Monday, June 23, 2014

washi based peplum top

I've had a peplum top living in my brain for a couple of years now and it needed to happen. I've probably missed the boat on this trend, but I still like peplums.

Even though I haven't successfully sewn a Washi dress for me (totally due to lack of follow-through with fit issues on my part, and not because the pattern is less than awesome, which anyone on the planet can already tell you) I started with the Washi bodice because that part fit me so well when I drafted one a while back. I added a couple inches to the waist length and changed the side seam angle. I made a back for it starting with the Washi back but with several mods, including taking out width and changing the angle of the sides to straight because I wasn't planning on putting any shirring back there. 

The real guesswork came when I drafted the peplum. I just took a wild stab at the curve and length (in my case, ten inches from high waist) and crossed my fingers. Here's what I ended up with for the front (top) and the back (bottom).

The first muslin came out pretty well but needed some tweaks, so the top you see in the photos is the second iteration of the drafted pattern. It still has some minor fit issues and I'm not sure I chose a good print -- too loud, you think? It's a really nice AMH linen blend that has a lot of body.

Ok, the buttons in the back. It needed some width taken out of the back to look more fitted but I didn't want to take it in or add darts because I love that I can pull this top over my head with no closures needed. I tried adding some elastic in the mid back and wasn't crazy about it. Sooo I decided to add two buttons and elastic loops to create pleats in the back once it I got it on. It works pretty well, but next time I will move the buttons a bit more toward the back.

I used the Grainline method of bias binding for the neck and armholes and it was worth it as usual but it pretty much doubles the time it takes to make the top. I could try facings next time but I'm not too fond of blind hemming those by hand. I should add here that I do not sew the binding together at the ends to create a loop like on her tutorial. That's too much bother when I don't know the length of the binding I need.

I just start with a piece that I'm sure is long enough, fold over the end to start, sew it round and then trim it when I come to the end. Then to recreate the shortening effect I overlap the raw edges of the binding at an angle and sew them to secure before I go on. That's as clear as mud, isn't it? Sorry. I think the point is that the binding has to be ever so slightly shorter around than the armhole in order to lay nice and flat.

As far as construction goes, I sewed the darts first then added the peplum pieces on the front and back bodice. I centered the peplum on the bodice before I sewed so I could trim it if it was slightly too wide (which it was). Then I sewed the side and shoulder seams and all that was left to do was the binding and narrow hem. And of course the buttons. Not too tricky.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with how it came out and I'm looking to make another one with tweaks this week. I'm thinking maaaaaybe some double gauze or Liberty that is in my stash.


  1. I really love the fabric! Not too loud at all. I really, really like what you did with the buttons.

    1. Thank you, Catie! I think I will adjust their placement but I love the function.

  2. I bought some of that AMH print on a whim ... now I think I know what I want to make from it. Thanks.

    1. Sophie, love to see a picture of yours. That fabric also makes a great looking throw pillow. I have one on my couch right now. Haha


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