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Double the Peplum

Cleanly finished tiers lend femininity to a jacket
Threads #205, Oct./Nov. 2019
Create an hourglass illusion by adding a two-tiered peplum at a jacket's waistline.

The jacket shown at left features a figure-flattering peplum made of two tiers at the waistline. The peplum layers travel from the front vertical darts to the center back, where they meet and are embellished with a self-fabric bow.

You can add this detail to any fitted jacket pattern. It can have an existing waistline seam, or you can draw the waistline for reference and then make the restyled garment without the seam. The example suit has a center-back seam, which enables a good fit through the jacket’s back. If your pattern doesn’t have a center-back seam, mark center back from the waist to the hem so you know where to align the peplum tiers during construction.

Draft the patterns

Base the peplum tiers on the original jacket pattern’s front and back, from the waistline down. If the pattern doesn’t have a waist seamline, draw one in and trace new front and back patterns from the waistline to the hem.

1. Prepare the pattern

Pin any waist darts closed, and attach the front and back pieces at the side seam.

prepare your pattern, trace the waistline

2. Trace the waistline edge

Place translucent paper over the pinned patterns and trace the waistline. Also trace the centerback seam or foldline, and trace along the dart closer to center front to establish the tiers’ ends. Mark the waist seamline 5/8 inch from the waistline edge.

shape the hemlines

3 Shape the hemlines

Draw the upper tier, making the front hemline shorter than the back. Then draw the lower tier’s hemline, with a diagonal center-back seamline. Draw seven or more evenly spaced lines, perpendicular to the waist seamline.

add flare

4. Add flare

Cut the pattern apart along the evenly spaced lines, from the hem to the waist seamline. Spread the sections apart equally at the hemline, from 1/2 inch (for mild flare) to…

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  1. tigerb | | #1

    Judith Neukam's timing is amazing. I have a vest pattern with a peplum and was wondering if there were a way to jazz it up a bit... and here it is. Thanks!

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