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Free Peplum Top Sewing Hack

For a little while now I have been musing this hack, I have looked at a few other tutorials out there and they are all really similar. Peplum sweaters are great for wearing over leggings and to cover those mum tums. Don't feel you NEED to make this for kids just because thats what I am using for my tutorial. You don't need much to create it, any basic top pattern can be used, be it Kids or Adult. It helps if the top is straight down and not curved or already A-line just to follow my instructions but generally you can use anything from the B&T Free Hoodie if you want a hooded version of this simple Peplum Sweater, or like I have used, the FREE Scattered Thoughts of a Craft Mum's Basic Tee Pattern in sizes 3-14 years. So you will need some at least 20% stretch/recovery knit for the top unless the pattern you are using is quite loose fit. I think the skirt could easily be made with a woven so don't feel restricted to knits for the skirt attachment. I wouldn't recommend using a particularly oversize sweater pattern for this hack unless you really like the loose sloppy look it gives, it works best with a regular or slim fit design to give the peplum a chance to shine. If you have a cropped top pattern you can use this straight away by adding a peplum/skirt without much modifications. There are quite a few boxy crop tees available free out there on the internet and Pinterest if you go looking. This hack is really just sewing a shortened length top and adding a gathered skirt. Its quick, its easy and you can use this method for any top pattern you feel like. Go have a play, see what you come up with and don't forget to tag me or share your makes I always love seeing what you do with my simple tutorials!

What you'll need:

  • A simple long sleeved Top pattern (I used the Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mum's FREE Basic Tee Pattern in a size 8 years)

  • Paper, Pen, ruler and weights for tracing and modifying your pattern pieces

  • Knit Fabric of your choice (doesn't have to be Cotton Lycra (CL) as I have used, look at your pattern for fabric recommendations. For the skirt/peplum I recommend lighter fabrics as they need to gather nicely and not be too bulky)

  • Rib knit for the Neckline and Cuffs (optional as you can use the CL if needed)

  • Scissors, Pins or Wonder Clips

  • Standard Sewing Machine and I recommend an Overlocker to sew up all the seams but its not necessary.

Modifying your Pattern

1. Trace the front and back pattern pieces and measure down from the shoulder seam the desired length, I did this by looking at this Ottobre Kids measurement chart what the back to waist length would be for a size 8 years (128cm tall), 31cm from shoulder to waist. I then drew across the body pattern pieces to create the new hemline.

2. I then measured 2cm out from this new hemline on the side seam and placed a marker. Grabbing your ruler draw a diagonal line from the Arm curve end to the marker to draw the new A-line side seam. This makes sure the peplum sits away from the body when you sew it.

3. Cut out your Front, Back, and sleeves for your Top out of the stretch knit (CL). As my pattern didn't have cuffs I measured up from the sleeve ends 7cm and drew a line across the bottom of the sleeve for the new cut line to add cuffs.

Trace a new cuffs pattern

4. To create your Peplum sketch out on a piece of paper a rectangle the length of the skirt you wish to have (if you want a dress this could be as long as you want) I have chosen 22cm long. Put a line for this measurement on your paper. To get the skirt width and have a nice amount of gather measure your tops hemline and times that measurement by 1.5 to get the width of your peplum piece. Draw the width line across the top and bottom of your length line (36cm in my example). This gives you one quarter of your peplum skirt pattern piece. The Peplum will be cut out on the fold x 2 to give you two long skirt pieces. Make sure when you cut out your skirt that you check the stretch and grainline (as well as nap) to ensure the skirt will drape nicely. You want grain running down the length and stretch running across the width. NB: this tip is just as useful for woven, make sure to cut your fabric with the grain running down and the slight mechanical stretch woven has across the width.

You should have Front, Back, Sleeves, Neckband, Cuffs, and 2 x Peplum pieces

Sewing up your Peplum Top:

1. Sew up your top as per the pattern instructions taking care not to sew the Hem, leave that raw for now.

You should have a completed top and a hemmed peplum skirt piece

2. Sew the two short ends of your peplum skirt together and Hem one end of your skirt. Using a long running stitch on your sewing machine (I use the longest straight stitch my machine can do) and sew about 1cm down the unhemmed long edge of your peplum skirt. Sew from one seam to the next cut off a long thread for pulling your skirt gathers and then proceed to sew the other side of your skirt top in the same way. Pull the threads (I recommend using the back thread as its easier to pull) and gather the top of your peplum skirt. Pull until all of it is gathered.

3. With your top turned inside out and your peplum skirt right side out insert the skirt into the top matching the gathered edge to the hem end of the top right sides together and matching side seams, and centre front and back of the skirt and the top. Clip all around easing the gathers to make it fit nicely with little bagging of the top hem.

4. Sew using an overlocker the skirt to the top hemline adjusting gathers as you go. My recommended way to do that is to stitch with the gathered skirt facing you and the top hemline below. Adjust the gathers and even them out as you stitch, stopping periodically to check the tops hemline isn't bunched, folded or gathered itself you want it smooth and the gathers even and not too bulky. Once you are done flip the top inside out and cut off any loose threads that may have shown on the right side.

The completed Peplum Top

5. Finish off your top if you haven't already, iron and you are done! Its that simple :-)

It does look a bit big on my mannequin. Thats because my mannequin is a size 6-7 years!

Thanks again for following one of my Tutorials!


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