Sewing with Knits: Peplum Top and Dress


We got a teaser of rain last week and it seems we are jumping right into summer temperatures with most of this week’s forecast in the 80’s.  Quite unfortunate given the drought we are having here in California, but it is another reason to make some pretty tops and dresses for the warmer weather.  Oh, did I mention this time I will be sewing for me!?  I can’t recall the last time I cut out fabric pieces to make something for myself.  It might have been when I tried to make a coral-colored dress for my cousin’s wedding a few years ago, failed miserably after I read the sizing incorrectly for one of the Simplicity patterns, and ended up rushing to the mall and ransacking every store for a coral dress that had sleeves.  I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the hours of work I had put into the dress and it is still sitting in the back of one of my fabric stash bins.  I still feel a twinge of frustration every time I lay eyes on that dress… I should toss it. It’s not healthy.

Pretty fabric is one of my many weaknesses.  I had been eyeing and waiting for the Girl Charlee Knitfix to go on sale for weeks and even set an alarm on my phone so I wouldn’t miss it.  And of course, that morning I had a Kindergarten “Get-to-Know-You” for my A right when they went on sale, but what’s your smartphone for if you don’t use it in these emergency situations? I lucked out too because I had already done the volunteer clearance (for my B), which they were getting the parents to do while the teachers were meeting with my future Kindergartener.  When my precious fabric cargo finally arrived, I rushed it through the washer/dryer and made my first project using the Penelope Peplum pattern by See Kate Sew, soon followed by a dress using the same pattern but tweaking it a bit to make it a dress.


Initially, I wasn’t sure about this “Lavender Animal Spot” fabric I saw in my fabric bundle; I’m not a huge animal print person. But I have definitely fallen in love with this top. I still can’t say I like animal print, but this one I do love.


I thought this dress looked ‘frumpy’ when I first completed it, but I’ve since changed my mind.

Peplums, peplums!  I love peplums!  They are flattering and made in a knit, it becomes an everyday wear.  I may be making a peplum shirt out of each one of my knits for each day of the week. 🙂   I’m not usually a dress-wearer (aside from church), but knit dresses are definitely an exception.  I mean, it’s so easy to wear and what’s better than a nice cool breeze flowing through your skirt on an exceptionally warm day when our male counterparts are (usually) confined to shorts that don’t allow them this luxury.

The only thing I changed to turn the peplum top into a dress, was to change the length and width of the “peplum” portion of the pattern.  I had 62″ width of the flower pattern fabric and used that width with 25″ for the length of the skirt.  I think I may shorten the width next time so there aren’t so many gathers around the midsection, which can end up widening your waistline.  The skirt portion ended up hitting me right below the knee, although I was aiming more for right above the knee, but it works.  And of course you can make it even longer and turn it into a maxi dress.


I laid out the fabric and went across marking (every 2 inches or so) 25″ up from the bottom of the fabric


Made a bunch of those blue lines to mark 25″


Then I connected the dots to make a skirt piece that was 62″x25″


I have all my pieces cut!!! Ready to start sewing them together.


I like to make marks at the halfway point between side seams on the bodice and the skirt to help me pin them so the gathers are evenly distributed.


Matching the marks I made to the side seams


All pinned together with marks matching the seams and halfway marks.  Sew it and hem the skirt.


All done!

To Blog About

Now, what to make with the rest of my knitfix bundle of fabric…


Thanks for reading and have an awesome week!

-Flora 🙂

3 thoughts on “Sewing with Knits: Peplum Top and Dress

  1. atkokosplace says:

    I love dresses I just wish my lifestyle would allow wearing them more often. I’m usually in grungy clothing painting, fixing, building, digging something. A girl just wants to be a girl and nothing says it better than a dress! Love this one. Looks great on you! 🙂


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