If you've been reading our blog for a while, you might remember last year, when we were all about the box dress? Well, after a short hiatus, we are back on it, but this time we are hacking it into a peplum top. Oh, how we love a simple but versatile pattern, and Stylish Dress Book 2 pattern D is still a total winner.
For a few years, I've been gently begging my daughter Audrey to see if she'd like me to make her a few clothes again. She's 12 now and, understandably, has firm ideas about what she likes to wear so I didn't want to push the issue. Recently, she said she'd like a top with a slight frill at the bottom - so I started up the mother-made campaign once more. She tried on one of my box t-shirts (not blogged) and asked if we could modify it. Um, YES!
So, off we went. The Dress D pattern is as straightforward as it gets - just a front and a back with no darts or fastenings - so it really lends itself to modification. We had just 1m of this soft denim to work with, so we cut the pattern to top length (around 50cm from shoulder to hem). The denim we used is now sold out, but this style would work with any slightly drapey lightweight fabric.
Audrey wanted a slightly high-low hem, so once I'd done the shoulder and side seams, I chalked-up then cut the front of the top, as in the dinky wee diagram above. The back hem remained straight. We also cut the front neckline down by about 1.5cm, as we find it sits a little high.
To make the peplum, we cut a long strip (about 1m long by 15cm wide - against the grain, living on the edge!) from the remaining fabric. I gathered it to her liking, chopped off the remainder, pinned then sewed it to the bottom of the shirt, right sides together, and hemmed it. The raw edges at the arms and neck of this top are finished with bias trim - we used some pre-made tape because there was nowt left of our scant metre of fabric to make our own.
The verdict? It's been worn twice. VOLUNTARILY. I'm taking that as a win. I think girls of this age can present a bit of a sewing challenge - there are not many pattern makers who cater specifically for kids that aren't quite teenagers yet, and this age group are mostly not interested in wearing clothes suited to younger girls. The Japanese sewing books offer some great solutions for simple and adaptable garments, and the smallest sizes can often work well for 10-12 year olds (though they can tend to be quite loose styles, so a muslin will help with your fit). For reference, Audrey is very tall for her age at 171cm, and she wanted to have this top extra loose. We made the size M with no added seam allowance.
Also, I'm reliably informed that it's suitable for spinning. :)
- Fiona + Jane xx