is two peplums too much? it’s the last one, i promise. i bought this confetti rayon at joann’s on sale awhile back, if you can believe that. it was one of those instances where i couldn’t tell if it was ugly or awesome, which i feel like applies to ~80% of my fabric purchases. now i think it’s awesome. anyway, this is a wild and crazy little sewing experiment (like most of my projects since i continue to avoid commercial patterns out of irrational fear) that actually turned out quite well!
i actually made this one before the striped jersey peplum, but i hadn’t loaded these photos until yesterday. i had peplum on the brain since a few months ago when i bought a pattern for one on major sale, which i utilized in neither of my peplum endeavors (irrational fear). my origin plan was to cut a basic tank bodice on the bias of the rayon, hoping to eek out a little stretch that way, and then add a circle skirt at the waist. all of the garments i’ve made for myself are pullovers–no buttons, no zippers.
then, my peplum plans were temporarily postponed for a sew along months in the making. you guys would be very proud that i finally made a friend locally who loves to sew as much as i do (but is much better at it) and we fortuitously also have kids the same age. the five of us have taken some rollicking trips to joann’s together, as you can imagine. anyhow, we’ve been making noises about doing a sew along for months, and finally decided on simplicity 2215 for the project, so that i could smite my irrational fear of commercial patterns with the gentle guidance of an experienced pattern user.
i fell in love with this pattern a year ago, when i stumbled upon karyn’s blog for the first time; a post about this gorgeous skirt. i made a mental note of the pattern, and i stalked joann’s for a simplicity sale for months until i finally nabbed it for a few bucks. i dutifully went through the motions of real dress making, tracing the pattern (ruining my brand new cutting board in the process), and making three bodice muslins to get the darts and neckline and facings just right. when i finally felt ready to move forward, i discovered i didn’t have enough fabric for the project, and had to move along.
and so, the dream to overcome my pattern phobia was never realized. however, i did learn a thing or two about darts in the process of redrafting that muslin, namely, that they can go places other than your bust. i had also bought an invisible zipper for the dress, which i keep hearing are a snap to install, so i decided to go nuts on the peplum and try to make it authentic, fitted bodice and all.
remarkably, this process went off more or less without a hitch. i started with the colette sorbetto if you can believe it, since it’s the most fitted bodice pattern i have for a woven. i used my existing top and redrafted the pattern taking it in quite a bit at the sides, and chopping it off around my navel. i hoped that would be enough, but it still felt baggy, so i started adding waist darts, two in front and two in the back. then i drafted a circle skirt very poorly, and had to cut several inches out, which was fine because i needed to cut through it anyway for the zipper.
using my colette sewing handbook, i somehow semi-successfully installed the invisible zip on the first attempt, thought i had to extend the length into the skirt a bit because i couldn’t wiggle the shirt on from the top or bottom. as it is, i have to dislocate both my giant shoulders to get the shirt on now with the zipper fully sewn in, but i can make it work! the arm and neckholes are bound using my favorite method (and a lot of spray starch–that stuff is cool).
i was amazed to find the fit was good enough to wear in public! i guess looking at other peplums purchased from people who know what they’re doing, my waist is a little high and my skirt a little long, but that reflects the shape of my body, and that’s the point of sewing for yourself, right? it does get a little wrinkly when i slouch, but i wasn’t sure how to take any more fabric out of the bodice and still get it on…maybe if i had a longer zipper? and i guess i would just make the darts wider? so much to learn. anyhow, i wore this for some austin bachelorette festivities, but we snapped these pics on the windy rooftop of my bros place in manhattan. not bad digs, right? only two more pieces to go in my handmade vacation wardrobe!