How to Make an Easy Fitted Peplum Top (DIY) (VIDEO)




Introduction: How to Make an Easy Fitted Peplum Top (DIY) (VIDEO)

About: I'm an Engineering student passionate about sewing, history and French rap. It's my dream to one day be fluent in more than five languages. While I work towards that, I make sewing and home decor tutorials o…

There is no item of clothing I love more than the peplum. It can be fun, modest, sexy and practical all at the same time!

My friend and I (depicted in the thumbnail) go way back and we both love sewing, so for her birthday I decided to create bespoke two-piece outfit made of my beloved peplum top and a classic pencil skirt.

In the video tutorial you'll see how I miraculously turned one metre of fabric (I needed at least 1.5m) into tailored coordinate outfit. (This video shows how I made and drafted a pattern for the peplum top. If you'd like to know how I made the pencil skirt, please let me know and I'll make an Instructable/YouTube video soon.)

In the following steps, I'll show you what you need, how to draft the perfect pattern and things that I would improve if I were to make the project again.

Step 1: You Will Need...

For this tutorial you will need:

  • 0.5m of fabric for the top (Stretch or non-stretch)
  • (0.5 to 1m of fabric for the matching pencil skirt)
  • A sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Chalk or a marker for the fabric
  • Some music to play while you sew away!

Step 2: Taking Measurements

The measurements you will need are:

  1. Your bust (the widest point around your chest, with maybe 1cm of bagginess - after all you don't want it to be too tight.
    • If you are using non-stretch fabric add about an inch of bagginess just for security.
  2. Your waist (the smallest part of your torso) - this measurement can be quite tight
  3. Your bodice length. This is the length between your shoulder and waist. It will be shorter than your normal top length as you want the peplum to flair at your natural waist.
  4. Back width (this is between your shoulders blades- specifically from bra strap to bra strap)

To see how I take measurements watch the video from 0:30 to 0:47.

Next you need to do some simple math so you can quickly draft the pattern:

*Bust* = (Bust + 2")/4

We add two inches because we'll later add darts.

*Waist* = Waist/4

*Bodice Length* = Bodice Length + 1"

(Technically you don't need this one inch, but trust me, you never regret having it)

*Back Width* = (Back Width + 1")/2

Step 3: Drafting Your Pattern

Step 1: Draw a rectangle that is the *bodice length* x *bust*.

Step 2: Mark 4" (10cm) from the top length corner and mark your *back* from the top left corner.

Step 3: Mark 8" down from the top right corner.

Step 4: Mark your *waist* from the bottom left corner.

Step 4: Drafting Your Pattern

Step 5: Join up all the marks you made as shown in the diagram above.

Step 6: Join up all the lines in between. This will form your front pattern.

Step 7: Draw in your back neckline and add 0.5" (1cm) seam allowance all around your pattern piece, except the side marked 'on fold'.

Step 5: Drafting Your Pattern (Tips)

Being the lazy pattern drafter I am, I tend to draw my front and back pattern on one sheet.

Then I just cut the back neckline away to get my front pattern piece.


Step 6: Pleat Your Peplum

From 2:15 to 3:53. I show you how to create your pleated peplum pieces and how to add some cute detailed finishes.

If you want a more detailed pleating tutorial, this video shows you how to sew box pleats from 1:09 to 2:55.

If you like my videos, do check out my channel, comment and subscribe!

If I were to remake the peplums, instead of adding squares around each box pleat to secure the pleat, I think I would leave the pleats freehanging like those in my Box Pleated Skirt. In hindsight I prefer the freehanging look.

Step 7: Final Step: Putting Everything Together

From 3:54 to 4:44, I show you how to sew all of your pieces together.

I used an invisible zipper to close my peplum top, although you can use a normal zip.

If you don't want to use a zip and you're using stretchy fabric, then just make sure to sew all of your pieces using a zigzag stitch.

I'm not going to say that this is the easiest project ever, but I had only been sewing for about four months when I attempted this, so if I can do it, you can too!

The best thing about this Instructable is that you can now make any kind of fitted dress that you like, using the same method to construct the bodice pattern. So make sure you save (and label that pattern)!

If you do make this, please tweet me a picture! I look forward to seeing what you make of this!



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    6 years ago

    Great instructions, very nicely done.

    Thanks for sharing and welcome to instructables!


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thank you Sam! I'm looking forward to making more Instructables. I have to say I love your range of Instructables from jewellery to pranks, so maybe I'll branch out from sewing in the future?


    Reply 6 years ago

    You definitely should!

    I got my start in making stuff through sewing. I've gravitated to other kinds of making over the years, but I still collect, fix, and sew on old machines quite a bit.

    Sewing is just a wonderful hobby; I think everyone should learn to sew! :)


    6 years ago

    Nice fit!


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thank you! It was a mixture of luck and favour. I thought I had my friend's exact measurements from a previous dress I sewed for her. Lo and behold, they were nowhere to be found.

    However I did know her rough clothing size, so I used Asos's clothing guide to get the measurements for her peplum top and skirt.