Make a peplum top – Easy sewing pattern

A peplum top is a top with a circular flared overskirt attached to its empire waistline.

peplum top

The best thing about a peplum top is that it is a suitable style for almost every body shape. If you have a tiny waist this style can accentuate it; if you have a waistline you would like to hide you can do that too with clever placement of its waistline in the proper place. The flared hem can hide a multitude of figure differences like a wide hip and big stomach. So, what is not to love.


To make this top you will be making a basic top and then attach the peplum part to its bottom edge. You need about one meter for the sleeveless bodice part and same yardage extra for underlining and 20-30 inch square fabric for the peplum part (depending on the length of the peplum you want, of course).

If you want the peplum to stand stiff you will have to take such a fabric that it has enough body to stand stiff. A lace peplum top is a classic look and very popular nowadays.You can add layers of the peplum skirt cut in different lengths for a different and very attractive effect.

Step 1

Cut out the pattern pieces

You can draft front and back bodice patterns as per the pattern given here for the basic bodice pattern. Draft it so that the waistline is at the point where you feel it is most flattering for you. The correct position of the waistline is important as a viewer’s eye is naturally drawn to the waistline – so if you want to get eyeballs to your thin natural waistline ensure the peplum waistline is there.Check out this post on the different types of waistlines

Cut Back and front patterns. Give the neckline you want. I have used a wide boat neckline, which is 1/2 inch or so higher than the back neckline.

If you want to add underlining, use the same pattern and keep the fabrics together treating both as one

peplum top diy

Step 2

Make centre opening for back piece

Take the back pattern piece. You need a facing piece for the opening for the back center. Finish the edges of this facing piece

Mark the opening on the facing piece. Mark two lines 1/4 inch to either side of the opening marking tapering to the line as it reaches the end as in the picture below. Keep the facing on the Center back and pin in place. 

make a peplum top

diy peplum top

Stitch through the lines you have made, ensuring that the stitching length decreases as it comes to the tip and you pivot the fabric keeping the needle on the fabric. 

make peplum top

Cut through the middle line till the tip carefully ensuring you donot cut the stitching at all. Clip the seam allowance every 1/2 inch. Turn to the other side. Stitch in place if you want to. Press anyways.

how to sew peplum top

If you want to you can add a zippered opening on the back – a lapped zipper would work well. Check out the tutorial to sew a lapped zipper here.


Step 3

Bind the front neckline.

Cut out 1-inch wide bias tape for binding in the neck edges. If you want the binding to appear in the front stitch from the back. If not stitch from the front and bring to the back. You may not want the stitching to show on the front in this case; then hand stitch the binding in place.

diy sewing pattern peplum top

diy peplum top

Step 4

Bind the back neckline.

For the back pattern you need two bias tapes on either side of the opening. Cut it 1/2 inch or so longer than the neck edge and turn the edge to the inside as in the picture below to get a neat edge near the opening

how to make a peplum top

peplum top sewing pattern

Step 5

Join shoulder seam.

Keep the two pieces right sides together and stitch the shoulder seams

how to sew peplum top

sew peplum top

Step 6

Bind armholes.

Bind the armholes with more bias tapes. You may have to join the bias tapes to get the length 

pattern to make peplum top

Step 7

Join the side seam 

make peplum top

Step 8

Sew button for back opening

Now sew a button and a thread bar for the button

peplum top sewing pattern


Sewing a thread bar is easy. Make two loops and then make blanket stitches over the loop, very closely.

sewing peplum top

how to make a peplum top

Measure the bottom edge of your top – the full circumference.

Step 9

Make peplum skirt.

Take the fabric you have reserved for the peplum skirt ; fold it in half first and then in half again

Determine how much you have to cut from the corner for the waist opening

Calculate A = (The bottom edge of the top divided by 6.28) minus 1/2 inch

If you want a gathered peplum skirt, formula changes to this

A = {(The bottom edge of the top * 2 ) divided by 6.28} minus 1/2 inch

You multiply the bottom edge by 1.5 or 2 so that you can get gathers 

peplum top

Decide on the peplum skirt length and then mark it equidistant from the waist marking. Cut it out. It will be a  circle with a hole in the middle.

Step 10

Join skirt and top

Keep the skirt and the top edges right sides together and stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Hem the skirt bottom edge using a baby hem technique or use a hemmer foot to make a rolled hem

peplum top diy


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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