Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Piper Peplum And A Hack

Blue and white knit dress
For this month’s 5outof4patterns (affiliate link) ambassador make, I chose the Piper Peplum (affiliate link).  The very thought of a peplum gives me agita (fancy word for heartburn) because it’s not a look I find flattering on many people, myself included.  I like to draw attention away from the middle of my body and peplums, with their twirly fabric at the waist scream LOOK RIGHT HERE!  IT'S LIKE I'M TRYING TO HIDE SOMETHING BUT WE AREN'T FOOLING ANYONE.

Thankfully, there are lots of pictures of the Piper Peplum (affiliate link) out there and I discovered there’s a dress length, which takes that fabric at the waist and brings it down as a dress.  This is a style I like and the very first knit dress I ever made was something similar to this, so I was excited to try this version.

I’m at a point in my fabric stash that I have a lot of pieces that I’ve bought as remnants or clearance boxes from various sites and I never label them, so it’s always a gamble when I hunt for fabric.  I thought I had a cute blue and white polka dot fabric that would work but I didn’t have anywhere near enough.  This dress is a fabric hog because of the circle skrit.  Then I stumbled upon exactly the right amount of this, which is a DBP I remember buying at Joann. It must have been super cheap for me to have bought so much without a specific thing in mind.  I don't buy fabrics all that often without some idea of what I want to use them for.  I might not have a specific pattern in mind but I'll think "oh, this might be a good top, this would be nice for a dress,etc".  I don't have bins and bins of fabrics waiting to be used.

I’m also at a point where I’m kind of over the polyester in knits and I want to start finding good knits without polyester.  A needle in a haystack, I know.  It's hard when the only store locally is Joann fabrics and they don't have the widest variety.  Getting fabric online can be a huge task if you're picky like me and no matter what kind of info they give for dimensions, stretch, etc. I am someone who really needs to touch a fabric to know if it's going to work.

Mysteriously, this does not seem to stop me from buying a clearance box of mystery fabric online.  The thrifty girl in my sometimes takes over.

But let’s get back to the Piper Peplum dress(affiliate link).  This pattern is extremely easy and extremely quick to make.  This would be a great beginner pattern.  The hardest part is using the huge quantity of fabric in the skirt because it’s a circle skirt.  And it’s quite full!  I love a good twirly circle skirt and this fits the bill but I do look at all of the fabric and think "I could also made xyz out of all that..."

I had to shorten it a little because I didn’t have quite enough but that was fine because it was going to come below my knee anyway.  I’m 5’2”.

The bodice is short because for the peplum top, you’d be adding the flounce part around the waist.  The same bodice is used for the dress but keep in mind that the weight of the skirt will pull that bodice down.  If I had realize this, I might have shortened at the waist just a little, too.

This pattern has a sleeveless option, short sleeves, long sleeves and 3/4 sleeve.  It also has a crew neck or scoop neck.  I chose short sleeves and a scoop neck.

And just to keep it real, let me tell you how much swearing and frustration was caused by this fabric when I went to hem the skirt.  This is not at all a fault of the pattern, just my own issues.  DBP can be known for not gliding smoothly through machines, sometimes.  Other times, it will glide through like a greased pig. I have never been able to figure out how to know when it's going to glide or get stuck. 

All went well until I decided I didn't want to use a double needle for the hem because I knew I wouldn't need the stretch for such a full skirt.  This fabric and my machine were not having it.  I had to rip it out 3 times before I finally caved and used the double needle.   Full skirts can be a pill to hem anyway because of the curve and this knit was like let's up the game here .  I ironed and pinned (a rarity when it comes to my and knits) and nothing was working until I finally used the double needle.

And because I can’t help myself, I decided that since I liked the neckline and the sleeves, I wanted to make it into a top that didn’t have the flounce of the peplum.  I took another pattern that has the length and shape I wanted and just extended the Piper (affiliate link) bodice down and out to match that one.  This fabric is extremely unflattering in pictures but the purpose of this shirt is actually a yardwork shirt so I wasn’t going for high fashion.  I do a lot of getting dirty once spring comes, and my work shirts that were college t-shirts 25 years ago have all decided to turn in their resignations.  

This is one of those mystery knits that is clingier than I realized as I was making it and could have been made a little larger to accommodate the cling.  There must be a lot of polyester in there.  I don't dare show the back because with my swayback and short waist, the clingy fabric would make anyone who knows how to make alterations faint on the spot.  I didn't bother to do any kind of alteration because my intention was to make a work shirt but now I'm questioning that idea.

Now, who doesn’t love to see a twirly skirt twirl??

Be sure to click on my affiliate links (affiliate link) to get this pattern for yourself!

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