Monday, October 21, 2013

Piped Peplum Top + Free Pattern!

In honor of kid's clothes week starting this week, I thought I'd bring home my piped peplum top tutorial and free pattern! With the weather getting chillier around here, I've already made four of these shirts. It's kind of weird being prepared for the seasons changing ahead of time, but I just can't get enough of peplum tops! I suppose I should probably add something to Haley's wardrobe other than peplum tops, but that's a project for another day :) If you want to make a few peplum tops too, read below for the tutorial and free pattern in 4T.


Peplum tops. I can't get enough of them! I love that they're trending right now because it was the perfect excuse for me to make one for my girl in autumn colors. To tell you the truth, I made 4 of these tops for my daughter because I couldn't stop myself after making one. Peplum tops are flattering on both adults and children, but my daughter is especially fond of this particular shirt because the peplum does a little twirl when she spins.

And what little girl doesn't love to twirl?

To make this top a little more appropriate for colder weather, it is fully lined and the sleeves are 3/4 length (though they could easily be lengthened if you prefer long sleeves.) The thing that makes this shirt special, though, is that it includes piping on both the bodice and peplum. If you've never worked with piping before, don't worry! It's super easy and adds a lot of visual interest to the top.

Ready to make one??

SUPPLIES: (for 4T) my free downloadable pattern in 4T found HERE, 3/4 yard cotton main fabric, 3/4 yard cotton lining fabric, 1 package piping, 5+ buttons, rotary cutter and mat, zipper foot, disappearing ink marker, sewing machine and basic sewing supplies.

First, print out my free pattern HERE (and join and tape together A and B where indicated), and use it to cut out all of your fabric pieces (12 total).

You'll need 2 front bodices cut on the fold (one from main fabric and one from lining fabric), 4 back bodice pieces not on the fold (one right and left from main fabric and one right and left from your lining fabric), 2 peplums cut on the folds (one from main fabric, one from lining fabric) *note: in the picture above the peplum is folded in half, but you should have a full circle, and 4 sleeves cut on the fold (two from main fabric and two from lining fabric.) Phew!

Note: if you've never cut out a peplum before (which is basically a circle skirt), it may look a little strange. You'll need to fold your fabric in fourths and then lay your pattern so that the flat sides of your pattern are on the folds as shown above. If you're still confused, Dana has a great tutorial on how to make a circle skirt HERE.

Attaching Your Piping:

ONE: after you've cut out your main bodice piece, fold it with wrong sides together (WST) and use your ruler and disappearing ink marker to draw a line from the neck to the bottom along the dotted lines indicated on the pattern. Use your rotary cutter to cut along the line you just drew.
TWO: your main bodice piece should now be cut in 3 pieces, which I've labeled A, B, and C for clarification.
THREE: cut out 2 lengths of piping approximately 10 1/4 inches each. Pin the raw edges of one piece of piping to the raw edges of piece A. Pin the other length of piping to piece C.
FOUR: switch to your zipper foot and set your stitch length and width to the highest numbers. Sew a basting stitch along the length of each piece of piping close to the edge.
FIVE: piece A and C should now have piping attached.
SIX: now, place piece B on top of piece C with right sides together (RST) and pin. Set your stitch length and width back to your normal settings, and use your zipper foot to sew as close to the piping as possible. Repeat to attach piece A to the other side. Iron.

Your main bodice should now look like the one above!

Bodice Assembly:

The pink floral fabric I changed to in these next few steps is still the main fabric. I just made a couple different versions to perfect the assembly, so don't be confused!

ONE: to attach your back bodice to your front bodice, place your right and left back bodice pieces on top of your front bodice with RST. You'll notice the back bodice pieces overlap an inch or so, that's what you want! Pin along the shoulders only and stitch with your regular sewing foot to attach.
TWO: open your top and lay it flat so that the right side, or pattern side, is facing up. Find the middle of the curved part of your sleeve and the middle of your armhole, and pin with your fabrics RST.
THREE: ease the curve of your sleeve along the curve of the armhole and pin all along the armhole. Sew to attach and repeat to attach the other sleeve.
FOUR: when your open your top back up, it should now look like this.
FIVE: now fold your top together so that it's inside out. Pin along the bottom of each sleeve and down the side. Sew. Repeat for the other side.
SIX: Turn right side out and press. Now repeat steps 1-5 above with your lining fabric to create a second bodice.

To join the main fabric and lining fabric, place the top you made from your main fabric on your lining with RST, and match up the raw edges. Sandwich the sleeves inside of the two tops so they wont get caught up when you sew around the edges. Pin from one side of your shirt to the other and sew, leaving the bottom unsewn.

Turn right side out, and push the sleeves of your lining inside those of your main fabric. Press. You should now have a nice lined bodice!

Before you do anything else, create your button holes on the left side of your button placket, then overlap the button placket 1 inch (shown above) and sew a basting stitch along the bottom to keep the lining and main fabric together.

Now let's take care of those sleeves...


Line up the raw edges of your sleeves. Press both edges inward about 1/4 inch, then sew by hand or machine to encase the raw edges inside.

Peplum Assembly:

ONE: place your main peplum and lining peplum RST and pin all around the outer edge. Sew outer edge only. Turn right side out and press, then sew a basting stitch all around the inside edge to keep the main fabric and lining fabric together.
TWO: measure the diameter of your inner circle, and cut a piece of piping 1/2 inch longer. Match up the raw edges of your piping fabric and peplum and pin, making sure to overlap the ends of your piping. Switch to your zipper foot and sew a basting stitch to secure the piping.
THREE: match up the raw edges of your bodice with that of your peplum and pin all around. Use your zipper foot to sew around your peplum as close to the piping as possible. Serge or zig zag the raw edges to prevent fraying.

Finally, add buttons! You can't go wrong with purple buttons.

Careful. After you make one piped peplum top, you may find yourself addicted like me :)

This shirt has already gotten a lot of wear so far! I can tell I'm going to be making even more of them as my daughter grows.

If you loved the top, make sure you go HERE to learn how to make the cuffed corduroy knickers that I made to go with it! They're great for those "in-between" fall days when it's a little chilly, but not enough to break out the sweaters yet.

Check out our Link Party Page to see where we link up each week!


  1. thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - you were featured today!

  2. Love it! So colorful and vibrant! But my favorite part are the buttons - they add so much personality.

  3. I LOVE the hold colors of the fabric, and the interplay of the piping. I'm not always a fan of peplum, but this's super cute! I've never sewed with pipingm I'm excited to try this out (although my daughters not even two yet..,) thanks for the free pattern!

  4. Beautiful top, and model! I'd love for you to link up to The DIY'ers link party!


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