How to Make a Detachable Peplum

Hello again! I'm back today, as promised, with a great little tutorial on how to make a detachable peplum.
In last week's post, I showed you how to make a super cute strapless corset top and in this tutorial we'll be changing up the look and making a peplum that can be removed or attached depending on your mood. This tutorial can be used for any top that you'd like to add a peplum to, not just the top in last week's tutorial.

If you'd like to make this exact top, click here to read the post about the cropped corset top.

I used a series of hooks & eyes to make this garment easy to attach or remove. You could also use snap tape, if you prefer. This tutorial does require some hand sewing, and is a great way to practice your hand sewing skills. Sewing on a series of hooks and eyes may sound daunting, but I am, by no means, an excellent hand sewist, and it only took me about 30 minutes (while watching Netflix, so you know I was distracted) to sew these on.

Quick note: You'll notice that the sweet eyelet (available here) I use in this tutorial is not the same lovely red color as my finished product. That's because I ended up dyeing this garment at the end to get a color I liked more. The a difference a removable peplum and some dye can make is pretty cool.


What You'll Need

Fabric (amount depends on your size and the length of your peplum)
Measuring tape
Pen & paper
Disappearing marking pen
Sewing guage
Hooks & eyes (again, how many depends on your size)

Measure the bottom of the garment, where the peplum will attach and add 1".

Using this number, create a circle skirt the length you would like your peplum to be. I checked the measurement and used the pieces for a peplum on a blouse pattern I already had. 

You could do what I did, or you could start from scratch and make a circle skirt using a tutorial like this one, or follow my quickie directions below.

To Make the Peplum

Determine the waist measurement of the garment you will be adding the peplum to and divide it by 3.14. Then take that number and divide it by 2. Take that resulting number and add 1 inch (this is the seam allowance for finishing both ends of the peplum). Mark this distance from the corner of a large piece of paper that has been folded in half. Be sure that the corner of this paper is perfectly square. Then, mark 1/2" above that curved line. This creates the seam allowance for finishing the top of the peplum. 

Here is a graphic for what your paper pattern piece should look like.

Then take that paper pattern piece, fold it out, and place it on the fold of your fabric. Cut it out.

Finish the Waist and Ends of the Peplum

For these first few steps, I used some scrap fabric as a muslin to be sure that this was going to fit my top the way I wanted it to. I then went back and cut out a second peplum with fabric to match my actual top. As always, I'd recommend doing the same. That being said, if you prefer to dive right in, you do you, my friend.

Hem the waist of your peplum by folding it under 1/4" and then another 1/4". This may take some time because it is round, just take your time and press as you go.

Sew all the way around the waist.

Then, finish the ends of your peplum by folding over 1/4" and then another 1/4". Sew.

Test the Fit

Make sure that your peplum is fitting nicely onto the bottom of your top by pinning it in place, right sides together, along the entire waist edge of your top.

I then pinned the back of my top closed, where the buttons & buttonholes would eventually go, to make sure I liked how it was overlapping in the back.

I asked my husband to pin the garment closed while I was wearing it so I could check the fit and the 'flare' of the peplum. You could test all this on your dress form, if you have one.

I liked how everything fit and looked, so I went ahead and cut out the peplum from my actual fabric. I then hemmed the waist edge and the ends of the peplum as I described above and re-pinned it to my top.

Mark The Placement of the Hooks & Eyes

While the peplum is pinned to your top, right sides together, make a mark at the center front. 

Then, measure 4" out, in both directions, from the center and make a mark on both the peplum and the inside of the garment. Continue making these marks every 4".

I chose to make marks every 4", but if you'd like to do them closer together, you certainly may. I wouldn't go any further apart than 4" because I believe you'd end up with gaps where the peplum might sag below your top. 

You'll also need to make marks at each end of your garment. Double check your marks to be sure that the peplum will be attached every 4" along the entire waist edge of your top. The marks may be less than 4" apart between the mark at either end of the garment, and the next mark in. This is ok, just as long as your peplum will be attached all the way across. 

Count the number of marks you have on the top. Be sure you count both the marks on the peplum, and those on the top itself. I had 10 on each side for a total of 20 marks. Set out the appropriate number of hooks and eyes.

Unpin the peplum from the top. Make a 1/4" hem around the entire bottom edge of the peplum.

At the marks, sew the eyes onto the inside (the wrong side) of the bottom edge of your blouse about 1/4" away from the bottom edge. We're sewing the eyes onto the garment so that when you're wearing your top, there's nothing gouging into you. If you were to sew the hooks into the top, they might be uncomfortable to wear with, or without, the peplum attached.

For a nifty little video on how to sew on hooks & eyes, watch this.

Then, at the marks, sew the hooks onto the right side of the peplum with the hooks facing you about 1/4" away from the waist edge of the peplum.

Below, you can see the eyes sewn onto the inside of my garment. I had to add an extra eye near the end to prevent a gap from forming when I had my peplum attached.

And here, you can see the hooks sewn onto the right side of my peplum. Note that the point of the hook is face up. 

Your removable peplum is done!

As I said in the beginning of this post, you may also find that snap tape could be used as well. If you choose to make the peplum with snap tape, be sure to sew the side with all the sockets onto the inside of your garment, and the side with the prongs onto the right side of your peplum. Again, this will prevent anything from digging into your waist.

Here's my top, without the peplum, paired with some seersucker shorts I made using vintage McCall's 6061.

And here it is with the peplum attached and a pair of jeans!

So, what do you think? Convertible clothing is something I'm becoming more and more intrigued by and this peplum seemed like a great place to start. Next up on my convertible clothing list: a "wrap dress" that's actually a skirt and top. Stay tuned for that. 

I hope you found this tutorial helpful! If you end up making one, please share it with me on Instagram so I can see what you made. 

As always, feel free to ask questions or comment with additions or changes you would make. Sewing is such an awesome skill because we all do things so differently, and I love hearing other's methods!

Thanks so much for reading. See you all soon!


Other details: Sewn with my Janome HD3000.


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