Strawberry Peplum Top


I have really been on a top-sewing kick lately, and my latest creation is this knit peplum top with the recently-released Briar Rose jersey, which I may or may not have procured directly from Windham with a slightly pushy email. AHEM. The important thing is, they were kind enough to send me a couple of cuts of the strawberry jersey, one of which I have slated for a dress or PJs for Clementine, and the other which I whipped into this lovely top. Briar Rose jersey is now available in many fabric shops, including a few of the sponsors of this blog (see the sidebar or bottom of post).


The pattern…hmm. Now, where did I even get this pattern from? I think it began as a regular tee pattern that I extended slightly in the shoulders to create a small built-in cap sleeve, and then cut off at my natural waist. The skirt part is just two 10″ rectangles of fabric that I cut from selvage to selvage, then gathered and attached to the top with elastic thread in the bobbin of my machine. Using elastic thread in the bobbin (usually called “shirring”) when you attach the skirt has the advantage of helping to prevent the top from stretching out where you attach the skirt (nifty, eh? Don’t you love it when you learn something?). This seems to be a problem of mine whenever I sew a gathered anything to a piece of knit, so I’m happy to have found a solution.

Update: the Isla Dress & Top Pattern is now available! buy now


I bound the armholes and neckline with a strip of navy blue jersey, thinking that would “grow it up” a little bit. Admittedly, this is a print probably intended for children’s wear, but has that ever stopped me in the past? NAH.

I had to fiddle with the height of the skirt a bit — it felt a little high to me because my legs are so long and I have such a short torso, but when I lowered it so it was closer to my hips, it felt frumpy. So, lesson learned: the peplum style looks better on me when I use my natural (high) waist.

I think you could create a very similar version of this top if you cut off Kristin’s Scoop Top and added a skirt. The Scoop Top is another built-in sleeve tee pattern that I’ve been meaning to try. It has a slightly less fitted sleeve than this top, but I think it might work!  And if you’re looking for tips and tricks for sewing with knits, be sure to check out my knit posts.

Are you a fan of the peplum? Big trend lately. I have to admit that when I first saw it, I said no way. Yeah, just like with the skinny jeans. Clearly I am not a trendspotter; it always takes me a bit of time to warm up to new things. But once I do, I go all out. In fact, this is my second peplum top; I’ll have to show you the other one soon!

16 thoughts on “Strawberry Peplum Top

  1. Oh wow! I LOVE it. and yes, I DO love it when I learn something! elastic in the bobbin, such a great tip!! Thank you

  2. I have scrunched my nose up at skinny jeans, peplum tops and those Toms shoes. I guess my trendspotting skills are as sharp as yours! Ha, ha! Used the parsley pants pattern for my first project last night — shorts for my son. So great! Thanks!

  3. How sweet! Now this shirring elastic tip sounds like it might be just the answer my brain has been searching for… I have visions of a dress with a jersey bodice and a gathered woven skirt, and I want it to pull on over my head with no zip etc – will using shirring elastic make the waist stretchy, even with the woven fabric?

    • This may work — though gathering the woven skirt to the jersey is usually pretty tricky. Good luck!

  4. I like the top. It’s cute. But what I really like is your smile in the photos. You look so relaxed and pretty. The last few posts of yourself have seemed like you are more comfortable in your skin for some reason. beautiful!

  5. Lovely top! And thanks for the shirring tip! I’ve ordered some of those strawberry prints for my daughter, but I’ve been wondering if they’d suit me, too … Let’s see how it looks once they arrive!

  6. I love this top!! I’ve been wanting to make myself something with the knit but was worried it would look to juvenile. Can’t wait to start stitching something up!

  7. That is super cute on you!. Peplum is really pretty on some people, though I think it would cut my proportions at a weird angle.

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