11.12.2014

Two Pretty in Peplum Tops

There's no denying it now - I am wholeheartedly on the knits bandwagon.  In fact, the last fabric order I placed had more knits than wovens!  So I was excited to have the opportunity to try Abby's Pretty in Peplum pattern for her pattern tour.

pretty in peplum

This is one of the best patterns I have ever sewn.  Her instructions are so thorough yet so concise.  How does one do that?!  It's an art and an accomplishment!

pretty in peplum top

I love that her pattern has diagrams for each step.  I'm definitely a visual learner and can sometimes get bogged down by too many words.  Her pattern was perfect.  I was so impressed!

pretty in peplum top 

 I think this would be a fantastic pattern for someone new to knits, mostly because it doesn't have a neckband.  Personally, I found learning neckbands to take some practice.  It's kind of like driving a stick shift.   You need to find that sweet spot with the clutch in order to shift gears smoothly.  You'll likely stall out a few times before you find it.  But once you get it, you're golden.  You'll forevermore be able to drive a stick shift.  With neckbands there's a sweet spot, too.  I find you have to pull enough to get some tension but not too much to gather the shirt fabric.  Once you get the feel for it, it becomes second nature.

pretty in peplum top 

But that's all inconsequential for this post, because as I said - no neckband!  This top finishes with a facing and I really enjoyed that method!

Also, this fabric was a dream to work with!  It's Acorn Trail Peonies Blue by Birch.  Birch knits are my favorite.  They are so soft inside and so easy to sew.  They don't really curl and behave more like a woven, I think.

pretty in peplum top 

Indigo's peplum top sewed up in 45 minutes!

I cut the 3/4 length sleeve, but her arms are so long that the sleeve hit just below the elbow.   So I cut off a few inches so it would hit just above the elbow.  I really love this length.

pretty in peplum top

For Tia's top I decided to experiment with a stretch lace overlay.

pretty in peplum top 

 The lace itself was easier to work with than I had expected. I did have to recut the bodice because I didn't line up my flower rows when I cut them the first time, so they were seriously askew.  

pretty in peplum top

I basted the lace to the tangerine knit I used underneath.  This was from Robert Kaufman's Laguna line.  While the fabric itself is soft and has washed well (I used it here), it's not the easiest to work with.  Mostly because it curls...a lot.  It helps to press the heck out of it, but Birch knits are much easier to work with, in my opinion.

pretty in peplum top

 I cut the lace overlay peplum in a size 7 length so it's an inch or two longer than the knit peplum.

pretty in peplum top

Tia's top took longer to sew because with all of the basting, it was almost like sewing two tops instead of one.  But it was still a relatively quick sew.  I sewed both of these tops in one Sunday afternoon... with interruptions.

pretty in peplum girls

I used Wondertape for the lace hem and it worked amazingly well.  I loved that stuff!

pretty in peplum top 

The pattern suggests using knit interfacing and 1/4" clear elastic and I skipped it, keeping this super simple and I was so happy with the results.

pretty in peplum top

Really, I can't recommend this pattern enough!


pretty in peplum top 

Thanks for having me, Abby!




19 comments:

  1. Both are beautiful, and your lace overlay worked out so well - that colour is stunning on Tia. I recently ordered the Acorn Trail peopnies print in a cotton - it's such a beautiful collection. Glad to hear the knits are good to work with, as I ordered some of them too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. they are super rachel! i think you will find that the birch knits are an interlock vs. robert kaufman being jersey. interlock is way easier to sew with than jersey because the edges don't roll and it stays flat, but the recovery is never as good as jersey and interlock tends to stretch out of shape quickly too.
    i prefer sewing with jersey now because it holds up better over time. interlock is so snuggly and soft though!
    anyway, something to keep in mind with more fitted clothing - tops like these are fine to use interlock for because they are quite loose, but if you were making something more snug-fitting then you might not be happy with the way interlock behaves compared to jersey!
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Toni, for taking the time to explain this to me! I really appreciate this so much! I guess I didn’t understand the differences between interlock and jersey but this makes perfect sense. I guess it’s just another way you ‘make it perfect’. :D Thanks again!

      Delete
  3. What a lucky mom you are to have such beautiful girls! Both of your tops turned out so amazing, and I'm so grateful to have you on the tour!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those peplums are so beautiful, and so are your girls! I've had my eye on both that Acorn Trail knit and on that peplum pattern...since my girls are pale blonds too, now I know how awesome it'd look on them!

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are both just ... lovely. I really love the Birch fabric - I must try sewing with Birch knits, I've seen them around but never tried them. I do love a stable and easy to handle knit. I like the laguna bc it's stretchy (good for leggings) and holds up well, but you're right about the curl. I think that's because it's jersey? Is the Birch interlock or something else? Oh gosh, one of these days I will actually learn the terminology!

    ReplyDelete
  6. so I showed these tops to my youngest girl, and she is in love! With Indigo's particularly, but Tia's is gorgeous as well! That Birch interlock print is just so striking - love your choice of fabric. And I loved your "learning to drive a stick-shift" analogy . . . brings back many lurch-y memories:) Not sure I"ve mastered smooth driving with the knit neckband yet, but it's a work in progress. Thanks for a lovely pattern review - I always love it when I see you joining a pattern tour:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lurch-y! Perfect description! Yeah, it was the school of hard knocks for me when I got a new stick shift and learned while commuting daily from Madison, WI to (almost) Milwaukee - my first job out of college. There were many o' stall outs at stop lights. And even the slightest incline - oh don't get me started! I would hold my breath every time. It's a miracle I didn't get into a fender bender! Oh and rush hour traffic, too! The memories are flooding back! The stress! Learning neckbands is waaaay easier than learning to drive a stick shift. That's where my analogy breaks down! :)
      And thank you so much, Lucinda!

      Delete
  7. Those are really lovely peplum tops. I love how fast it is to work with knits (once you get the hang of it!). I especially love the lace overlay top you made for Tia. Such a great colour on her, too! I laughed at the stick shift analogy. I still remember learning how to drive and stalling and bunny hopping all over the place. I guess it's just practise, much like sewing neckbands, that makes for a smooth ride.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love peplums ~ yours turned out great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So cute! And interesting about the birch interlock vs laguna jersey comparison. I have a lot to learn about knits and how they act when sewing and with wear. Mostly unrelated to your post, but my daughter considers any shirt with a ruffle to be a dress. And therefore can be worn with just tights. I've spent a lot of time convincing her to add a skirt to her outfit. So maybe I'll hold off on this pattern for now :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why oh why do you live so far away. I would totally want you to make some family pics for me. Gorgeous photos as always!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Little peplum tops! They're so cute! And I'm so impressed with the lace one...the lace overlay is such a nice touch! And I need to try out the Birch knits that I've been hearing about forever. My only problem is that I'm entirely obsessed with selfish sewing lately. Poor kids.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I realized I had not commented on this post!!:) silly me!: so we are on the same knit wagon it seems! we are progressing at the same rhythm on that matter! (and on all other matter you are WAY ahead of me!!:)
    a 45 minutes project?? just what I need! and I will look into the Birch knits! lovely tops!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey, I just received that fabric that you used for Indigo to make into a baby gown. Crossing fingers! Of course, your tops turned out great. Love Indigo's especially, with those buttons.

    ReplyDelete
  14. these are just beautiful!! I haven't made my girls one peplum anything yet, can you believe it??

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful Rachel. I was swooning over Indigo's top (and that super cute hair style) and then literally gasped at the photo of Tia sitting down. the orange is breathtaking on her. Well done.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I generally respond to comments via email. If your profile does not link to your email account, I try to respond here. :)