because I think it’s a flattering style and I want to wear some after I have a baby.

  • fairy-bullewrote:

    So nice, I love the shape, good job 😉

  • zosews.comwrote:

    Looks beautiful on you!

  • bernieandiwrote:

    Wow I LOVE this top. What a great pattern mod. It was worth all the frustration because you look absolutely amazing in it!
    The neckline looks so great with the peplum I am so tempted to copy your idea and make one too :)…is it bra-strap friendly?

  • Marionwrote:

    This peplum creation inspired me to pop a peplin on the bottom of a top I was making. It all seemed to go well until I sewed binding to the hem to achieve the soft flair that yours has – well the binding must have been starched cos now it sticks out like a ballet tutu …. Praps I shoulda washed the binding first …. peplums do seem to be problematic

  • Leahwrote:

    Super cute top! I love the polka dots. I wish I could wear peplum, but I don’t think they suit me.

  • Kimwrote:

    Very cute! I really like the neckline, definitely keeping that shape in mind for future projects 🙂

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