Boxy long-sleeves to sleeveless peplum

This shirt had been sitting in my pile of things-I-should-probably-get-rid-of-but-can’t-bear-to-part-with for years now.

Why, you may ask? I bought this shirt on my very first trip to France, back in 2004, and at the time I bought it thinking to myself that it was the essence of French style. Could I have been more wrong?

In any case, it really never fit me right (are you noticing a pattern here?!), but I couldn’t find it in my heart to give it away.

Finally, one Saturday morning on the way to the market, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I should make a peplum top out of it!

Now, I don’t know where you guys get your inspiration, but for me, it always comes when I’m on the move. Sometimes it comes from people and things I see around me, but sometimes it just just pops into my head seemingly out of nowhere.

Whenever I have these “aha” moments, I scrounge around for whatever scrap of paper I can find in my purse (usually old receipts) and quickly jot down my idea, before it slips out of my mind just ask quickly as it came.


As you can see, that boxy long-sleeved shirt was doing nothing for me.

Since I didn’t have enough fabric to do the entire peplum using the fabric from this shirt, not to mention that the pattern is rather busy, I decided to pair it with this brown fabric I bought this winter but never got around to using.

It’s worth mentioning that although I called this a “refashion,” I ended up having to completely  de-construct the original shirt before using it as I would any other piece of fabric.

Since I didn’t have a pattern, I decided to create my own (another first for me!) using a peplum shirt that fits me quite well and some white wrapping paper.

After I traced and cut out my pattern pieces (allowing for .5 inches for the hem), I traced them onto the fabric, and cut the fabric with my pinking shears.

I started out by putting together the top half of both the front and back. Then, then I added the “skirt” part of the peplum to each side. Once the front and back were fully constructed, I sewed them together, added the zipper and hemmed around the bottom.

Another cool thing I learned how to do with this project, was how to shorten a zipper. The zipper I used for this top was actually taken from the hoodie I refashioned a while back. Check out this tutorial for an easy as pie how-to.

Once again, I didn’t take pictures throughout the process because I was doubtful that the end result would actually be wearable by anyone, much less actually be fitted and wearable by myself. I guess it is about time to kick my poor attitude to the curb and get my camera ready for my next refashion!

Now that I have sewn a few garments, I have realized a couple things:

1. The tracing and cutting phase is the most important. If you measure and cut your pattern pieces correctly, the rest of the process will go so much more smoothly.

2. There really is a correct order to sew things together. Before you start sewing, take a look at some of your clothes and try to figure out the order in which the pieces were sewn together. You should be able to tell by which hems overlap which other ones. When in doubt, baste stitch (hand sew loosely) the pieces together before sewing them on your machine. While I generally hate hand-sewing, this will save you a lot of heart-wrenching seam ripping.

What about you? What sewing rules do you live by?





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s