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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.

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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.

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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.IMG_2837

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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

20 Comments on confetti peplum

  1. Hey, I’ve sewn with this same fabric before! I made my ma a top, and loved how soft it was (for, you know, JoAnn polyester) but still easy enough to handle. Cute stuff!

    • sometimes joann’s really surprises me…the fabric stinks when i iron it, but hey, it’s soft and unwrinkly with good drape and the price can’t be beat. and i thought it was really easy to sew, esp with the spray starch. i bought some yards of another “silky print” but haven’t figured out exactly what to do with it yet…

  2. Your top is awesome. I laughed when I read you couldn’t decide if the fabric was ugly or awesome – I feel the same way about lots of my fabric purchases. By the way, I’m very impressed that you don’t work with commercial patterns, yet are able to franken-pattern and redraft your own creations. Very cool!

    • thanks, andrea! i know i must not be the only one who faces the ugly vs. awesome internal struggle on 50% or more of fabric purchases. why does this happen?! i really need to just sack up and delve in to commercial patterns–i know i stand to learn a lot. the frankenpatterning would be endless! thanks for reading and saying hello :)

  3. This fabric is awesome. Looks almost like an Anna Maria Horner print. The peplum on this looks great. If you keep this up you might even inspire me to make a peplum blouse of my own

    • definitely one of those exciting joann finds! ha, no more peplums on the horizon for me as of now, but i hope they stay in style for a bit since i find them pretty fun. you should make one!

    • thanks! it seems just a touch loose under the bust, but i’m just not sure what can be done about that. i’d love to find out! maybe some day. though, if it were any tighter, i probably wouldn’t enjoy wearing it as much 😉

    • i feel like this is a common affliction…i guess it depends largely on how the fabric is used. likewise, i sometimes think fabric is beautiful but then it never translates well to garments. i think the only answer is to continue buying ugly fabric in the chance it becomes awesome!

    • me too! except by the time a trend dawns upon me, it’s usually on the way out. won’t stop me, though. nice to see you here, abby! your blog was recommended to me months ago and i’m a big fan of your sewing and your dog :)

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