The Peplum Top

It should come as no surprise that I’ve been sewing this peplum top – after all, I shared my instructions on how to line this top already! But for those of you who are short in the memory department, this is #113 from the August 2012 Burda magazine, which is also available to purchase as a pdf download here (and you can look at the full instructions and layout diagrams on that site for free). There’s also versions with long sleeves or with a much longer peplum, extended into a dress, so there’s quite a lot of versatility here.

A lot of peplum dresses just feature a ring of excess fabric around the hips, but here, the curved waist seam plus the sloped hemline and bias-cut peplum on this particular pattern really sets it above the rest. I also like that it’s separates, so I can pair my top with a skirt, slim trousers, or leggings and get much more wear from it than just a single dress.

This is how I wore it to Karen’s V&A Ballgowns meetup, worn with my denim-look leggings I made a few months ago. I know peplums are really trendy right now, but I really like how retro 1950s this outfit looks even when made with completely modern patterns and fabrics!

You can really see how nicely the peplum and waist seam dip lower in the back in the side view photos! I think this is my favourite aspect of this pattern, it’s so nicely drafted and it means your bum is covered even if you decide to pair it with leggings like I have!

When I originally decided to make this top, my thought was to sew it in the same grey flannel that Claire gifted me last year so that it’d match my grey trousers from January’s Burda, which were sewn in the same fabric. I figured I’d get more wear from a trouser combo than from a skirt set (like in the magazine), but seeing these together for the first time in these photos, I really don’t think they work together very well!

I’m totally okay with this, though, because I love wearing each on their own, paired with other things! Paired together, there’s just Too Much Grey there, even for a grey lover like me!

One thing I really don’t like about this pattern is that they’ve combined all the bust ease together into one big waist dart. Normally, a basic bodice sloper will have two or even three darts on each side, which means the ease is distributed nicely.

I’ve found this single dart is too wide – it should really be split with at least one other dart on each side, it’s very difficult to get a good point with that wide an angle… If I were sewing this again, I’d do a bit of pattern manipulation from the outset to move some of the dart into a second bust dart coming from the armscye.

As you already know, I lined the bodice and sleeves of this top, and I just used seam binding on the edges of the peplum. In hindsight, getting a nice hem on the very curved peplum was challenging enough that I think in future, I’d line the peplum, too, joining the hem edges of the shell and lining together, and then treating as one at the waist seam (meaning you’d only have to handstitch the bodice lining down to cover that raw edge).

In any case, here’s what mine looks like inside-out on my dressform!

Finally, you may have noticed an interloper in the photoshoot today. No, Nishi didn’t suddenly grow and change colour overnight – that’s our neighbour’s cat, Audrey, and since we were shooting on “her” garden barge, we had to pay the fine.

(Luckily the fine is scratches behind the ear!)

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